“I got up HOW early for fish n chips on the prom?!”
A 3am start, a 3 hour drive from my house over to Bridlington, meet Jase, chuck his stuff in my car then another – even longer – drive to Morecambe. Hell of a start to a day.
A bit of posing at the beach for photos and we’re off! Through the town centre then on cycle paths right through Lancaster and into the hills beyond, wonderfully traffic free even on a Friday morning rush hour.
Birds tweet, the sun shines warmth down on our backs and the seemingly empty roads flow across Lancashire, through towns and villages I half recognise from other rides in the area, it’s an idyllic start and just keeps getting better as we skip through Bowland and hit the foothills to the Dales.
Iconic hills rise up over the horizon, loom over us and pull at our legs as we keep the pace high. Dry stone walls and quaint villages follow the route. I resist the temptation to whistle the theme tune to Postman Pat, even though I half expect to see his little red van pop round a corner at any point.
We barely need to stop to check the route as the road signs guide us round pretty much every corner, in fact we don’t make a concerted stop until we reach the centre of Ripon. The smell of a bakery coincides with lunchtime and creates an unresistable force, dragging us in through the doors and forcing us to buy numerous pastry products, while locals quiz us on where we’re off to, where we’ve come from and why we’re so mad as to consider riding from where we’ve been to we’re we’re headed…
We can’t really come up with a decent answer. In fact there doesn’t really seem to be any need for one. It’s a nice day, we’re riding bikes in the countryside, is that not enough?
Back out onto the road, suddenly very flat…and fast! Biggest gears are employed and spun at a frantic pace as the route bobs and weaves it’s way over to York. 110 miles in, the chance of a photo stop outside the minster is too much beore more greenlaning, back roads and custom made cycle lanes fire us off in the general direction of the Yorkshire Wolds.
Occasional crossings of the busy main roads remind us of just how quiet and peacful the ride has been – rarely heading in a straight line for long, the meandering design seems to empasise the sprawling nature of Yorkshire’s countryside. From a vantage point high up on the Wolds in every direction right up to the horizon the ground is a verdant green and wonderfully peaceful. Only a short section through Stamford Bridge reminds us that it’s Friday night rush hour – on the route it feels like a lazy Sunday afternoon, a slower pace of life seeming to be The Done Thing by everyone but us, who are still cranking along, wishing for larger gears as we fly though Driffield and start to wind our way back to the seaside as stomachs beginto remind us that it’s getting on for teatime!
We hit the prom as the sun begins to set, quickly pose for more photos before seeking out the nearest chippy and setting about replacing many lost calories. Hard earned fish n chips taste the best!
More driving, all the way back to Morecambe to collect my car is done in torrential rain that kindly held off for the whole ride before finally heading home and crawling back into bed 22 hours after I’d crawled out of it. Job done