Today’s riders were; Tina Musgrove; Denise Motley; Christina Cooper; Matthew Lowe; Kieran James; Mick Lee; Nick Kay; Kevin Thomas; Kerry Wilcockson; Chris Higgins and Paul Bacon.

As the red ride was in Derbyshire we had the meeting room all to ourselves.  Probably a good job really because the number of riders rose from the three who had signed up to eleven.  Not much room for anyone else!

The route was discussed as we hadn’t been to Markham Grange for some time.  As Pete wasn’t around there was also a noticeable absence of sitting on someone’s knee which seems to have become a regular pre-ride occurrence.

So we set off into a slight wind up Wilsic Lane.  At this point I would like to offer my apologies to some members of the ride as I didn’t realise at the time but I split the group.  Thankfully it wasn’t irreparable and we continued up Springwell Lane where, to my relief, Kevin joined me... I thought he would know the route better than me.  We took the usual route to Sprotborough and one member took the opportunity to avail themselves of the facilities on the final bend.  I also thought at this point it might be a good time to turn the garmin map on.  Not so.  I put the route on the garmin in reverse so it was no use whatsoever...  The group reconvened on Main Street and we continued on the now familiar route to Markham Grange. 

Herein was the challenge.  They have moved the entrance and in order to put the bikes somewhere safe we had to wheel them through what seemed the full circuit of the garden centre.  I knew there was a bonsai exhibition on and I thought ‘what a good time to visit.’  It seemed to me that if you were going to transport any sort of plant home on a bike then a bonsai was a good bet but there were no takers.  Bikes stowed, breakfast items still on sale and scones... oh my.  Not cream but a good selection and huge.  Sorry Martin, they were so appealing we had eaten them before we realised we had no photographic evidence... we’ll just have to go again.  The conversation naturally moved to the route home and Matt, God bless him, volunteered to lead us back to Tickhill.  At the time this seemed a great idea.

We left the garden centre in good spirits having been refreshed.  The plan, I think, was to miss out Ludwell Hill past Barnburgh Lakes, preferring the Trans Pennine Trail (TPT) instead.  This still involved a little bit of up on Pastures Lane and we had five minutes in Cadeby by the church.  We continued, albeit for only a couple of minutes, as we hadn’t left Cadeby before Mick announced a flat tyre.  Having removed not the easiest of tyres we tried to inflate the new tube with little success.  Tube number 2 was put into use and we were on our way once more... seeking the TPT.  More recovery took place down Garden Lane and Constitution Hill until we rounded the final left hand bend to be presented with a barrier to Grants Precast site.  Hmmm... it’s round here somewhere.  Pondering which way to go gave Mick’s back wheel the opportunity to deflate once more.  Christina offered a spare tube as Mick had used his two up (who carries three?)  Mick then insisted that we ride on and that he would find his own way back.  We did, not without concern but he was insistent (Mick confessed one week later to doing two local laps before finding his way back to Consibrough and then home!)

The TPT was located and following in the Red Ride’s cleats we went over the Conisbrough Viaduct and along Warmsworth Holt.  Over Edlington Lane (that is straight over!) riding between the houses which led us directly onto Lord’s Head Lane via Poplar Grove.  From here we took the decision to reverse the outward bound route.  During the ride back to Tickhill we said goodbye to peeps who decided to take the most direct route home and if memory serves me correctly there were four of us who rolled into the cricket club car park.

Thanks to all who rode today and made it yet another great ride.