15th October 2017 - 8:00 Humber Bridge Club Ride

Riders: Hayley Squires, Jenny Down, Pete Down, Stephen Grieg, Karl Davies, Mick Abbiss, Mark Badger, Lawrence Buckley, Brendan Cunnane, Martin Graves, Andy Birdsall, Martin Bagshaw and a mystery rider who ticked the “no publicity” box

After 2 failed attempts it was third time lucky as we met at Tickhill Cricket club for our usual expedition out over the Humber bridge to go riding in the East Riding Yorkshire and although it was mid October our gamble with the weather looked to have paid off with promised sunshine.

13 riders set of in the early morning mist hoping the promised sun would burn off the early cloud cover, it was going to be a great day. Leaving Tickhill with Mick the hoover at the rear we dropped in to Bawtry in 2x2 formation and pushed on to Misson with only one minor incident with an impatient white van man and his horn.

The straight roads out of Misson were negotiated with no incidents making good time and keeping formation, we turned left to head for a loop round Wroot when a minor hiccup became apparent as the ride leaders Garmin refused to load the route. No route in Wroot, no problem, someone else must have downloaded it – nope, apparently not. Oh well we knew the route to the bridge and a reboot at the café should sort things out so on we pressed through Epworth and onto Beltoft and picking the Trent up shortly afterwards.

Here we parted company with Andy, Brendan & Martin who had to get back home early so turned right while we turned left to head to the river crossing at Gunness we were 2 hours into the ride and the sun still hadn’t made an appearance but it wasn’t raining so no complaining however there was a hint of a tail wind which would turn into a head wind on the way home but more of that later. The good news was the errant Garmin had woken up decided to offer a few left / right prompts so at least we knew where we were going.

Over the river we were on more unfamiliar roads although we knew there was a bit of a climb out of Flixborough which required a regroup at the top for some panting tail enders and Mr Grieg who had stopped for an urgent call of nature. The hill behind us it was only a short hop to Normanby country park for a toilet stop as we were two and a half hours into the ride and it was time for a few minutes out of the saddle and some dark chocolate to ward off cramp later in the ride, a top tip from John Musgrove.

A quick call to the café to give them the completely wrong time for our arrival and we were back on the road in the mist, the sun would be out soon, the weather man had promised. More unfamiliar roads in North Lincolnshire but we knew enough to know that there was another hill after Theady but we like hills so despite a bit of grumbling, puffing and panting it was behind us. Left turn on to the “A” roads to North and South Ferriby and by now we should have been able to see the bridge but it was still shrouded in mist, perhaps the weatherman had got it wrong.

The last climb before the bridge out of Ferriby was another grumbling lung buster for us tail enders being shepherded by Mick but we regrouped in time for a descent of Gravel Pit lane to the banks of the Humber estuary. A couple of minutes of aero tucked descent making up for the climb out of Ferriby and soon found us at the foot of the bridge which had eventually appeared out of the mist.

Crossing the bridge is always an experience dodging pedestrians while trying to admire the views across the estuary on your left and the engineering feat on your right, both equally impressive.  Dropping off the bridge we took a little detour into the carpark convincing some that the café stop was a burger van before heading down into Hessle and HU13 café for some fuel all be it an hour early much to the proprietor’s surprise.  

Choosing to sit inside we commenced to drive the proprietor crazy with a monster order of fried breakfasts, beans on toast, scrambled eggs, tea, coffee and even ½ a pint of larger which apparently is classed as carb loading! The food did take a little longer than expected which gave us plenty of time to discuss the merits of Earl Grey tea verses Yorkshire tea and the finer art of ground coffee beans. Love was in the air as well as Hayley was propositioned by the proprietor and a touching bromance was blossoming between our mystery rider and Pete!

Eventually it was time to pay the bill and get back on the road just as the sun finally decided to make and an appearance so it was on with the sunglasses to start the return leg with a few miles of uphill stuff. OK it wasn’t the Peak District but a full English breakfast can make a mountain out of a molehill as we battled our way from Hessle through picturesque villages of Swanland, Melton and a circuit of a chocolate box church in Welton in the warming sunshine.

Next, we were doing a bit of caving as we passed through North and South Cave where it became apparent that while the group Garmin was back in the room it wasn’t playing fair by not giving advance warnings of upcoming turns rather saying, “you should have gone left back there” which made navigation a bit hit and miss but we were heading in the right direction i.e. south and into a head wind.

Leaving the caves we had a 9-mile section on busier roads through Gilberdyke to Howden with Pete and Mark on the front taking it for the team into the wind until we pulled into Howden Garden Centre for a toilet stop and top up of water bottles. It was also an opportunity to top up on creams and potions to ease aching bones and relieve chaffing in sensitive areas. Also, the presence of some pumpkins was too good an opportunity to miss for a comedy photography for Mr Greig’s album.

We were getting back on familiar territory now as we crossed back over the Ouse via the Boothferry bridge and back onto quieter country roads through Sykehouse, Braithwaite and into Barnby Dunn despite the naughty Garmin doing its best to lead us astray.

The route back into Tickhill from Barnby Dunn through Armthorpe and Rossington is not one to add to the 100 greatest rides but every pedal turn took us nearer to home which after a long day in the saddle is always a good thing and so eight and a half hours after leaving we rolled back into the Cricket club completing what might have been the last three figure ride of the year.

Chapeaux:

Jenny – Longest ride ever to date

Hayley – Life & soul of the ride as always

Mark, Pete, Stephen, Mystery Rider – taking turns on the front into the strengthening head wind.

Everyone - for making it another great TVC day in the saddle.

Martin B