The last sunny weekend of the summer was on the cards so I took the opportunity to do a route that's been simmering in the back of my mind for a few years. A full lap of East Yorkshire. Starting in Beverley and taking in the 4 corners, Spurn Point, Flamborough Head, Wilberfoss & Snaith. I'm not sure they're officially the four corners, but it was good enough for me.
DAY 1 - 8th September 2023 -- 80.6miles / 129.0km
I cycled from my home in Beverley to my office in Hull in the morning. I did some work and left the office around 3pm. It was a wonderful evening ride without any wind. I made it to Spurn without stopping. The road has been washed away in the middle of the Spurn peninsula, so I had to ride on the beach for a few hundred metres as well as push through some deep sand as I rejoined the paved section. I have 35mm tyres, anything less and it would have been a real struggle as I was sinking in to the sand at times. I stopped for a shandy at the pub in Kilnsea, for fish & chips in Withernsea and to buy some food/drink at the supermarket in Hornsea. I bivvied in a hay field just north of Hornsea.
DAY 2 - 9th September 2023 -- 137.4miles / 220.8km
I woke around sunrise at 6am and was packed up and on the road for 6:30. None of the cafes I cycled past were open in either Bridlington or Flamborough. I got talking to a couple of cyclists in Flamborough. One guy in his 50's who flew past me up a hill on the way to Flamborough head. He gave me some advice on the route across the Wolds. I then had a chat with another cycle tourer who was heading down towards Boston via the coast. I encouraged him to make it to Spurn on his bike. As I headed west across the Wolds a couple of guys on gravel bikes caught me up. I rode with (and behind 😅) them for about 10km or so, exchanging stories of various tours we'd done. I enjoyed a bit of shelter into the head wind too. (I justified them towing me as I was doing much further - they were heading to Whitby and back. And there was 2 of them!)
I didn't have much social interaction the rest of the day, except in cafes & pubs. But the cycling was fantastic. The weather heated up considerably (30°C) and I had to lather on sunscreen. And consciously keep drinking plenty of water.
My stopping points were few and efficiently short:
- On bench overlooking Flamborough lighthouse for some pitta/ hummus and bananas for breakfast around 8:30.
- Sledmere House for a full English around 11am.
- A pint of shandy and packet of crisps at The Grey Horse in Elvington.
- A stop at Morrisons in Selby - 2 scotch eggs.
- A pint of shandy at The Ship Inn in West Cowick.
- On a bench by Goole canal for a quiche & a Bakewell tartlet.
- Some chocolate flapjack and some pita & hummus whilst sheltering from a thunderstorm in Laxton.
It got dark around 8pm and I was conscious I might run out of lights so tried to cycle as long as possible without any lights whilst there was no traffic on the very minor roads alongside the Humber. I did run out of lights later. My back one went out around Brough. So I decided to take routes through villages to allow me to hop on the pavement if needed. My phone ran out of charge (and therefore Strava) in Swanland. My front light just about held out until Beverley.
It's the furthest I've cycled in one day but I thoroughly enjoyed it. I'd be interested in doing a lap of another county one day. Lincolnshire or Rutland could be good ones.
I visited loads of places that I'd never been before. I'd never been to the tip of Spun, Snaith, the area SE of York was lovely - Wheldrake, Elvington, Escrick. The section along the Humber from Howden to Brough was a revelation. Almost no traffic. I'd gladly go back there!
All in all it was a fabulous little tour. The route was brilliant - nearly all quiet roads with very little traffic. There were enough hills to keep it interesting yet enough flat to make sure I could get around in such a short time.