TVC 9:00 Club Ride to Creswell Crags

Rides: Mick Abbiss, John Musgrove, Paul Ferguson, Karl Davies, Stephen Grieg, Mark Badger, Martin Bagshaw, Andy Singleton (Goat), Rob Barnes (Goat), Dave Morgan (Goat)

After watching the weather all week, the forecast for Sunday was relatively warm, a balmy 4° so everything was set for the 9:00 ride to go ahead. The ride into Tickhill however was in to a blustery wind, driving rain and sleet so it could have been cancelled in a heartbeat if no one turned up. My thoughts of an early return to bed were shattered when 8 riders, including 3 Tickhill Splinter Goats a small group of TVC riders who actively seek out big hills to climb, turned up and we decided to tough it out and see how we went on.

Out of Tickhill and up Malpass hill the earlier head wind riding into Tickhill changed to a head wind riding out of Tickhill setting the tone for the next few hours. Following familiar roads, we pretty much stuck together until we were heading into Firbeck when one of the goats slipped his lead and shot off the front missing the turn up Kidd Lane. Andy S was dispatched to chase him down while the rest of us climbed Kid lane, you guessed it, into a head wind. By the time we reached the top the two goats had returned to the flock, so we carried on through Letwell, Gildingwells and Woodsetts before turning right and climbing into North Anston.

Resisting the temptation to go home as we rode virtually past my front door I was aware of a tingling noise from one of my wheel but a quick look at the regroup point didn’t reveal any problems so on we went down then up into South Anston where the tingling noise appeared again. A more thorough inspection revealed a broken spoke on the front wheel. Deciding losing one spoke shouldn’t be an issue it was surgically removed before we set off again. The journey from South Anston to Bondhay golf club was trouble free, apart from the wind and a couple of hills, which gave the goats chance to stretch their legs disappearing into the distance. The tale of the Hare & Tortoise sprang to mind as we caught up with Andy S fixing a puncture at Bondhay and after a few minutes it was obvious he was ok, so we left the three goats to fix the flat and catch us up.

The reduced peloton continued to Clowne and descended to Shuttleworth, passing the site of Adrian’s infamous bee sting incident with no problems, navigating a rolling descent towards Bolsover and “the climb” up to the castle. As is usually the case on hill climbs I was out the back of the group within a few minutes of starting but Mick, our ever-faithful back marker, stuck with me with his usual words of encouragement. Eventually the summit was reached and we (well I) took a few minutes to get my breath back before we turned for Creswell and the café. No sign of the goats catching us up so either we had out run them up the hill or they had taken a different route, my money was on the latter.

Another rolling stretch of road with an occasional breath of a tail wind soon saw us into Creswell and the visitors centre café where we finally met up with the Andy, Rob & Dave who had been there a while and already eaten. Recommendations on soup and baked potatoes were exchanged as the goats departed leaving us to refuel / warm up. Nice café, new to the club with plenty of seats outside for the summer so possible one for the future.

After the café it was a short hop through Whitwell, Shireoaks, Carlton and Oldcotes before rolling back into Tickhill. Well it was for some as once again being within a couple of miles of home I succumbed to temptation and split from the group taking a direct line through Woodsetts to home.

Martin B.

Chapeaus: Everyone for turning out in chilly, wet and windy conditions.