The White Horse at Kilburn 81 miles
“Why don’t we add an extra loop to the route, to take us past the White Horse, and up and over Sutton Bank?”, said Alex. No-one asked for further details or questioned the decision.
We all knew about the brutal 25% incline of Sutton Bank, but we were going to descend that….right? Of course we were but……and here’s the clincher…..to descend the infamous Sutton Bank (closed to caravans, it’s so dangerous) you have to get to the top. And how? Via the climb past the White Horse, silly…..
Five of our group of six went for it, and we all made it to the top. When a climb averages 25%, sections are likely to top 30%, especially around the switchbacks….and they almost brought us to a standstill. With my lowest gear, I was at my limit, but one of the group was having to push an even higher gear than me…..and he made it to the top ahead of all of us. Well, he had to, because had he lost momentum, he would have fallen off his bike. Pushing higher gears gives you the incentive to push on hard to the summit.
On our approach, this was the distant view of the White Horse, and then we stumbled on this roadside cross
marking the spot during the plague where food was dropped for the local plague village, in exchange for money that had been disinfected in a small trough nearby.
Then passing Byland Abbey
reminded me that this area had been awash with wealthy monasteries before the Reformation, and there are now ruins aplenty being cared for by the conservation societies.
And if you see a Bentley parked outside a pub,
you might expect to see a personalised registration plate…..but what if this owner really wants to say “no” to his baby? Interesting….