Blue ride to Clumber Park 12th May 2019
Ride leader: Paul Bacon, and also ran: Paul Stephenson, Denise Motley, Helen Hand, Stewart Oades, Mick Lee, Nick Kay, Kerry Wilcockson, Paul Elwell, Martin Crapper, Diana Simpson, Clair Scamell, Christina Cooper.
We wandered and weaved about the car park chatting as we waited, Mick (L) was ready for severe cramps and asthma having the witches mix for both should they be needed. With no decisions to be made - Hobson’s choice as the other rides and riders were someplace else looking for hills. Off we went in twos, well one of us didn’t, but we were happy enough at a leisurely pace. Along to Stripe Road crossroads, right into Harworth and along to Serlby Park. Not much traffic so an easy crossing of the A614 and a lovely bright sunny day. We trundled past Ranskill and turned right twice at Mattersey to take us along the Retford Road and south passed Lound and then the Mattersey Road towards Sutton. We even had an easy crossing of the A620 at Babworth onto the A6420 and no sense of “its going too well” in fact a disaster from a write-up stance!
The Mansfield Road (A6420) took us to the A1 roundabout where we did get a bit spread out but regrouped at the entrance to Clumber. It was at this point that I was asked if that smell was coffee and scones, but with at least a mile to go it was probably fresh mown grass! The roads in Clumber haven’t improved a great deal so there was a fair bit of pointing out pot holes but it kept us busy and when we reached the left turn towards the cafe it got much busier. The build up of traffic took the queue to pay right over the crossroad. We are cyclists and snuck passed the queue without a hint of guilt.
It was sunny and warm enough to sit outside and we ordered our snacks and arranged ourselves around 3 tables. Service was impressive a sausage sandwich arrived (not for me) within seconds of its owner having reached his table. My scone was pretty good too. The waitresses were good too — the photo is in focus!
Mick was about to fall over so you know who held him up for the pricture!
A point too good to miss in any report (and we all missed it on the road) was that our leader got lost and made up the latter part of the road as we went along — fancy admitting that!
We set off expecting a nice easy ride home, we were still inside the Park when I realised I had a screw loose. ….Why is that so funny? Actually it was missing form my left shoe so clipping in wasn’t happening. So a quick stop to whip it off tighten the screw and get going again saw us way behind the main group. But they waited before we reached the A6034 Ollerton Road where we turned right, left down sparked Hill and towards workshop. The group got a little spread out as we sprinted down the hill — or freewheeled in my case but we regrouped opposite the Savoy.
Our route took us passed the new bus station right and then left at the fork onto Gateford Road and then left onto Sandy Lane and were entertained by Nick who had a flat. Like all good mechanics Paul our ride leader took over fixing it whilst Nick distributed fruit pastilles (I think)!
But we soldiered on eventually over the new roundabouts and alongside the canal and left into Rhodesia, then Shireoaks where we turned right onto Shireoaks Common and left onto the rough track towards the A57 which is where the wheel fell off! Figuratively speaking of course. 9 made it to the centre reservation Ok but there was no room for the last 4 (why me Mum?). By the time the way was clear for them to carry on heavy lorries and masses of cars stopped our progress. And not realising this the premier 9 carried on. With no sign of the premier group when our turn came we set off determined to catch up. Fortunately we realised that we had missed the narrow path leading left within a hundred yards and were able to retrace our steps and began to play catchup. Fortunately a couple of riders waited at the gateford road and directed us right. I would otherwise have opted for “left”!
Ashes Park Avenue is a long way along the A6041 when you are thinking “is this the right way?”. But there were people there, Paul B included, so we were saved! The next few miles seemed to be a series of meetings as we slowly met up with the 9. Turning right (no choice really) onto Eddison Park Avenue brought us back to the Carlton Road where we turned left for home. And the way home was via the direct route, Carlton in Lindrick, Langold and Oldcotes before turning down Lindrick Lane and via the duckpond (ok, Mill Dam) and back to the cricket club.
A really good right thanks Paul and at a pace we were all easy with. Just missed all the hills, but maybe next week. Looking forward to it!