This 50-mile route is a skinny loop north out of Little Weighton up to Sledmere on the high Wolds. After the drag up to High Hunsley – the highest point on the southern Wolds – there follows a descent to North Newbald and the short sharp ramp of Stoneknowle Hill, and a crossing of the A1079 before another descent to Gardham. Aside from Stoneknowle Hill the noteworthy ascents on this route include Kiplingcotes Racecourse; North Dalton to Huggate; and Life Hill (between Wetwang and Sledmere), although ride buddy Rob described the terrain to Sledmere as being “fairly flat”. Crikey.
Just before we reached the junction at the top of the Kiplingcotes Racecourse drag no fewer than three cars in a line pulled over on to the verge to let us pass. I despair of the stories I read on Twitter and elsewhere of motorist v cyclist. Perhaps I’m lucky – or just choose my routes carefully – but I very rarely encounter any aggravation on the Yorkshire Wolds. The last car was more off the road than on it. “Hey, I’m not that fat”, I quipped. Chuckles all round. It’s like another world.
After refreshments at the Coach House Cafe at Sledmere there is a little ramp out before wonderful views on the well-deserved, mostly downhill, easy miles to the A614 near Kirkburn via Garton on the Wolds. Rob hadn’t ridden this way back from Sledmere (apart from part of it when he got lost on the Heart of the Wold Centurion Sportive) and seemed to like it. This loop then picks up the National Cycle Network Route 1 through to Bracken and the villages nearer to home.
(Just a note on the way to Etton. I planned a course in Garmin Connect to go via Mere Lane then through South Dalton, but on the day we bypassed Dalton and took the right turn off the B1248 to Etton. My planned course is probably more advisable for those newer to cycling or not sure of the route – especially at busier times.)
More refreshments, this time in the Black Horse in Little Weighton before Rob and I went our separate ways. A decent lumpy loosener with 2350 feet of climbing in a little over 50 very pleasant miles.