Todays riders were; Matt Lowe (ride leader); Mick Lee; Pete Hanks; Chris Higgins; Martin Crapper and Paul Bacon.
Once again there was no confusion about what was happening today despite Mick arriving on his ‘other’ bike and Stuart and Helen arriving just on time. Groupings were established and we let the others go and the seven of us turned left out of the car park. (Martin Graves joined us for the ride up Wilsic Lane having completed the 7am ride).
With only seven of us it was easy to ride to ride together up the lane, making way for riders coming down the lane and all too soon Martin left us. It made a change to hear the steady ‘thrum’ of Mick’s tyres as the six of us didn’t make much ‘chatter’ noise... There had been a practise run on Friday but today we stayed North of the A631 making our way through Braithwell and Micklebring, along Lidgett Lane to the Bramley traffic lights.
A brief spell on the A631 led us to Goose Lane, one of many new roads for Mick to travel along today (even though he was on his ‘other’ bike!) We did chat and move around the group and before we knew it we were going through Thurcroft and negotiating the numerous and many potholes on what is otherwise known as Steadfolds Lane. At the junction we paused, as we did on Friday and the same question was asked , “Shorter, harder or longer, easier?” The votes were split but we did the same as Friday... longer, easier (which was perhaps best for Mick on his ‘other’ bike). We reached the top of High Street and sailed merrily down to Leger Lakes. ( I don’t know what your Strava looks like guys but mine looks like a five year old has found a red pen and had some fun!)
The cafe was pretty much full (of cyclists from Sitwell) but we did the usual and pushed two tables together. The service was great and so was the food. We managed a group picture and also one of Mick with... (his ‘other’ bike).
The route home was via Dinnington; Gildingwells and Woodsetts. Owday Lane and Carlton in Lindrick. We were doing fine. The weather was good – no rain and the wind seemed to be either non-existent or kind to us. We left Carlton in Lindrick and had a comfort break at the top of Crossley Hill Lane. Now I never knew this but it would seem that the gradient is always easier for the first few riders and more difficult for the last few. The reason it seems is that the first few riders ‘pinch’ the easier gradient leaving only harder stuff for the others. As Matt and I were at the top first it would seem we had it easier and made it harder for the others!
The call to Hodsock was once again too much for Matt to resist and we left Blyth Road and now Mick’s ‘other’ bike was very happy. We decided later that it wasn’t cobbles but hardcore riding, literally and at the end of it... Chris had a flat which deflated rather quickly. A sub ten minute change and we were on our way again. All the way to Blyth and the newly surfaced, Bawtry Road. Pete left us at the lights (and Mick shortly after) and we rode on, well only a little way as we couldn’t see Chris... flat number two. This time it was slow and he was able to make his way back to Tickhill with only one top up.
Thanks Matt for a great ride. Thanks guys for the great company.