Ride leader: Paul Bacon, back marker Matthew Lowe,
Also rode: Pete Hanks, Kevin Thomas, Neil Robinson, Mick Lee, Mary O’Shea, Daniel O’Shea, Sue Shore, Alan Senior, Christina Cooper, Martin Crapper.
I didn’t think the forecast was too good but things started cold and got better as we gathered at the Cricket Club. The destination was set and the route hastily worked out on the tarmac and explained to the riders. For some of us the joy of cycling is often diminished by knowing how we get there. Ok I admit I often don’t remember what was said anyway!
But either over the gate or along the gap and through the fence we set off East. Not too much traffic as we made our way turning right towards Harworth, over the gates and through the industrial estate (remember the £75m bonus?) to Serlby. Nice clear views lovely countryside and the chattering was underway.
There was a short break for traffic and regrouping at Scrooby Top although there can’t have been more the 25 yards between first and last rider - we were just being cautious!
A quick right and left saw us making our way past Ranskill and Mattersey and along Eel Pool Road then right towards Clayworth. We managed to shake off our ride leader and waited for him by the church (good rides often lack failed spokes, punctures, snapped chains etc so comfort breaks add a tinkle of interest to a report. There were another couple during the ride but you can’t get excited!
A very nice lady driver stopped to let the group through where cars reduced the available width. For a change we followed the road over the canal bridge towards Little Gringley but passing through Hatton Clarborough and Welham on the way. An impressive site, the Blue Ride, in twos and fairly tightly bunched. Shame we didn’t have a photographer with us.
We took the roundabout route into Retford and into the square finding plenty of parking and inside space in the “10 Green Bottles”. Ordering and then receiving snacks was a bit strange but you couldn’t knock the service.
We stopped in the sun outside long enough for a complete stranger to take a photo and then set off. Home being north we set off south past the airfield in a great loop before passing between Morton and Great Morton where we could really believe we were on the way back.
We made it to Barnby Moor and paused at the left turn to Blyth where Pete left us to go back to Westwoodside. Throughout the ride we had had periods of sunshine and cloud and with the clouds it was noticeably cooler but nothing interferes with the views. Despite all the villages and towns we have acres of lovely open countryside.
Once through Blyth and up the hill to the A1 roundabout we did get a bit strung out but I admit to being desperate for an incident to report. Passing through Harworth without a hiccup, we made Tickhill in what was a welcomly (is that a word?) early time.
Good rides are incident free and this was a really good ride. Thanks everybody, I hope to see you next week.