Riders; Pete Hanks; Stewart Oades; Diana Simpson; Mick Lee; Paul Russell; Helen Hand; Sarah Whitehead; Matthew Lowe; Kevin Thomas and Paul Bacon.

It was dry, not too cold and a little breezy.  Perfect for the last ride of the year – well, that’s what 10, 9:30 riders thought.  Now I know some were unable to attend due to reasons of recuperation (our wishes of speedy recovery are sent to you) but that didn’t account for everyone (we know who you are!).  Well, some rode in, some drove in and some made out they had ridden further in than they actually had....  Warm welcomes were exchanged with Sarah for her first ride with the club.  Great to see you a new face.

After the preliminaries we set off for the one loop ride.  The group set off in pairs along Bawtry Road and then Blyth/Tickhill Road.  Some were tempted to turn onto Snape Lane but no, today we were on our way to Blyth.  Everything was fine, nay good until we had a red light.  Despite her best efforts Sarah was unable to unclip and proceeded to check the tarmac.  No harm done – to Sarah or tarmac – and we continued around the roundabouts, re-grouped in the first layby and continued on our way.  Through Blyth without incident and right onto the B6045.  Today’s pace was wonderful and steady, after all that Christmas revelry and we stayed together as a tight knit group.  It was great to see and, I have to say, I don’t think I’ve seen better.  

Up Briber Hill and down the other side, past Hodsock Priory, in pairs, sun shining down on us and all thoroughly enjoying friendly chat and banter.  The usual calls of; car down; car up; hole and slowing were passed down the group and a new shout of ‘unclip’ was also heard as we neared junctions.  Single file down Crossley Hill Lane to the junction of Hundred Acre Lane where yours truly took the lead to navigate the group through Carlton-in-Lindrick.

Once out of the village normal service as resumed and we climbed Lodge Lane to Dinnington and Sarah was extending her boundaries with her longest ride and we were only half way.  Most motorists were kind and understanding as we continued in pairs up this half mile rise/hill/climb (please use whichever word fits).  We meandered through Dinnington, on to Laughton and then passed by the closed Leger Lakes (good job really as it would have been very tempting).   Normal service was then halted as Paul R told of hedge cutting on Thornbury Hill Lane so, group decision, up Kid Lane.  (Please note – whole group were impressed as Sarah pedalled up Kidd Lane like a seasoned 9:30 rider).  The ride down Lamb Lane did fragment the group a little but it was a welcome blast to Doncaster Road.

We regrouped and rode through Oldcotes and Syrrup before finally descending on Wellington’s Cafe. (I think the loop was nearer to 25 miles but I don't think anyone noticed)  We sat outside enjoyed drinks, food and chat.  Thanks Matt for a great end of year ride. 

Footnote – several riders, feeling the need to continue, did a second mini-loop (up Wilsic Lane and down Apy Hill Lane).

Further footnote – apologies for lack of photo’s.  We were enjoying ourselves so much....

Further, further footnote - many thanks to Maggie Peart who introduced herself and offered a pair of panniers which her and her husband no longer required.  One eager and very grateful member took them up on their offer and collected them the following Thursday.