TVC Scarborough Charity Ride
13th/14th May 2017
Brendan Cunnane (also a DRC Member)
Top – 7.15am Saturday, all ready for the off!
Bottom – 7.15pm Sunday. Weary but content after a great weekend.
Following a successful inaugural event in 2016, when over £5000 was raised for a local charity, Tickhill Velo Club held a second ride to Scarborough over the weekend of 13/14th May.
Nine riders departed Tickhill at 7.20am on the Saturday morning and set off on the established route through Ranskill, Clayworth and up the Western side of the Trent, heading for the breakfast stop in Crowle. Two made a start half an hour later and made a more direct route to get to our first stop – no need to say too much about Gillian’s alarm problem!
The weather was fine, with a useful following breeze. Refuelled with bacon butties and coffee at Fullers Bakery, and entertained by the musicians playing at the Saturday market, we enthusiastically embarked on the fast and flat roads to Goole, over Boothferry Bridge, where we regathered after getting split up in the street of Goole. Thank goodness we have the luxury of mobile phone contact. Then onto North Cave in the only period of rain for the weekend, where we turned North to our lunch stop in Market Weighton. The Bay Horse Inn provided a fine and substantial meal, and the new owners made us most welcome, even though they cannot have had a bunch of wet and steaming cyclists in mind when they refitted the place recently.
Setting off from the Bay Horse in Market Weighton
Rested and refreshed, the afternoon ride over the Yorkshire Wolds awaited. John Musgrove stayed with us a while, but began to push on ahead, as he was turning around in Scarborough and heading home in the same day to complete a 202 mile training ride for his next challenge in Ireland. More of that later.
We had with us another rider facing a personal goal. Young Tom Drohan, at 13, was on his first club event, aiming to achieve his first 100 mile ride over the weekend. Having ridden all of the 66 miles in the morning, and 12 miles of the Wolds, it was time to rest his legs (and lungs), and he rode in the Broomwagon for a while with his Grandpa.
The first 66 miles of the route had been relatively flat and, aided by the following breeze, had passed under our wheels with barely an elevated heart rate. All this was to change as we entered a 26 mile passage of the Yorkshire Wolds which could be described as undulating. The first climb soon got hearts racing and split the pack as we battled to the top, many riders regretting the extra sandwich consumed at lunch but the reward for our efforts was a fantastic view over the Wolds as the sun made an appearance and lifted our spirits.
For every lung busting climb there is a white-knuckle descent and this set the pattern for the next 2 hours as we laboured up hills and coasted down the other side through picturesque countryside and amusingly named villages like Warter, Huggate and Wetwang.
The gang reformed on the final run in to Scarborough along the A64, and negotiated the way to our clifftop park destination, where the support team were waiting with an arrival greeting including Suzanne’s Special Cake Selection and a few glasses of vino (+ Lucozade for Tom).
Tom celebrating arrival in Scarborough. 86 miles well ridden!
Soon we were able to retreat to hotel rooms for a shower and change of outfit, before gathering for a communal Pizza meal on the harbour front. Much merriment over an evening fuelled by a few beers and feeling of satisfaction with what had been a great riding day, and it was time to catch up on sleep after an early start. Some little time after we retired, John was arriving home in South Yorkshire at 11pm.
Next morning, we gathered after breakfast for a 10am scheduled departure back to Tickhill. One problem – no John, who had committed to being in Scarborough to join us, for he set off again at 2.30 am, after getting only 1 hours sleep, to do a double trip as a +400 mile training weekend. Technology came in useful again, for he was being tracked and Tina was able to confirm his imminent arrival. Only 10 minutes late, he rejoined the group. With just a further 10 minute stop (during which he added worryingly white powder into his water bottle, but did eat a healthy banana), we were off.
South to Filey, then inland lanes to Burton Agnes, where we had a morning rendezvous with the Broomwagon, to replenish water and energy bars. Our main delay on that section was when Martin, forming the rear-guard with Rob and Tom, caught sight of the group ahead going the wrong route. Gallant as ever, he volunteered to chase them down, spoilt the peaceful countryside with his hollering, and then found it was another group not lost at all. Embarrassed and exhausted, he returned just in time to see our guys coming back (from the right road) to see what the fuss was about.
Off again, but not together for long. Tom picked up a puncture, and so he and Grandpa Rob set about changing the inner tube whilst the rest rode on, to keep to schedule. A lift in the Broomwagon a few miles on brought the team back together, then a push on to Beverley to our planned lunch stop at the Queens Head. We know good refuelling stops on this event!
After a slight delay whilst the other Martin (Colley) coped with his own puncture, and a duff spare innertube (thanks Karl for the spare-spare), we embarked on the section to and over the Humber Bridge. No drama on this stage, other than missing the meet with the Broomwagon until after the bridge, and we all enjoyed the wonderful sunlit view of the expanse of the river at mid-tide.
After a reorganised meeting with the Broomwagon, we were in home territory, South of the Humber, and started the final phase of our epic ride, getting weary, but appreciative of the fine late afternoon sunshine, and the reducing strength of the headwind we had fought all day. Keadby was our next target, once the route along the bank of the river had been swallowed up. Once over the bridge at Keadby, the last planned refreshment stop was made with the Broomwagon. 26 miles to go, and we were just about on schedule. What could go wrong now. Well, it was Epworth that got in the way and offered our Garmins two onward route options. The two Martins chose Wroot, and the rest of us went via Haxey (and Lawrence got caught between the two). So, mobiles utilised again, and we all met on the approach to Misson, so not much delay after all.
The remaining miles to Tickhill seemed to soon pass under our wheels, and at 7.15pm we rode into the Cricket Club to be greeted by family and friends. John had completed 428 miles in 36 hours, and Tom a total of 160, each well exceeding their initial personal targets. What a weekend – high achievement, great fun and no trauma. Well done to all involved, thanks to Paul our driver, and to Suzanne our ‘Chef Supporter’.
Roll on next year!