Today’s riders were; N E D________ett; D Orridge; Gemma Scougal; Garry N; Louise Ryde; Joy McQuiggan; Kevin Thomas; Mick Lee; Diana Simpson; Denise Motley; Paul Russell; Matthew Lowe and Paul Bacon. (List as recorded by the riders...)
Having had a brief outline of the first part of the route from Matt we set off for Blyth. For some reason the number of riders in the group was discussed a few times as we couldn’t agree how many of us there were... any number over ten and I’m stumped.
It was a pleasant morning and we travelled along Blyth Road with only the gradients causing small splits in the group from time to time. We gathered at the traffic lights and all managed to get through only to be harassed by a 4x4 which thought it could get past, when it clearly couldn’t and had to wait for the riders it had already passed to get onto the roundabout.
We had the same luck at the two roundabouts in Blyth and continued our journey up the long drag to turn to Carlton in Lindrick off the B6045. After a quick blast (well more of a quiet pootle) along Hundred Acre Lane we turned to Worksop, passing through Wigthorpe. The main A60 is much more fun coming out of Worksop and once again we were a little fragmented but composed ourselves at the Canon traffic lights. Kevin and I, at the back, were now playing a “Guess which way we’re going to turn” game. We made it to one-all when a different topic of conversation took over.
We were caught at the lights in Worksop (always seems the case) and were soon on Sparken Hill (also much more fun going the other way). A quick regroup at the top saw us turning left (Kevin and I wouldn’t have got that one!) and then right before the roundabout up Windmill Lane. Ahhh... it was quiet and almost traffic free. Oh the delights of Clumber and... the surface of Windmill Lane isn’t too bad either. The eagle eyed amongst us saw the side path which speeded up the process of accessing the gate onto the road down to Hardwick Village. Beryl (AKA the Broomwagon mobile facility) was busy but with no queue we were quickly served and seated enjoying hot beverages and cake. During the stop I did query the signature of ‘N E D_______ett’ known to you as Noreen Dunnett. I came to the conclusion that Noreen must be a VIP as she explained she has two signatures. We chatted to a couple of off road riders from Mansfield and all fed and watered made our way back to the road.
We turned right and prepared ourselves for walking across the wooden bridge over the ford – all sensible road riders, not wishing to get wet. Two off road riders approached from our front, they didn’t slow, the first rider made it, as did the second rider. The only difference was the second rider made it on his ‘derriere.’ We heard it, saw it and tried not to say ‘We could have told you so.’ I don’t think I was the only one trying to suppress my mirth. On a more serious note, the guy wasn’t wearing a helmet and was very lucky not to injure himself.
We made our way out of Clumber and had a brief spell on the A614 before turning for Bothamsall. Not a route we use often at all and it was nice for a change. We should have known better. The route was usual into Bothamsall but then we turned left the church down Redhill Lane. Once again, quiet roads, little traffic... we should have known better. Now to be fair, Matt did tell us that the Google van had obviously been down Redhill Lane because you can do its length on street view. Looks, however, can be deceiving and I think that there had perhaps been a few large vehicles down the lane since the pictures were taken. It was a little more rutted than appears in street view photo’s. However, we have become accustomed and we progressed carefully and steadily. We were proceeding carefully and steadily when Diana (Must Behave Eventually) decided to test her sand riding skills and managed to have a wobble and wee fall. It was sandy.... she was fine. We made it to Crookford and being last I’d been volunteered to swing from the suspended tyres. I politely declined due to the constraints of time and a lack of towel.
Back on tarmac we took the bridge over the A1 and headed up the familiar, smoother, tarmac surfaced of Old London Road. After a quick breather in the woods we continued to Babworth and onto the rider’s choice of Mattersey rather than Blyth.
It was the familiar ride home through Ranskill to Serlby where we said ‘bye to Diana and Paul and then onto Harworth where Denise and Mick left us. The rest of us made our way back to the Cricket Club where folks could be heard telling Matt what a super ride it was. “Even the bit off the road was fun,” was heard too!
It was a great ride. Thanks Matt.