First ride of 2013 in the Yorkshire Wolds: Kiplingcotes Valley is flooded

A rare day of mild weather today and no rain. Unfortunately, we came upon this scene as we dropped down in to the Kiplincotes Valley. I might have guessed that water would still be covering this low-lying part of the Yorkshire Wolds after my last ride in the area. The road was flooded in three directions from this crossroads. The chap in the photograph plucked up the courage to cross over after watching three blokes in road bike gear (two on cyclocross bikes) cycle through from the opposite direction. We turned round as did the drivers of two cars.

Kiplincotes Valley flood

Kiplingcotes Valley is flooded (mobile phone image)

We had intended to make our way towards Kilnwick Percy and the cafe stop there, but it was beginning to look like my idea of bringing my own hot drink was a good one. We backtracked and went through South Dalton and headed towards the Bracken track and had an early stop outside the cafe at Hutton Cranswick. Like two naughty schoolboys smoking cigarettes behind the bike shed Jeffery and I hid behind a large stack of fertiliser bags and ate our own sandwiches. I even had a drink from my flask while we discussed whether we should even go in to the cafe. It was empty – as was the attached garden centre – so perhaps guilt drove us to buy a hot drink each. I even bought a toasted teacake. Brown bread. That’s not right, is it?

Cosy Coffee

Cosy coffee. My ‘bullet flask’ in its hi-tech housing

After our drinks we looked at the map and settled on a route via Tibthorpe to the turn off before Huggate that would allow is to drop down to North Dalton. But just as we were reaching the top of the steady climb on the Tibthorpe road the driver of a police van coming from the opposide direction flashed us to pull over. He told us the road was closed before driving off. We did what most people do when told a road is closed: we rode on anyway just to have a look for ourselves. Another motorist flagged me down and told me that the road was closed. I said that we would probably just take a picture. She blanched saying it wasn’t something she herself would do personally as there had been a head-on crash. I chased after Jeffery who had gone ahead and we stopped with the flashing lights a little away in the distance.

More backtracking (View Details then click on Player) and more or less the same route home. Jeffery and I wondered whether the mud on the road had contributed to the crash. I hope it’s a good sign that there has been no report in the local media. A little over 60 miles for the day, which was enough for me as I struggled towards the end after not getting out much lately. Despite the forced diversions from our intended route an enjoyable and solid start to cycling in 2013.

Oh, and the coffee was still hot when I got home.


The television news today tells us that we should expect more heavy rain and consequent floods over the following years. That’s bad enough, but I do hope that future television reports don’t begin with a picture of some barmy cyclist(s) trying to get through a flood. It has become a tiresome cliche.

Wet Bike

Wet bike. I do hope he is riding a cheap MTB

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