After a band of rain passed through North Yorkshire overnight a pleasant day was forecast and Martyn was lined up to lead the Open Destination ride to Masham today with a T&P stop planned at the Dalton Diner. There was some speculation that Dalton Diner may not be open but if that was the case a backstop of Thirsk Garden Centre was available.
After the usual briefing and Adam Meek set up as back marker 10 bikes set off turning right out of Squires and left in Sherburn to take the oft used route down to Lotherton. We turned right here and immediately came upon a slow moving tractor which slowed us up for so long the later departing TD ride caught us up leaving the larger group all needing to pass the tractor. Eventually the solid white line disappeared and we could continue progress towards Towton. From there we headed into Tadcaster turning right at the lights, through the town and up to the next lights where we nonchalantly expected to make another left turn. Not so with Martyn who surprised us with a right turn and off towards Bolton Percy. Not often we get to travel on this lovely twisty road but what a delight it was in the morning sunshine as we carried on through Steeton and crossed the A64 at Bilborough Top, passing through Bilborough and Askham Richard. On through Tockwith, Cattal and into Kirk Hammerton where we turned left for a brief spell on the A59 before turning right on the road to Boroughbridge.
Not long on this road however before we made another right passed Queen Ethelburgers School and on to and across Aldwark Bridge, straight on through Youlton
and then left eventually arriving in Helperby. From here we dashed up the lovely flowing road to Asenby and turned right into Topcliffe before arriving at the Dalton Diner to discover it closed. Unperturbed Martyn turned back down the way we came and headed right into Dalton (could that be a U turn?) and on towards the A19 before turning into the Thirsk Garden Centre.
Suitably refreshed we retraced our route back to Topcliffe (another U turn?), over the bridge and then made the tricky right turn on the bend heading towards the rather grand sounding Baldersby St James heading through here and then picking up the A61 towards Thirsk. Just before the light controlled bridge we turned left and scampered off up the road through Ainderby Quernhow passing under the A1M and joining the B6267 towards Masham. Martyn's plan was to turn off this road towards Bedale but unfortunately he picked one turn too early necessitating a genuine U turn this time. Back on the B6267 we got the correct turn next time heading towards Bedale before taking a left turn along a narrow track road towards Thirn. We then took a long loop of a route passing through Beckwith, Thornton Steward and back passed Thirn. Martyn wanted to show the panoramic views along this route and the gorgeous weather showed them off a treat.
After marvelling at the views we dropped back on to the B6267 and into Masham to finish the route. Thanks Martyn for a fantastic and original route to Masham and to Adam for his perfect back marker duties. Picture of the route below.