This small market town is a cyclists’ favourite place to stop off for refreshments. So I’ve stood here many times. It’s the climax of one of my regular rides. There are about 18 miles on the clock as I pull up and sit on one of the benches on the green outside the Co-op.
I make a long phone call from here – business has to go on and so we chat, appropriately, about arrangements for the storytelling course we’re running at the Riding Lights Summer School.
The summer school is one of the reasons I’m doing this ride. Four Palestinian students have been invited to travel here and I hope to help them pay the airfare. A quick look at the help.co.uk/ridingbike website reveals donations have reached £360.00. Gift Aid will bring that total to £458.00. Good progress for the first few days. The momentum has to be maintained for a number of weeks yet.
I didn’t have to cycle all the way up here, the road to Easingwold leaves Crayke early in the climb, but as I’m going to be tackling lots of hills in the Yorkshire Dales next month, I kept going to the top of the village.
Crayke is a sinister looking village when seen from the floor of the Vale of York. It rises like a fortress from the flat lands around, and the outline of a large stone built house and the church on the skyline reinforce the image.
Inside it’s charming and the pub, The Durham Ox, has a deserved reputation for good food. But the road is steep and a small shower of rain welcomed me as I sweated and ached. Just a couple of miles to Easingwold from here – mostly downhill.
This war memorial is quite recent. It was placed here in memory of both RAF and Canadian Airforce staff based at the many airfields that existed near here in World War 2.
The village of Sutton on the Forest is select. Post card material. Everyone looks after their bit of the village and it’s a patchwork of neatly trimmed lawns which reach right down to the road, and stone houses, although this end is more modern.
Swallows dip across my path, a stoat jumps out from the verge and leaps back again when it sees my bike. I’m training again for the sponsored ride next month and sending pictures to the blog from the roadside.
This is familiar country for me. The roads north of York are mainly quiet, flat and pass through pleasant villages. Today I’m cycling to Easingwold. It’s only ten miles on the main road but this route winds along 18 miles of country roads. This shot came after leaving Strensall about 9 miles into the ride.