Riders: Matthew Lowe (ride leader), Paul Bacon, Diana Simpson, Paul Rhodes, Pete Hanks, Hilary Thompson, Denise Motley, Christina Cooper, Chris Higgins, Kevin Thomas, Owen Thomas, Clair Scammell, David Lee, Andrew Rex, Keiran James, Martin Crapper.
A lovely Sunday morning greeted us, bright but not yet too warm and as we grew in numbers we had plenty to talk about, a new face to greet and an old face looking for witnesses to an accident 2 years ago. As always we watched a muttering between Matthew and Paul before forming into 2 groups and setting off. For only the second time to my knowledge we turned left at the gate and meandered through the village.
We’ve become used to the unknown, the surprises, so it wasn’t much of a shock to hear Paul saying that we needed to keep the first group in sight as he didn’t know where we were going. I think he meant how we were getting there - not that it mattered we can do lost.
You can see how we went through and out of the village if you look on Strava, just don’t look at my effort because I did a warm up lap first! But we went at a leisurely pace along Wilsic lane, through Wilsic chatting and keeping the lead group in site, well not just in sight almost near enough to chat to.
And by the junction to the B6094 where we were to turn left we could chat to them, well two of them anyway. Abandoned by the group, Owen had a puncture and had the greatest of good luck in that his Dad was on hand. We, the second group, waited with him as luck turned to misfortune. Firstly it took a great deal of effort for the two of them to get the tyre off in order to change the tube and in putting it all together again Owen managed to break a tyre lever! Oh and the tube needed changing again as the first one didn’t say inflated. Whilst The two ’T’s’ continued to carry out a repair we set off promising to let them catch us by Braithwell. We needn’t have promised they would have caught us if we had gone flat out! We were not to know that all was not going well!
The first group had also decided to wait at Braithwell so when we arrived it was to a welcome from group 1 taking a rest under the trees outside the site of the old school. Some time passed before Kevin arrived - alone! Owen’s second tyre didn’t stay inflated so he had abandoned hope and headed for home pushing his bike.
We made our way to Maltby by the direct route. There are some cruel hills in the town and we went down two of them before crossing the main road and turning along Carr Lane towards Hooton Levitt and then on to Slade Hooton. Not new roads but I had only been on them going the other way so there seemed lots of new sights and the weather to show them off. And I was able to point out one of the growing number of beauty-spots where I had fallen off!
The main road in Brookhouse is a lovely flat ride and just before we turned left onto Brookhouse Lane I was disappointed that we were not going up Bib Lane - I was, honest! But there were other hills and we reached Laughton without incident and making our way to the café at Leger lakes. I think we might have rung through to say we were on our way but whether we did or not the place was already pretty full. Most of us sat around the smallest available, the only available, table in the car park (few cars) and enjoyed the sunshine.
The staff at the café deserve a mention. They were busy anyway, but took our orders and delivered the goods with smiles and no complaints, nothing was too much trouble. Seventeen of us and seventeen different orders but no one was unhappy. Next time I’m short of a coffee stop I won’t have to think where to go! Despite what seems the next logical conclusion when you see the photos, Hilary and Denise didn’t do the washing up.
The ride was memorable for two other things, firstly ******** didn’t once shout “yes” when she got clipped in and secondly she made it up every hill without dropping back.
We made our way ,as one diminishing group rather than two, three of the group leaving to go home, eventually back into Laughton turning left onto Rotherham Road which becomes Common Lane before seeing us turn right into a narrow nettle lined pathway (or cycleway I suppose). A very tight hairpin bend safely seen off and then under the main road and along a pleasant traffic free route, before rejoining the shared tarmac of Bookers Lane and Bookers Way and through the industrial estate(s). As we went towards, and beyond, North Anston the traffic did build up and we did a fair bit of single file stuff. Didn’t seem to stop the odd car driver risking our lives though! You can’t help some folk. It was an improvement to get to Woodsetts and turn left towards Gildingwells - not a relief because it was noticeably warmer than it had been earlier and the clouds had vanished.
As we passed through Letwell we were reaching more familiar countryside and numbers were dropping as people made their way home (without passing “go”). Along Rampers Road and Lamb Lane before turning down Kidd Lane? That was a first -DOWN Kidd lane! But we managed and turned through Firbeck along New Road towards the Maltby Road. A right and a left turn saw us heading up Thornbury Hill Lane with its gravel and potholes before regrouping at the junction with the A60. Another pleasant down hill (Malpass Hill) before the gentle rise towards Tickhill taking in the Mill Pond on our way back.
A very enjoyable ride and I look forward to the next (although I may miss it _ guests). David seems to enjoy his first ride although we did cramp his style a bit and he will probably join the 9 o’clock ride next weekend. He will be welcome whatever he decides.