The Bilsdale Run, Sunday 26th August
For once the weather forcasters got it right for The Bilsdale Run on Sunday 26th August (Bank holiday Sunday). Setting off from Leeds with the hood down on a chilly morning we and other members of the club met at Thirsk Garden Centre for a coffee and bacon sandwich and to be greeted by Phil and Linda Bennett the organisers of this run. Prior to going into the garden centre we decided to put the hood up (although not locked down) just in case. It was to be the best decision of the day for when we came out refreshed it was already raining quite heavily and this was to continue throughout the rest of the day. Undeterred the five cars and their crews (all classics even in this weather) who after studying the instructions started their engines and set off leaving Thirsk Garden Centre following the instructions to Coxwold and then on to and passing the impressive ruins of Byland Abbey and on towards Wass. Ampleforth and it’s Abbey followed shortly afterwards and we were very lucky with our timing as the road was about to be closed for a cycle race but we were let through with minutes to spare (something was shining on us and it was not the weather) but even in the constant rain there was some lovely scenery. Continuing onwards and upwards on some fantastic roads and through Oswaldkirk we eventually came to the delightful market town of Helmsley with shops, tea rooms and a chance for a comfort stop should one be needed. Leaving Helmsley we as instructed turned onto an unclassified road signposted Hawnby with warnings of steep descents, narrow and with passing places but luckily we seemed to have the road to ourselves so no problems. We eventually passed through Hawnby village and followed the signs for Osmotherley which was 91⁄2 miles further on and once again the warnings of steep descents and narrow road with passing places. At the market cross in Osmotherley we joined the A684 signposted Northallerton, Stokesley and Thirsk. Entering Northallerton we were met with a Road Closure and a diversion sign on the High Street. We followed the detour sign only to find out that it was the only one with no more visible so following what we thought was to be the correct road (we appeared to be running parallel) and on reaching a junction and turning Left we came out in exactly the correct location to pick up the A168 signposted Thirsk and we were back on the planned route and homeward bound. Thirsk has a one-way system through the town but we had no problems and following our concise instructions we were now well on the way to our final destination The Burn Hall Hotel where an excellent Carvery Lunch awaited us. We pulled into the very spacious car park after a very varied and scenic run and 65 miles and made our way into the hotel. And yes it was still raining.
Thank you Phil and Linda for an enjoyable day out.