THE hours of daylight are short, so my ride this month will be in keeping with that.

I can also safely say that today's route is flat, with no climbing at all. However, it’s still possible to find an interesting and quiet route without travelling too far. In deference to the temperature, I’ve also forgone my customary cool beer en-route. I’ve replaced that with cafe stops, both before and after the ride. However, I have included a suggested pub stop, should you find weather conditions kind.

Regular readers will notice I’ve pulled a different bike out of the shed for the first time in this series for the Gazette & Herald.

Originally purchased as a teenager, in 1971, with money saved from my Saturday job; it was resprayed and substantially rebuilt some 20 years ago. It’s not looking too shabby for a 45 year old machine, and I still enjoy the simplicity of a bike with a single gear, (62 inch fixed for those interested in such things).

So we begin at Clarks cafe on the corner of Market Place and Little Lane, Easingwold. I can recommend a bacon sandwich and a pot of Wicked coffee (locally sourced from Wicked Coffee Company, Wetherby).

Bear right out of the cafe, and along Little Lane, to Long Street, Easingwold’s main thoroughfare, where left (south) for a few hundred yards, before taking a junction to the left, signed for Stillington.

Pass Easingwold Golf Club on your right, and about a mile later, watch for Green Lane off to the right (unsigned).

This is a nice quiet single track road, adjoining woodland. Follow this as it curves to the left, and on to an unsigned cross road. Give way and turn right here.

Continue into Huby village where (to the right) you’ll see the New Inn, a possible watering hole for later in the ride. Also note the village stores, a community owned venture. A little further on is the interestingly named Mended Drum pub, which will be significant to readers of the Terry Pratchett Discworld series.

Bear left just before the Mended Drum, on to Bell Lane, in the direction of Sutton-on-the-Forest. Follow the road as it curves left, then in 100 yards, watch for an unsigned minor road on the right. Look for the road name, (Brownmoor Lane) which is slightly overgrown. A separate sign suggests this is a dead end, but we don’t worry too much about those, do we? Proceed down Brownmoor Lane, to emerge into open countryside south of Huby. The surface is initially rough, but I was fine on my narrow tyred road bike, keeping the pace leisurely. The surface does improve later, so don’t worry unnecessarily. Enjoy the wide open space and lack of traffic instead.

Pass a farm driveway on the right. I didn’t notice any name sign, but if you are checking your map, this is Alcar Farm. About a mile later, also off to the right is High Bohemia Farm. I can’t say why this farm is so named, but the Kingdom of Bohemia was an Imperial State in the Holy Roman Empire, and a predecessor of the modern Czech Republic.

Shortly afterwards, pass Low Bohemia Farm on the left. A mile later, we run off the edge of OS Map No 100, but we’ll quickly loop around to join it again.

Pass under some power lines and note Browns Nursery on your left. A cross road quickly follows, so go left here for one mile, to reach the B1363 at a T-junction. Go left again, signed for Sutton (four miles) and Helmsley. Pass back under the same string of power lines as a couple of miles earlier and you are returned to the southern edge of OS map No 100.

Some two miles beyond the power lines, look for a junction on the right, signed for East Moor. Turn off here, to pass a camp site on the left and then keep left at the next junction, now following a sign for Sutton.

Continue into the village of Sutton-on-the-Forest, and straight on at a mini-roundabout, to rejoin the B1363 in the direction of Helmsley again. Note a new housing development on the right called Jacob’s Court, just to confirm you are heading in the right direction.

Leaving the village, watch out for (and continue past) a farm entrance on the right called Low Inhams. This is your early warning to then watch for a farm track, leaving the B1363 road on the left hand side, about 300 yards later. (If you reach an equestrian store called Ride-Away, you’ve gone too far).

The route you are looking for starts as Tarmac for the first 10 yards or so, but quickly becomes hard packed earth, running along the right hand side of an open field. Leave the road at this unsigned track, which has a fence and a line of well spaced oak trees running alongside it to the right.

This first part of the track is as rough as it gets, and the surface does get a little smoother further on. I confess I did walk the first 300 yards or so, but more because it was a nice day, and very peaceful away from the traffic. The track shortly becomes enclosed by hedges either side, and swings to the right. The surface here was quite ridable, even on my skinny 23mm tyres.

About 100 yards beyond the bend, watch for a large metal gateway into a field on your left and where there is another (open) gateway on the track immediately ahead of you. The latter has long thin wooden posts standing vertically. On reaching this point, there's a track which branches off left at 90 degrees. Turn left here and follow the now smooth track straight on for another half mile.

You’ll be running parallel to a row of power lines across the field to your right. Rejoin Tarmac, bearing left, to arrive back in Huby village.

If weather and time of day are conducive, enjoy a pit stop at one of the pubs. Otherwise, bear right at the T-junction, on to Main Street, Huby, and retrace back to finish the day at Clarks cafe, in Long Street,Easingwold.


Date of ride: Thursday, December 1, 2016

The map: Ordnance Survey Landranger number 100, Malton & Pickering (Route strays briefly on to No. 105, York & Selby, but it is safe to follow the route without this additional map)

The cafes: Clarks, Market Place, Easingwold, YO61 3AG. Tel. 01347 821285. Also, 195 Long Street, Easingwold, YO61 3JB.

The pub: New Inn, Main Street, Huby, York, YO61 1HQ. Tel. 01347 810219.

The bike: Classic 1971 Jack Taylor, Super Track model, built in Stockton-on-Tees.

Distance: 20 miles

Car parking: Long Street, Easingwold, YO61 3JA (unrestricted).