Riders were: Matthew Lowe (ride leader), Hilary Thompson, Rob Stevenson, Hilary Thompson, Kieran James, Christina Cooper, Chris Higgins, Nick Kay, Martin Crapper, oh and Hillary Thompson, well you can’t hear enough of her can you!
The car park gate was locked but we didn’t care! in fact the red riders used it as a table one even leaving his banana as an offering to the rain gods. The weather was fine, a bit breezy possibly so the offering worked. Do rain gods actually eat the offerings - we didn’t. And precedent is everything so we aren’t going to follow the fine example.
The route was a well kept secret although we knew we were heading to the airfield café and with only 8 of us we didn’t need to phone ahead. So we set off east along towards Bawtry turning right and passed Harworth as a very tidy group. The first of a number of red lights created us at the A1 roundabout but a brief rest never hurt anybody.
Over the roundabout and through Blyth heading towards the 50 Acre Wood was a tad tiring being straight into the wind so we turned right down Crossley Hill Lane then a quick right and left brought us to Wigthorpe. Somewhere along the road Kieran decided he needed cash and an ATM so rather than skirting it we added Worksop town centre to the itinerary. But not the direct route it was pretty busy, so we zigzagged our way to the central pedestrian area. There were a couple of ATM’s so Kieran took his time to choose the nearest one. it was a pedestrian area with a big sign saying “No Cycling” so Matt made us walk! Only about 100 yards but painful, and at the end he found a sign. Not from the rain gods but an earthly one telling disabled users that they were not exempt. A technical photo-shoot over we went round the houses and made our way back the way we came and then along to Rhodesia and the outskirts of Shireoaks.
There are lots of lovely lanes around and we did Spring and Steetley Lanes before reaching Dumb Hall Lane and then turning into the airfield café. There were not many customers and we found seats around a large table. Coffee and cake for £2.50 is rare but worth going for. Not sure about the bacon sandwiches but they seem to go down well.
Planes were coming and going cyclist just seemed to be staying - the seemed lots to talk about. Eventually though we set off. Straight into the wind and into Thorpe Salvin and Kiverton Bridge and from there up Dog Kennels Lane The hill left us a little spread out and waiting at the top was another excuse to wait in the sun and chat. Whilst we loitered the shooters and beaters were busy in the barley field in the distance. Probably only noticed by me but then Kieran asked me to mention the Pavé we cycled over and I have no idea where that was! Cobbles I’m good at - spotting - but not riding over I like to forget pain quickly!
Through North and then South Anston and into Dinnington with a hiccup somewhere which left Rob separated form us by cars at a junction - but we were good for another chat and waited patiently. To avoid the main road and the traffic we turned left along Laughton road and then turned right passed the comprehensive school and then down Lodge Lane into Gildingwells and then Letwell. Ramper Lane and lamb lane gave us time to get excited about the freewheel down Kidd lane - which we did with panache. Another small chat session in Firbeck before setting off.
Not sure whether the scream or crash alerted us to a problem but a familiar sight greeted us - Christina on the deck bike behind! it seems someone had to brake and Christina seeing that happening applied the brakes, bike stopped rider didn’t. Fortunately there was no need for any first aid (as yet I haven’t needed my first aid training) and after a few minutes we were on our way again. I guess the bruises will appear overnight but I hope not.
Christina , Hilary and Kieran left us to go to maltby and Rob abandoned us to go direct to Oldcotes and home. Four of us carried on up Thornbury Hill Lane and into Tickhill. We waited patiently at the Millstone to try and get out and we waited and waited. Matthew got bored waiting and shot out between a couple of cars and we waited. Eventually a battered old van waved and waited to let us out and we set off in pursuit. Little chance of catching him up once Matt got going!
Chris went straight on at the Buttercross and Nick and I followed Matt towards the cricket club. But we didn’t go there - Matt had stopped at a bus stop. Nick went straight on having waved goodbye and I stopped briefly to say thanks. Home from there for me is short ride, Matt had to go load his bike into the car and drive home.
I hope he had as good a ride as me and I look forward to next week. Thanks everybody.