15th July 2018 The 9.30 “No one gets behind” or “no one gets left in front” two loop ride to Wellingtons in Tickhill
Riders: Paul Bacon (ride leader group 1), Matthew Lowe (ride leader group 2),Sam Ferguson, Louise Ferguson, Alex Stevenson, Robert Stevenson, Diana Simpson, Darren O’Connor, Kerry Wilcockson, Nick Kay, Helen Hand, Stewart Oades, Mick Lee, Mark Motley, Denise Motley and Peter Hanks.
Beautiful morning for a ride and we met at the cricket club growing in numbers until finally there were 17 of us. Dividing the crowd into 2 manageable groups took a while but we managed and were all eager to get going — well all but Peter who expressed doubts about getting the whole way round and he had already cycled a long way into Tickhill.
The outward route took us east turning along Stripe Road to Rossington, past Go-Outdoors with a not so quick Right then left and right again towards Robin Hood Airport. Loads of roundabouts were confusing but the erroneous left signalling on roundabout 2 left us with a gate and nowhere to go — so we went straight ahead. You could tell where at least one on the very welcome newcomers were as one, and I shouldn’t mention Louise by name (dash, it slipped out, sorry) whooped with joy every time she clipped in properly! The rest of us stuck to the tried and tested cursing when we didn’t clip in.
We regrouped here and there but didn’t get spread apart too often and being part of the second group there were times when group one vanished but they were generally in sight as planned (well done so far leaders).
It was a good day for cycling if a little on the hot side and we were enjoying the normal chatting and people watching through Blaxton and Finningley. The slight breeze helped us keep cool — a good day though to have a thick coat of factor 50 all over.
The ride down the A614 through Austerfield to Bawtry was uneventful thankfully although Peter decided enough was enough and left us in Austerfield to go straight home so didn’t collect £200 and didn’t land on old Kent Road.
By the tie we arrived at Wellingtons the first group must have been there a while as they were well into the drinks and cakes under the canopy outside. And it was still hot there but nothing compared to inside. I cant imagine trying to work all day in a big greenhouse, being nice to customers or even in the restaurant with the ovens and coffee machines working float out for most of the day. But they could come cycling!
A rather lengthy café stop this! And a bit messy with staff apparently chuntering as we left.
Regrouping in the car park for the group photo we went over the route again, for the benefit go the ride leaders really but sadly not every body was listening! Yes, you!
The second loop took us out through Harworth and saw us regrouping (not through choice) at the A614 Bawtry Road where traffic was a bit thick on the ground. But we made it safely. As we reached the Great North Road preparing to turn right we waited for the traffic to clear before making our way south through Ranskill and into Torworth.
Lots of discussion took place at the back about the origins of the name “Billy Button Lane” so if you know please write the answer on a ten pound note and leave it at Oxfam in the village. No need to put your name on the note.
The last time we went along this lane it was badly flooded in 2 or 3 places, but we found it dry and reasonably free of the gravel that had been there before. Or should that be “well” flooded?
By this time we couldn’t see the first group lead by Paul, but it is very familiar territory so we were not concerned, and turned right towards Blyth as the day got hotter and hotter. The journey through Blyth went well and we reached the A1 roundabout in relatively tidy fashion. No way was I getting in front of Matt and getting lost (keep listening folks).
Matt lead us along back along the A614 before taking the overgrown footpath into that group of houses which although separated from the main area by the A1 is still Blyth. A couple of turnings later and we came upon three old men ( OK compared to me they were three young men but you get the idea).
One of the three turned out to be Paul! He had crossed the A1 roundabout with his group (yes you) and cycled to the front to lead the way along the footpath after saying goodbye to Nick Kay who was taking the road back home missing out the cricket club.
The entire group, yes all of you, ignored the ride leader and got lost, never to be seen again!
The other two of the three old men chanted away and we left them still reminiscing about their youth and successes.
We all continued with people turning off left and right waving goodbyes and fewer and fewer of us arrived back at the cricket club to be greeted by the remnants of the 9 o’clock ride sprawled out on anything resembling a seat. Good to see them and despite everything happening in Pauls first group we had a good ride, Thanks everybody and I hope to see you next week.