August 2 – Hull to Goole
Zone Leader to Gold Command, come in Gold Command.
Gold Command receiving, go ahead Zone Leader.
Tasmanian Cyclists approaching, permission to activate Tactic 57, Paragraph 6b., sub-clause IV?
Permission granted Zone Leader, do you have Operatives in place?
Affirmative, Red 1 is in place and awaiting my Go.
I leave it to you then Zone Leader. You know what to do. You know the mission objective. We want maximum Precipitation Pique, we want Drenching Displeasure and our ultimate victory will be Rain Rage. It’s in your hands Zone Leader. Gold 1 out.
All received Gold 1.
Stand by Red 1, we have the go. On my word…stand by…target approaching…GO! GO! GO!
Those were the Weather Gremlins today. They were on top form and with the games they played with us today, I’m sure one of them earned a promotion.
We set off into the streets of Hull, under grey skies and some drizzle, but with a sense of optimism because the forecast was for “sunny intervals”. That sounds good. It has the word “sunny” in it. We were on the footpath beside the road, through the outskirts of Hull and in areas that once again, could just do with a little TLC and a bit of a spruce up. Then, it was like crossing over a hidden line and we were in the little town of Hessle, which is part of the area that includes Hull, but isn’t actually part of the city itself. This little place was neat and had a cute little main street with bunting and independent shops lining it. It was very different to the look of just 100m down the road. For all Steve’s cries of “Maintenence!” the other day, that’s exactly what was going on in Hessle, with barriers along the side of the street and a man replacing the pavers on the footpath. He was working alone, with the radio on beside him and singing away at the top of his lungs, to the latest songs being played. I did smile, you have to love seeing someone happy in their work!
As we put foot to pedal and set off again, Steve made the comment, “I think we’re about to get very wet.” There were darkening clouds on the horizon. We continued on, along roads or beside roads and sure enough, down came the rain. We’d just ridden through a tunnel, so we did an about-turn and headed back to seek some shelter. There we stood, watching the rain come down, waiting for our “sunny interval.” It didn’t come, but the rain at least eased and returned to simply grey skies and we were off again. It then occurred to us that we have been in England for nine days and it has rained on us for eight of those days. Still, it wasn’t cold, so the rain wasn’t bothering me at all.
We came to the little village of Welton. With a seat available, we stopped for elevenses, while the rain was still holding off. No sooner had we sat down and snapped our elevenses picture, than down came the rain. This time we were prepared and Steve reached for the brolly.
Eventually it eased and we could set off again. We climbed a bit of a hill and then we were on a quiet road, with a view down over Humber and waving to groups of passing cyclists. I stopped to wait for Steve and when I looked back I saw a road cyclist riding beside him having a chat. He stopped and the three of us stood on the side of the road for quite a while chatting and the man on the bike told us about some places to go and things to see, about his work in a factory that he pointed out to us in the town below and his daughter in Australia. It was another moment of the friendliness of strangers, stopping for a chat, which I continue to love. We continued on and we continued to get rained on; it rained, then it stopped, then it rained, then it stopped in a constant cycle of the Weather Gremlins taunting us to take off a coat, which we really wanted to do because it was so warm and muggy, but no sooner would we shed the outer layer and the rain would come down again. We have absolutely nothing to complain about though, there are still towns near here that are flooded and other places being evacuated because with more rain on the way, they are expecting flooding. So what have we got to complain about, with a bit of rain on us as we pedal about the countryside? Nothing, is the answer to that. Not a hootin’ tootin’ thing!
We were continuing to follow the Trans Pennine Trail, which had us on road and off and we came to another off road section that sent us through some gates, along a gravel road and then into villages and countryside. We passed another cyclist on a bridge and chatted to him for a while. He was part of a cycling group that he’d missed starting with, so was on his way to catch up with them. He told us there was a pub not far up the road, if we wanted to stop, so we thanked him for that very useful piece of information. We rode past houses and fields, with the Weather Gremlins still playing games with us and then we came to the pub. It turned out to be a pub we remembered. On our last tour here we had come to this pub because it was on our map as a camp site. On arrival, it clearly wasn’t! The very nice publican let us pitch the tent in the beer garden though and we had a very nice evening, on a fine and sunny day, having a drink in the pub, then a night in our tent in the pub garden! “I think we should stop for old time’s sake,” suggested Steve. So we took ourselves inside, saw that the cyclist we had met, had indeed caught up with the other members of the Beverley U3A Cycling Group and all were enjoying drinks and a pub lunch, so we had a drink while we sat and hoped for the weather to pass us by.
Riding on, we pedalled through the lovely little village of Blacktoft, where the pub had been and then just down the road was another perfect place to stop. The village hall had been set up, with the door open, inviting anyone who wanted to stop to help themselves to a cup of tea. There was a table set up with kettle and mugs and tables with tablecloths and it was a lovely piece of village hospitality. Just an open door village hall, with everything anyone could need who wanted to stop for a break and a cuppa. Lovely!
Then on through the villages of Yokefleet and Laxton and it was utterly delightful. I’d been missing villages and hoping we would ride through some, because we hadn’t been finding them as much on our northern routes so far. Then down came the rain again. Ah, rain shmain! Give it your best shot you pesky gremlins, you are not going to spoil this day! I am pedalling through pretty, peaceful little villages, with countryside and scenery and it’s all fabulous. A don’t give a fig that it’s raining!
Then…the sun came out! “There’s a sunny interval,” announced Steve. Yep, there it was. There hadn’t been any mention on the forecast about all the rain we would encounter in between the intervals, we had discovered that for ourselves, but here indeed, was some sunshine. Tick! Interval observed!
We were back beside roads, the sun disappeared and then, it didn’t shower again…it poured! The rain pelted down and I headed for the nearest tree to get some shelter and we stood, hoping it would ease. It got heavier. Steve obviously decided my tree solution just wasn’t cutting it, so…out came the brolly. So there we were, looking like complete plonkers, on the side of a busy road, with many passing cars, standing with our bikes, under a tree, in rain coats and standing under an umbrella! Oh, what seasoned and hardened cycle tourists we are!
We decided enough was enough, we’d just have to ride on in it, so off we went, into the downpour and arrived in Goole very, very soggy indeed. Our pitstop was chosen simply as a matter of finding somewhere to stay, not at all a roaming location, but somewhere to stop.
So here we are in a pub in Goole, with the Friday night revellers loudly singing and shouting outside our window. With the bikes spending the night in the spot where all the Friday nighters have gathered, we are just hoping our wheeled steeds get through the night unscathed!
It was a day where we got very, very wet and the weather played games with us all day and after a not too scenic start beside busy roads, we had delightful villages to ride through, peaceful country roads and it was a great ride. Rain, shmain, who cares about a bit of rain! In fact…far from dampening the day, that rain put some words in my head as I pedalled along…
There is this pesky thing called rain
It likes to play a trickster game.
It likes to drench, it likes to soak,
It tries to spoil the day for folk,
But that ol’ rain, it won’t beat me
I’ll take that wet day and grab it with glee
I may get soggy and I may get wet
But I don’t care, ah’m still loovin’ it Pet!
Distance ridden: 55.2 km
Time in the saddle: 3 hours 55 minutes
Weather: grey, muggy, rain, then not, then rain, then not (repeat). A sunny interval. 21C