Ride leader: Paul Bacon, also present (ride extras!) Pete Hanks, Diana Simpson (hardly recognisable with clipless shoes), Diane Gordon, Sue Shore, Christina Cooper, Kieran James Martin Crapper.
Weather reports were mixed but despite forecast of rain being less than 6% it rained! The Blue, Purple and Red riders mingled before splitting up into whichever group took their fancy and left with gaps to give separation on the roads, although I think we each (group) went separate ways.
“Blue Leader” led us east with mudguards on to keep us dry and fancy orange red panniers. And he wouldn’t tell us what they had inside!
The roads were wet and the rain increased as we cycled through the Harworth roundabouts and through the industrial estate to Blyth. A nice tidy group and chatting as always despite “adverse weather conditions”. My rain jacket was pretty useless although by the time the rain reached me it was a bit warmer. Tissues wisely stored in a “waterproof” container dissolved well before the café stop.
We were enjoying the ride and enjoying complaining about the rain, but that’s not new! We reached the outskirts of Worksop took the left turn up the side of the hospital and thanks to the hill became 2 groups of 4. Over the hill we freewheeled easily down intending to turn right at the mini round about. Which we did of course well almost! Clipless Diana didn’t quite unclip and ended up elegantly prone but fortunately unhurt. Oh and her bike was Ok too. The other 4 were waiting and we had a little recovery break.
I think it is also worth mentioning both that I am a bit confused about where exactly this took place and why. But to the shouts of stopping and slowing we waited while Christina pretending that something fell of her bike (not her this time) did a bit of beach (or gutter) combing and failing to retrieve a gaudy antique, broken, cigarette lighter! Anything for a rest!
We by-passed the town centre and headed out on Netherton road, crossing the A57 and turning up Windmill Lane before eventually joining the A57, taking the outside lane and over the A1 roundabout and the bridge leading us towards Retford. I don’t think we were noticing the wind and made it easily along Mansfield road and then Babworth road and Brdgegate into the market square to be greeted (well ignored) by a 4 or 5 deep wall of people at the cenotaph ceremony. making it to the café we secured the bikes, almost and went into order food and drinks. Kieran opted to stay outside while the service was on, and maybe because he was searching for another bike lock.
We were all pretty wet which proved little uncomfortable as we sat on the Faux leather seats but the seats would dry!
2 minutes to 11 and the café service stopped and we all abandoned snacks and went outside to observe the silence. Clearly the crowd had grown in those few minutes and we struggled to get out of the door into the square.
Eventually returning to our drinks we were treated to a Maltby speciality - A 5 or 6 deep tissue cushion intended to mop up excess water from sodden cyclists. Didn’t work but interesting and the semi warm radiators were no better.
The road home was to be along the Great North Road with a diversion into Sutton and Mattersey where Pete left us to go straight home and a little later Diana Left us at Scrooby Top also to go straight home, and we remainders continued incident free through Serlby and the industrial estate. The “T” junction caught some of us out and the double roundabout added to the gap, but Blue Leader waited and we arrived back at the cricket club, happy and early.
The new times and designations seem to be working well. Thanks everybody I’ve enjoyed another day with you.