Riders; Helen Hand; Stewart Oades; Richard Chilver; Paul Russell; Robert Stevenson; Mick Lee and Paul Bacon.

Seven (exactly seven, no more, no less) brave souls met at the Cricket Club for a 30 mile ride on a cold winter’s morning.  Even colder for the 9 o’clockers but hey... you can’t have everything.  We should have been warned by certain of the group’s pre-ride activities – ‘having a ‘little ride’ because I’ve not ridden it for a while’ and ‘just checking the mudguards... haven’t ridden it for a while.’

The plan was to ride mainly main roads as the forecast wasn’t that good but as it turned out the roads were fine.  We, however, stuck to the plan and set off for Rossington.

We didn’t quite make it to Rossington but we did make it make it about half a mile up Stripe Road.  Brief stop to secure a saddle, followed by another brief stop, 50 yards on, to ensure the saddle bag was secure.  I wasn’t used to being at the front and it seemed that there was some encouraging force to push on; so we did.  There seemed to be a slight head wind but not enough for the others to complain about.

The re-surfaced roundabout in Rossington was celebrated and we sort of ignored/weren’t impressed with the road closed signs, so we carefully manoeuvred our way along Sheep Bridge Lane.  The lights changed as we arrived at the junction of the A6182 and the same thing happened on Bawtry Road.  We made our way past the Yorkshire Wildlife Park and through Old Cantley.

As we entered Armthorpe the road quality deteriorated as did the quality of driver.  Not too many instances of poor driving this morning but still a little annoying as people in metal boxes seem completely oblivious to those around them and drive like no one else matters but themselves (rant over).

Thorne Road (busy but wide enough for motorists to pass), Woodhouse Lane (quiet and uneventful), West End and Ancient Lane (in celebration of the more mature riders in the group – you know who you are).  The slight head wind not turned into a slight tail wind and we relaxed into a steady rhythm as we pootled down Bawtry Road and in no time at all we were at Blaxton.  A quick blast on Bank End Road, left turn onto Wroot Road and we arrived at the Tia Cafe. 

Helen took pity on an elderly gentleman inviting him to join us for coffee, he having arrived on his bike after a solo ride and had no one to share his coffee with.  Seriously folks, it was great to see Mr Peter Wilby on his bike again, sharing his wit and humour with us, even if he was a little critical of our arrival time.  (I’m pretty sure that’s what he told me to write).

Our refreshments were good value for money (well mine was!); the service was excellent and the place looked great with a new servery.  The discussion then turned to route home.  As the roads were obviously OK the democratic decision was to take a slight detour through Misson Springs and Misson.  So we did that and continued through Bawtry and then back to the Cricket Club.  Austerfield and onwards saw us waving goodbye to various members of the group such that only one rider made it back to the Cricket Club.

Democracy was once again in evidence as a vote was taken with regard to doing an unofficial 1 o’clock ride.  The decision was unanimous and thus I was able to make my way home immediately.  A very enjoyable ride with great company.