The blue riders were; Christina Cooper; Clair Scammell; Denise Motley; Kevin Thomas; Martin Crapper; Matthew Lowe; Mick Lee; Paul Russell and Paul Bacon.
Martin Bagshaw was quite correct with his Facebook post. It was great to see everyone chatting this morning... those gathering for the nine o’clock start and those returning from the seven o’clock start. The only distinction being do you go for the warmth of the changing room or stay outside? This was soon resolved as Martin delivered the news that it was time to leave and one gentleman, I forget his name... seemed intent on locking as many riders in the changing room as possible.
The red group assembled and left and the nine of us had a quick chat about the route and set off ( I had a sneaky look at everyone’s back brakes and they seemed OK to me...)
As is usual with this type of affair it wasn’t long before we had two groups but as is usual with this type of affair the front group waited for the rest of the group (junctions, upness... there can be a variety of reasons for a split and thankfully this week it wasn’t mechanical). We took the usual route through; Harworth, Bircotes, Mattersey, Drakeholes and Clayworth. The intention was always that this was to be a flattish ride so we didn’t go up Strawberry Hill but carried on to Hayton. At Clarborough we took a short burst along the A620 to Welham where we turned left on the bend and made our way to Little Gringley. Quiet roads once more, down Grove Lane but we resisted the newly surfaced Bracken Lane. Into Retford, left at the lights and right into the car park behind Wilkos. A short walk and time to lock up the bikes... Cafe de Bella. The staff were welcoming, arranged the tables for us and we received our food before we had finished our drinks (even the Full English – breakfast with chips... very nice).
Suitably replete we made our way out of Retford on the A638 to Eaton. We negotiated the right turn and bumpy road, took a left onto Ollerton Road and the right onto Brick Yard Road and then Old London Road. Not very wide but very quiet. After the level crossing we re-grouped and had a minute. It was a little worrying that Mick seemed to be looking for the sofa which so mis-guided him a few weeks ago. Don’t worry Mick, your secret is safe with me :)
A little bit of the seven o’clock route in reverse brought us to the A638. Rather than go to Barnby Moor and up to Blyth we decided to take the more direct route to Ranskill and a reverse of the route out (up being the significant word).
Mick left us along the way and Paul at the Blyth Road crossroads. Kevin, Clair and I tried to catch Matt, Martin, Christina and Denise but to no avail.
A post-ride chat seemed to satisfactorily complete the morning’s events.