Riders: Paul Bacon (ride leader), Matthew Lowe, Mick Lee, Stuart Oades, Kerry Wilcockson, Helen Hand, Noreen Dunnett, David Orridge, Denise Motley, Mark Motley, Peter Hanks, Martin Crapper, Clair Scammel.
A spot of climbing to begin with - not hills, Gates. As we arrived at the cricket club and following recent events we had to climb the gate to get into the cricket club car park. Well most of us did some found the gap in the fence and rode through that way.
It didn’t look promising as we gathered under a big cloud but it wasn’t raining and as it happens it just kept getting better. Climbing the gate to get out was a great way to split the ride into two groups but we met our first Technical problem before leaving the grass verge! Denise her bike and her saddle made a good threesome but they were not all attached. After a bit of a wait we left Denise and Mark to fasten the saddle back and we made our leisurely way east towards the stripe road crossing towards Harworth. 2 very tidy groups with D&M to follow or meet us at the café depending on how long their repair took!
One very angry driver with a new horn overtook us at the first of the two roundabouts and a very thoughtful van driver blocked the second roundabout to let us safely through. 1:1 so far!
We pedalled safely on chatting as always and keeping the two groups (just) within sight of each other as we went through the industrial estate, across the A614, over the Serlby estate and joining the A628 and on towards Ranskill. They were dots in the distance by then!
And the road was long and straight as we went to Torworth and Balby Moor. A passing group of cyclists blocked the view anyway but did we worry? No, Matt was in “i’m in charge” mode and took us, as planned, right and along the Old London Road.
We discussed the quality of artistry in the hedges on our right which continued from where we first noticed it right up the the prison grounds. Sad but true! When there are few of you the constant chatter tells you the group is fairly close together and we continued this way turning left onto the A620 and then more or less immediately right onto the A6420. Road numbers have a certain unpleasant ring to them, a link perhaps to regimentation and for me boredom. Babworth Road and Mansfield road seem so much more friendly - and I can’t remember which is which whichever nomenclature I opt for! Sorry, Back to cycling.
Surprisingly the A1 roundabout caused no delay, there didn’t seem to be much in the way of traffic to slow us although the slight rise did. ANd that in turn meant that the little roundabout just over the A1 spread us out a little so we stopped for a while at the monumental arch leading into Clumber. Limetree Avenue had little in the way of vehicles so we were able to concentrate on the views and the potholes all the way to the Carburton Arch and regrouped at the Old School Tearoom where we found Paul and friends waiting.
in the discussion which took place (me eavesdropping) it was stated that the B team would stop for coffee there and then. So I headed in! Must remember in future to ignore Matt other than when he is in front and can be followed - and other occasions too which are probably listed in a technical manual but not necessarily in English. You can see my small diversion as what looks like an appendix on my Stava record! So I rejoined the ride for another 5 or 6 miles through beautiful countryside with the odd view of the Lakes, along the remainder of Limetree Avenue. There was a lecture in Clumber on the Following Monday where I learned that when they planted the trees they planted too many and 50% had to be removed!
Yes well, Carburton Road followed and we went through Norton and along Infield Lane and across the A60 (sounds threatening) Worksop Road wending our way towards the Mansfield Road and the Harley Café.
It was bright and warm and we found seats - some already taken by Paul’s group - and sat down to be served immediately - a first for me. The scone was magnificent and the Latte to go with it whilst others ate a variety of well presented meals. Good job we didn’t stop at the Tea Room!
Denise and Mark finally joined us having found an alternative longer route. Discussions varied from the weather to the weather abroad, especially where Denise and Mark were about to go. Envy is a terrible disease!
There were to be two options for the way home - a direct route and one which allegedly only added 3 miles to the shorter route. several of us opted for the direct route as time was passing too quickly, so with Paul leading we set off Into and through Worksop town centre and at a slightly faster pace than the first part. Traffic had built up and we had to be careful in Worksop especially at the bus station. No! No because the traffic was thicker not because some wanted to catch a bus! There were no Photos! Archive stuff included!
Denise and Mark left us at the Cannon to go through Blyth and the diminishing band continued straight along to Tickhill and the Cricket Club. I continued along Sunderland Street so don’t know if more gate climbing was involved or how many were there at the end.
It had been a very enjoyable ride and I look forward to next weeks especially as I wont be doing the write up - Please Paul!