9:00 Club Ride to Old School Tea Rooms
Riders : Hayley Squires, Jenny Down, Pete Down, Ash Daughtery, Adrian Shores, Karl Davies, Mark Badger, Martin Graves, Malcolm Betts, Stephen Grieg, Martin Bagshaw.
Summer finally arrived on Sunday as we assembled for a steady ride out to the Old School Tea Rooms, well a steady ride until Haley got on the front but more on that later! 11 riders set off out of Tickhill on familiar roads through Harworth and Mattersy with Martin B on the front and Mark on the back. The sun was shining and the birds were singing as we rolled through Clayworth and ignoring the left turn up Strawberry hill followed the road to the right over the canal bridge and onto the long straights of Clayworth common and into Clarborough. No Strava medals today though as the reason for the painless ride out became apparent as we turned in to a keen little head wind.
On the drops the group closed up with Ash & Martin on the front in the wind taking it for the team. We soon reached the outskirts of Retford where we came upon a summer fayre with lots of tractors and there was some disappointment in the group when a request to stop and look at the tractors was refused as we were on a schedule to meet Pete at the café.
Here the normal route takes us through the town centre but this was Mk2 Reverse Nutty route so we took a detour along some back lanes through Little Gringley and Newtown on the outskirts of Retford where the scenery on either side of the road was lovely to look at and was discussed in depth by the lead riders of the group.
Heading away from Retford now and into the countryside we continued on our detour towards Gamston airport passing other riders who had stopped to watch the helicopters the group followed the ride leader who knew exactly where he was going and didn't put a foot wrong as we zig zagged through fields and trees until we got to the A1 roundabouts. Singling out on the busy section of road we were soon on the quieter roads of Clumber Park at which point Martin G smelt the coffee and put the hammer down. Que the eyeballs out, head down run to the Old School Tea rooms for a brew.
The café had some new shiny wooden pebbles with numbers on for our orders which seemed very efficient until the first order came out into the garden and we realised no one had been given their numbers! Luckily the nice lady serving had a sense of humour although it was tested by the time all the orders were delivered. Basking in the sun the conversation ranged from "she wee's" to hairy knees before it was time to saddle up and hit the road again.
From the café we elected to avoid the busy main road back into Worksop choosing a return on the sun dappled roads of Clumber park and into Worksop via a rapid descent of Sparken hill. The traffic lights of Worksop were kind to us and caused no delays so we were soon heading downhill into Carlton where it was Hayley's turn to hit the front and put the hammer down launching the Hayley pain train on us. At one point it occurred to me that we needed a new road safety sign in Carlton which instead of saying "25 mph Thank You" should say "25 mph Is everyone still on!"
The rapid progress rate meant we arrived at the Co Op in double quick time which was my exit point for a solo return to North Anston leaving the rest of the group to hang onto Hayley for the return to Tickhill.
Another great ride with no dramas other than confused orders at the café and we can cope with.