Keen as always to get out in the fresh with my bike I arrived early at the cricket club. 10 past 9 and the enormous 9pm group had obviously gone. To warm up I went round the block a couple of times and found Mick Lee just arriving so I pulled in to wait the final few minutes while you all arrived. It was pleasant enough in the shelter of the 2 arms of the building and we chatted away until 9.35 ish. It was now apparent that we were it. So for completeness:-
The riders were Mick Lee and Martin Crapper.
Ok so leaderless we decided to head for coffee at Leger Lakes (as advertised) - at least then those who arrived late would be able to catch us up. Mick thought he had suffered more from wind after baked beans than we were going to get today but once we reached Worksop Road the cross wind was pretty testing. We opted for single file, Mick because the roads were a bit busy and the wind was blowing us about “a bit”, me because I had already realised that Mick was a bit thinner than me and had those thin pointy tyres on so would be better able to carve a way through the wind. Cross wind of course so it helped not a jot! Mick also knew the way so became our natural leader
Turning right after the top of Malpass hill gave us some relief, we were not going to be blown sideways, no we were just going to be slower going into the head on hurricane. There hadn’t been much chance for chatting, the wind was pretty noisy and you needed to keep your head down to keep going. The woodlands gave us some shelter as we coasted down to the Oldcotes/Maltby Road and we made the right and left turns into Firbeck without trouble. Looking back we didn’t have trouble at any point of the ride.
After turning left in Firbeck Mick regaled me with a tale about how on the exposed road ahead he had once been blown into a field! I didn’t think it was all that bad.
We stopped for a drink at Lamb Lane - it was too windy to take hands off the bars to drink whilst pedalling. Wind wise I think this was us now past the worst of the wind. It didn’t let up but it didn’t affect us so badly from here on.
Through Letwell we kept on with the odd discussion about direction but since I was lost it was a one way conversation. After Gildingwells and Woodsetts the road began to look more familiar. The long stretches of road took us into Brampton-en-le Morthen where things almost went wrong. Mick suddenly lost his sense of where we were! Remember I was lost, although did remember that in the olden days I had gone to Wynsors World of Shoes and I knew how to get there although I had no idea it was at Laughton Common! So we headed through Thurcroft where Mick’s inbuilt satnav took over again. He also knew that to get to Laughton without going up a big hill we had to skirt round and sidle up towards the spire. We made it to the café for about 11.05 and in time for a bacon butty - we’ll not me I had a scone. The lady in charge didn’t bat an eyelid when I said “there were 30 of us .......,,,,, but the other 28 are still in bed”
She also took the group photo - as you will see we are ALL on a 2 seater sofa!
We opted for the short route home and headed downwind at high speed along roads and lanes through Firbeck following our route out from there. The wind now seemed stronger and the cross wind back into Tickhill was a bit worrying. But we made it ok having had a really good ride. I went home, Mick went to the garden centre I think.
It will be busy next week (please)