For those not lunching with mothers/wives/girlfriends (probably best not to let all three meet at once ...) there was the usual gathering in Denholme where Paul Hickey called in, being the sole representative of the Imps run, and where Neil & myself sheltered in the doorway of the deserted Whittakers just to let a shower pass over. Then quickly on our way we caught Paul again by Flappit and were joined by Robin on the descent into Keighley. The dry roads said that the showers were very localised, and Melv was sitting in sunshine chatting with a delegation form Paul Milnes cycles, including the man himself back on a bike for the first time in quite a while. A rattling good pace saw us over to Cringles and Mr Milnes was ejected backwards "thanks for waiting lads but don't bother waiting any more" were our instructions - so we didn't. Draughton and Bolton Bridge put us in mind of Blubberhouses - with a stonking tailwind. Oh no I thought, we're going to regret this later. However I quite like that climb, especially at my own pace, and then we bore left onto Greenhow, keeping our height and adding just a little more, to arrive at the Stump Cross Caverns. The teacakes were "greasy" and the service was slow, but Neil enthused about his sausages, giving 5/10 overall.
A sharp drop down lead us back to Appletreewick and on to Barden Tower, and up on the Embsay climb. Sadly our one main shower of the day caught us here with hail and wind, the leading trio of Neil, Melv and Robin had plenty of time at the top to cape up. I'd expected to see them instead in Skipton, if at all, but they waited for this slower rider with kindness above and beyond any normal Condor outing. That left a short battle though the traffic in town and,with the main road cracked off, we were back in Crosshills in no time, with possibly a bit of a tailwind still. It had veered from Southerly to Westerley just when we needed - how often does that happen?. The usual road led us back to gridlock in Keighley, and Ingrow passed in a blur. Oxenhope and the old road home for 60 miles in total and another grand day out.