Riders; Denise Motley; Tina Musgrove; Diana Simpson; Christina Cooper; Helen Hand; Mark Motley; John Musgrove; Matthew Lowe; Rob Drohan; Paul Russell; Bryan Seymour and Paul Bacon.

A second annual trip to The Paddocks at Alkborough started at North and South Wheatley village hall, well, not strictly true.  It really started after the necessaries at Chez Bacon.  Great to see Bryan on his second ride with us.

It was a little breezy as we set off towards Gainsborough, turning through Beckingham and making our way to Misterton and onto the much quieter Trent side, Stockwith Road.  The breeze seemed to stiffen a little but we pressed on – with a little too much ‘press’ it seemed as Mr Musgrove’s messenger service brought us the communication to ease off a little... no problem there (well, I thought I eased off anyways).

We had a little break in West Butterwick to ‘phone ahead to let the cafe know how many riders were arriving at what time.  Job done, we started once again on Trentside on our way to Gunness.  Potholes were avoided and traffic was kind to us at junctions and we were over the bridge and heading towards Flixborough in no time.  We were held up at the traffic lights at Neap House and were followed, albeit very briefly, by a group from Harworth.  (I wonder where they are going... and have they let them know?)

Up the hill at Flixborough (brief breath back and drink stop) then along the very pleasant wood-side road to Burton upon Stather. The smell of the coffee was too much for some and the well organised group fragmented slightly but we all made our way through Walcot and arrived at The Paddocks Tea Room to see the Harworth group sitting outside.  The staff coped admirably with the sudden influx of riders and the drinks and cakes were up to their usual standard.  We then made our way to Julian’s Bower and a photo shoot with the confluence of the Rivers Trent and Ouse and the Humber Estuary in the background.  We mounted up as there was no competition this week (with one very disappointed rider complaining that they had spent hours reading up on local facts and figures.)

Matt had plotted a slightly different route back to Flixborough which saw us enjoying the scenic route via Normanby Hall.  (Scenic and smug in the knowledge that we didn’t have to sit in the traffic queue which was trying to get into the hall.)  Please note, if you wish to have refreshment at the hall you have to pay the entry fee!

We came back via the east bank of the Trent with the wind sort of blowing from our left.  Adding a little something, like only he can, Matt (he was encouraged to) called out warnings in his best Scottish accent.  It passed a few minutes before we made our way through Laughton Wood and into Gainsborough.  We took the much preferred Old Trent Road to Beckingham and on the main road to roundabout at the end of Saundby Road.  Err, well, it didn’t go to plan as some riders went down the main road, whilst others went along Sturton Road.

Well, we had a blast along Wheatley Road and arrived in ones and twos (maybe threes or fours even) back to village hall.   Eight riders took up the offer of the second cafe and sat in the sun, enjoying light refreshments and trying wheat beer (get some in Mick!)

Many thanks to those riders who came out today.  I trust you enjoyed yourselves as much as I did.  We must do this again next year.

ps... apologies that the group photo is upside down.  Can't seem to fix it.  If anyone knows what to do, please let me know.  TVM Mr Bagshaw for the revised picture.