That was a long ride but a very good one indeed. Not without its frustrations or challenges, but the best rides are so much better because of them, especially from the perspective of a belly full of curried spaghetti in a youth hostel in Scarborough. My only complaint is that there is a girl outside the youth hostel who is excessively high on life and has provided an annoying background audio track of continuous hysterical giggling ever since I walked into this building. She has just this moment walked upstairs with her friends. My hope is that she doesn’t return. Anyway… back to the cycling.
I can’t remember following such a well signposted route. Did I say that yesterday? Probably. If I did, it’s worth repeating. Only once today did I make a mistake. If you want to take the stress out of route-finding, the Wolds Cycle Route / Sustrans Route 1 (in Yorkshire) / EuroVelo 12 (ditto) is the one for you. It doesn’t always follow the most direct of routes but the lanes that it does adopt are worthy of the detours. Quiet – often deserted – country roads that are well surfaced and that allow – encourage event – frequent pauses along the way just to stop and stare at the view.
The villages north of Wetherby ooze money. So close to the run-down estates of Hull to make a stark comparison between the two ends of the spectrum of wealth that exists in Britain in 2019…
BREAKING NEWS: Those girls have reappeared ffs…
…and what’s guessing that both the landed gentry of Beverley and its environs and the ‘underclass’ (Tony Blair’s word not mine) in the impoverished housing estates both voted en masse for Brexit. Sigh… When will sanity prevail?
The only shower arrived just before I arrived in Great Driffield. I note it is just plain old Driffield on my map. As I noted earlier, it was OK. But great? That’s pushing it. The Secret Garden café gave me shelter inside and Wanda shelter under the awning and I spent a ponderous half hour listening to two old ladies discussing which of their friends had died in the previous week. It was a shockingly large number.
I crossed the railway line from Beverley to Bridlington and beyond a comically large number of times. They did at least make it easy to follow my progress on the (excellent) Sustrans maps that I’ve been using:
The series covers the entire country and they are well worth the investment of a few pounds.
Bridlington had me entering Desmond Morris people-watching mode. There’s an old part to Bridlington – didn’t they film the recent Dad’s Army film there? – which is very pretty, but it rapidly descended into amusement arcade / fish ‘n’ chips / dilapidated building horror by the coast. The less said the better. At least it wasn’t as bad as Blackpool but that’s a bit like saying at least Fred West wasn’t as bad as Harold Shipman. The best view of Bridlington promenade is from afar:
Moving on… the twisting, deviating nature of the route shortly after Bridlington had me heading south west and into a brutal wind. Distance-wise it wasn’t too long. Time-wise it was an eternity. There’s a small part of me still there fighting the elements. The reward came when I readopted the default cycling direction of heading towards the north east and I started flying rather than cycling.
The cycling sign-posted ’10 miles’ from Bridlington compared to the cycling sign-posted ’10 miles’ to Scarborough (at the alleged half-way point) was clearly measured by two people with widely different ideas as to what constitutes ’10 miles’. Fortunately the ’10 miles’ to Scarborough was the shorter of the two and before you could say ‘bracing’, I had dismounted and was admiring the sweep of the South Bay from a lofty position. The town is much, much better than how it previously existed in my mind. Classy. Well maintained. Chic even. And a world away from Bridlington, although probably not 20 miles…
Tomorrow is much shorter than today’s 110km; 40km along the Cinder Track to Whitby which should hopefully give me a little more time to explore the gothic wonders of Yorkshire’s most atmospheric town.
“When will sanity prevail?” I very much doubt that it ever will.
I’m enjoying your humerous post Andrew! I once cycled to RHB from scarboro and came a cropper on a ridge on that cinder track, broke my thumb! take it easy !
The YHA hostel is worth visiting in Whitby, an amazing building. You’ll see Robin Hood Bay won’t you? That’s worth a look too. (I’ve walked the coast path for this bit, not cycled it).
In Whitby, check out the street alongside Abbey Steps, up from the old town to the Abbey and youth hostel. A candidate for England’s steepest. Have fish’n’chips too (claimed to England’s best). Good local beers in the Wetherspoon by the harbour bridge. Cheers!
I’ll hopefully have more time to explore in Whitby. Fish ‘n’ chips a must. Local beer? If you insist…