April fools day ride to Sunnybank - er TIA café!
Ride Leaders: Paul Bacon, Matthew Lowe - also riding: Nick Kay, Owen Thomas, Cameron Stevenson, Mick Lee, Helen Hand, Stewart Oades, Robert Stevenson, Christina Cooper, Kevin Thomas, Diana Simpson, Martin Crapper, Andrew Rex, Peter Hanks.
Some of us arrived just in time to see the 9am riders leave towards the Buttercross and we grew in numbers to a respectable 16. Who failed to sign the register? Ah Paul Russell !
Before we set off Paul, who was to lead the first group of 8 reminded us all of the need to cycle safely, specifically to ride behind the wheel in front and try not to creep forward and overlap the wheel in front. He included a one man demo and a personal recollection of the consequence of failure to take heed.
Sunnybank is a fairly small venture and was likely to be overwhelmed by an extra 16 customers on Easter Sunday so we had a rethink and aimed for Wroot and the TIA café.
Paul and his flock of 7 set off towards Bawtry while Matt and the second group loitered in the cricket club car, sorry cycle, park for a few minutes to leave a good gap between the groups. It worked well as we (the second group) didn’t see them until the café!
We eight pedalled along, chatting, in a nice group 2 x 2 at 9.30 pace - freezing hands, ears etc and complaining about the change of weather but grateful that the snow if it comes will be tomorrow. The rain if it holds off will be a miracle - but it did. Well we almost all had waterproof tops on so what was the point in rain?
Straight up the Bawtry road, (does that hill have a name?) and into Bawtry without a hitch and a quick left and right saw up passing Feast (another nice coffee stop) and turning right towards Misson. The wind was still pretty cold but the moaning was getting less as proper gossip took over. We reached Misson without really noticing the distance but with a comfort break along the way and a reminder that when we stop we should get out of the way - from our leader as there were no passing cars to hurl abuse!
We were anticipating a fracking reception at the old Rocket site but even they realised it was Easter Sunday and stayed in bed. I had to feel sorry for the delivery driver queueing at the gate and who might be waiting to get in until Tuesday.
Miraculously there was no traffic either way when we reached the B1396 so we turned right as a group and headed along to Sandersons Bank and then a left onto Idle Bank. Knowing we were heading to Wroot we expected to turn onto Thorn Bank and directly into Wroot, but NO straight on into the cold head wind we went and took the left into Poles Bank to add a little length to the ride. The water works in Wroot were gone and the waterworks amongst the riders were growing more noticeable and one more comfort break was required before we reached the cafe.
The coffee and cakes were very welcome but alien intervention interrupted the snacks as Mohammed took over Matthews body! Bodies kept disappearing from time to time along the route as others including Andrew deciding to head for home or the hills!
But we set off again in two groups along the straight road to Finningley with the wind behind us and thankful that so far we had escaped the rain. In Finningley we turned left onto the Bawtry Road where we still maintained our 2 abreast format (even though we were down to 5). I’ve often
been along the track by the side of the airport to watch planes with grandkids and didn’t realise until I checked out the route that it was the old Bawtry Road.
In Austerfield we split again with Pete heading back to Westwoodside and the 4 remaining continuing to Tickhill. The road into Bawtry was fairly busy and we singled out under the bridge past Feast again and turned left at the junction. Entertainment was provided at the junction With Tickhill Road. It is always a difficult junction with cars and lorries trying to get out but today right on the island were 2 men and of course seeing cyclist they set off. No points were scored, lots of banter and two embarrassed men lived to do it again!
The journey back to Tickhill was uneventful but having realised we didn’t have a group photo I also went back to the cricket club for a group self! Mohammed was still there in Matthew’s body And under the hat and eyes is moi!
A good, short, ride today and we missed all the threatened rain. Looking forward to next weeks ride and the Tour of Retford the following weekend.