9:00 Club ride to Retford – the long way!

Riders: Frank White, Mick Abbiss, Lawrence Buckley, Adrian Shores, Martin Bagshaw and guest riders Jon Palmer and Danny Brewster.

There was a strange smell around the cricket club as we met for today’s ride, sun tan lotion! We had planned a trip into the hills today but the Tour De Yorkshire got in the way with some members riding out to watch and others taking part in the TDY sportive. Despite that we had 7 riders, including 2 guests, leaving Tickhill for “Adrian’s Surprise” ride to Retford the long way via some quiet country lanes.

It was a case of “sun’s out , gun’s out” as we rolled out of Tickhill on familiar roads through Harworth, Ranskill and Mattersey, all in shorts and short sleeves .Lawrence filled us in on his trip to Majorca and Frank caught up on club gossip after a winter of solo training. Turning left in Mattersey we followed the 7.00 route back into Sutton and it became apparent that Mr Shores had other plans for this ride than a steady ride in the sunshine as we clipped along at 18mph plus.

After crossing the Great North road the level crossing came to the rescue holding us up while a train thundered past and we regained our breath. Barriers lifted we set off again with Frank taking the lead along lovely quiet roads in the sunshine to Eaton. After crossing the A638 the climb up through Gamston wood split the pack as it usually does requiring a regroup in Upton where the pack turned left and Lawrence continued straight on to Lincoln.

Headon and Grove were quiet and picturesque in the sunshine as we passed through without incident other than having a couple of inclines to contend with but what goes up usually comes down so it wasn’t long before we had a 40 mph descent into Retford and the café.  We opted for 10 Green Bottles on Retford square, a good choice as we got 15% discount on refreshments just for being cyclists. Sitting in the warm sunshine drinking coffee and eating scones, does it get any better? Well probably but it was very nice and over too soon as we mounted back up for the return journey.

In the warm temperatures the sensible thing to do would be take the shortest route home but no one ever accused men wearing lycra of being sensible, so we turn right instead of left out of Retford to head for Clayworth. In to a slight head wind now Martin (me) took the front with the others lined up behind me we clipped along at 19 mph until my legs could stand no more and I pulled out for a bit of chain ganging. Pulling into the rear of the group the pace increased somewhat leaving Mick, the hoover, to drag me back onto the group through Clayworth.

Frank & Adrian took turns on the front keeping the pace consistently high as we picked up our outbound route in Mattersey with the rest of us tucked in and hanging on. Frank headed for home at Scrooby leaving Adrian to maintain the pace back through Harworth and back into Tickhill. A faster than normal 9:00 ride but a good work out and our guests said they’d enjoyed it and would be returning, thanks Adrian.

MB