Ride Leader: Paul Bacon, Also present: Martin Crapper, Mick Lee, Diane Jordan, Helen Hand, Stewart Oades, Nick Kay, Gareth Harle, Clair Scammell, Oliver Hartmann, Matthew Lowe, Chris Higgins, Dave Orridge, Paul Elwell, Dianna Simpson, Paul Russell and Christina Cooper.
I have a hazy recollection of masses of seated cyclists at the picnic tables enjoying the sunshine and hoping for a cooler day than the day before. And of Gareth of 7.00am fame - since he hung on till the end! Deserves a mention honest.
There were 16 intending to take the Blue Ride in the car park which we deemed should make 2 groups of 8 (Sunday remember - no adding up on fingers) and we set off intending to ride as two groups, and it worked well, through Harworth and Serlby right up to the point where Paul B had to squat on the pavement and play with his little bag of white powder. It didn’t take long so missed the exciting bit as it took time to get the camera out!
The groups were together at this point and No 17 had joined us on the way passed the golf course (Paul E). Ive just realised that the Club Martins were outnumbered by the Pauls.
Sorry I get carried away! We set off in two groups again Intending to meet again at Mattersey next to what used to be the Blue Bell. Taking the route via Mattersey Thorpe we turned left and then right and waited. After several minutes of waiting, Paul B set off back to see where the second group were, and we were on the point of delegating someone to go see where Paul was when he returned with he news that Diana had a puncture but was OK because volunteers were fixing it - I need them when I have a problem! But on club rides they are always there anyway.
Paul tried to ring/warn the café that we were on our way but couldn’t get through, so we set off intending to ring later. Off again and at a faster pace than normal for the blue ride we sailed through Sutton and crossed the A638. By this point Paul made his phone call and advised of an 11 0’clock ish arrival and we were wondering how we were going to slow things down/extend the route to avoid a 10.30 arrival.
No worries we headed for Dover via Botany Bay and to the A620 and crossed that with car drivers stopping to let us over. We were on a roll. Past Great Morton we turned onto the old London road still going south Before turning left past the airport and into Ordsall. it seems like no time at all but we arrived at the café only a few minutes ahead of our ETA.
Staff and riders sorted the tables out and we ordered inside and were pleasantly surprised at how quickly the orders came our. The food was excellent - they were so keen on pleasing us, well me, they tried to give me a second piece of cake! We had made a start on the eating part of the ride when the second group arrived. They brought Oliver with them who took photos! Not the ones of Paul B’s mains and afters or the empties but the good ones.
After Chris pumped up Diana’s tyre we split into 2 different groups half taking the short route home the others going to the motor show in the town square before taking a long ride home. We eight set off to take the short route and being held up slightly at junctions before having to wait at the lights onto the main road. Just before we got here we had to make a detour around Paul E’s sunglasses - well most of us did! short story - Paul needs new glasses. At the lights we said goodbye to Helen and Stewart who made their own way back to (their) base.
Just around the corner we realised (well Paul E did) that we were down to 4. a wait was in order and Chris and Paul R eventually arrived with Diana’s pump which had fallen off. Back to 6 and we were able to take the main road back splitting again at Scrooby Top. Diana, Paul R and Paul E went straight on towards Bawtry and home wherever that might have been and the other 3 sailed through Serlby and Harworth. 3 became 2 when I turned off in Tickhill to go hame leaving Chris and Christina carried on to their relative destinations.
This was the end of, I think, a really good ride, faster than normal button excessively so, well organised and highly sociable. Thanks everyone see you next week I hope.