Riders; Pete Hanks; Mark Motley; Denise Motley; Paul Russell; Matthew Lowe; Owen Thomas; Diana Simpson; Chris Higgins; Kieran James and Paul Bacon.

Ten(ish) riders arrived promptly at the Cricket Club on a lovely sunny morning (well may be it was a tad breezy).  Hills had been asked for but considering the state of the weather, the riders, the country, the brexit negotiations..... nothing serious was considered.  Sick notes and holiday forms were checked and there being no notes excusing anyone else we sort of wobbled our way out of the car park.

However, as we progressed along Worksop Road it was noted that from the back it looked like a model for riding as a group.  This even lasted half way up Malpas Hill when finally the incline took its toll and we became a little stretched out (that’s polite talk for being dropped).  Thornbury Hill Lane is the usual point for re-grouping and this we did, riding uphill and down dale once again as one unit.

A brief spell on the A634 and on through Firbeck we went.  New Road, Kingswood Lane and Eastfield Lane, ever closer to Leger Lakes.  As Kieran and I brought up the rear we saw the familiar flash of magenta heading towards us.  Was it the leaders coming back?  Had we really taken that long to get up the hill?  Nope... it was the 9 o’clock group, waving, shouting and looking very happy with the wind behind them and ready for the descent into Firbeck.  We (Kieran and I) reluctantly passed Leger Lakes and caught up with the rest of the group on the junction of Eastfield Crescent.

We agreed it was too early to stop and we also agreed that we should all continue with the ride and with hindsight it was the right decision.  (Matt’s really good at those!)  Matt and Pete then continued to lead us through Thurcroft and Brampton... did I mention it was a bit breezy?  As we went over the M1 for the second time we changed direction from Westish to Eastish and now the wind was behind us.  Well, it was behind those of us at the back of the group.... not sure whether it reached the front.

Before we knew it we were at the cafe and enjoying hot drinks and a variety of foody things.  At this point we must apologise for the lack of photographs as we needed to inflate a rear tyre.  After three different methods we managed it but then we wanted to ‘get going’ as we were feeling a little cold.

The ride home; Dinnington, Gildingwells, Oldcotes, Styrrup saw us once again stretch out a little but never really lose sight of each other.  Riders peeled off as home became closer than Tickhill and around four of the group arrived back at the Cricket Club having completed just under 30 miles.  Then the remnant of the 9 o’clock group arrived back .... natter, natter, chit-chat (more mention of drafting) and ‘anyone like to join us for a little more?’ 

The unofficial 1 o’clock ride then went on the Wilsic Lane/Tickhill Back Lane loop.  Tina and John joined four 9:30 riders up to the point where, once again, home was closer.  In our four/six group Matt and Pete continued to stick it at the front leading us ever onward. 

A great day for a ride (did I mention it was a tad breezy) with great riding company, a super cafe stop and we were blessed with sunshine and no rain.  Thanks Matt.