Riders: Ride Leader Mathew Lowe, Peter Perrett, Helen Hand, Stewart Oades, Andrew Rex, Robert Scemson (?), Christ Higgins, Nick Kay, Denise Motley, Mark Motley, Christina Cooper, Diana Simpson, Hilary Thompson, Robert Stevenson, Paul Bacon, Paul Bacon’s Helmet, Peter Wilby, Ellie Thomas, Peter Hanks.

 

It was a lovely sunny morning, cold but not worryingly so, as we met at the cricket club. Before we started Mathew attempted to impose order and outlined what would make us into a group to be proud of. I’m always impressed with a group who pedal past in tight group with small gaps between wheels. We all understood although I’m not sure we can yet do it!

 

The ride was to be in too loops heading out west(ish) and returning to Tickhill for a café stop then out again but east returning again to Tickhill. Two rides of about 21 miles each. One of us had already done 25 miles but it wasn’t going to worry him! He had stopped for a coffee in Tickhill before continuing to cycle the last quarter mile to the cricket club. (i’m not labouring this bit am I Paul?) He couldn’t understand why his buff had been flapping on the way, or even why he couldn’t find the strap on his helmet. Took some time to sink in I think. Head was in Yorkshire (allegedly) and helmet in north Nottinghamshire! 

 

Rules are rules and we set off without Paul, who arranged for his hat to be magically transported to Tickhill and enable him to legally rejoin the ride. Since I live so close you will never know if anything like this has ever happened to me!

 

Heading to Sunderland Street we turned right and wandered, I say wandered because the slightly reduced pace was to help us concentrate on Matthew’s message. We were doing fairly well including the ups and downs on the way through Harworth to Blyth. For me it was the first time ever I had had green traffic lights and no cars on the roundabout over the A1 - well done Matthew!

 

Through Blyth we turned right onto the Worksop Road and then right again onto Crossley Hill Lane. Crossley Hill is a 7% incline (thats the technical stuff out of the way) and we made it in reasonable array. Turning right on to Tinkers Hill and onto Carlton-in-Lindrick Traffic again slowed us down but we made the left and sharp right onto long lane and then into Dadley Road. Dadley road bends slowly into the housing estate and we turned off then left onto Rotherham Baulk. You have to look at the map to realise how impressive  the route planning is and having done it how impressive to reminder the way!

 

Somewhere near the Lodge Lane Recreation Ground there was a false alarm - either someone thought we had lost a rider or someone needed a rest and we pulled into the entrance to the grounds and waited. No one admitted to either and we were all accounted for so we sett off again. Makes for a nice little loop on the map!

 

A short distance further and we turned right onto Leys Lane and right onto Lamb Lane. When we turned left into Penny lane I thought “ah, straight in for coffee now”. Penny lane lead to new Lane and Firbeck where inexplicably (?) we turned right! Couldn’t be right surely. Kidd lane is a hill and we went up it for the sheer fun of it. And then came back down again!

 

The proper route to Wellingtons followed; through Firbeck right onto worksop Road and then left up the hill of Thornbury Hill Lane, left onto Mallpass Hill and through to Wellingtons. 18 Riders, well walkers with bikes, making there way through the shop and garden centre is not something you see often, its a shame the gate can’t be opened to get us in and out from the car, maybe some organisation is needed! 

 

Coffee and snacks were worth waiting for although Ellie and Peter W were so long queueing for their orders the rest of us seemed to have finished. “Seemed” is correct, Paul gets another mention here as he had to wait for ages for his delicacy to be delivered to the table! We seemed to be enjoying ourselves and the stop turned out longer than expected leaving me no option but to set off along the Rossington Roads  with you all and leave the ride to go  away past Go Outdoors and head back via Bawtry whilst the rest of you no doubt had a nice flat 20 miles or so before finishing.

As you can see we did have a fashion parade - but don’t thank me I pinched the photo from Peter Hanks facebook page. Takes a nice photo doesn’t he!