Ride Leader: Paul Bacon; Riders Matthew Lowe, Shaun O’Neil, Paul Elwell, Mick Lee, Denise Motley, Diana Simpson, Christina Cooper, Gareth Harle, Nick Kay, Martin Crapper, Kieran James, Paul Russel and special guest Pete Hanks.


There were mixed feelings about the prospects , weather-wise, for the ride but we assembled in sunshine and were optimistic as always. A fair collection of Blue and Red riders eventually spit into two leaving 12 In the blue group further divided into two groups. Arithmetic not being essential the first group out of the gate numbered 7 leaving roughly 5 in the second group.


The left turn saw us heading to Bawtry and puffing and panting up the hill past the Stripe Road crossroads but happy to be out. Little traffic, no wind but plenty of noise as we discussed worldly events and trivia. But we rode easily and there was little traffic, in fact for the first time in my (short) memory there was not traffic at the crown hotel junction and we didn’t need to stop in turning left and then right towards Austerfield. Paul Elwell joined us at this junction and we continued on to Finningley. Surprisingly we turned off the main road and headed towards Wroot (or so I thought). Still no traffic which helped as we turned right again and headed along Sandersons Bank and Bank End Road towards Westwoodside avoiding it (!) by taking the left turn along Idle Bank.


I was hoping to see swans but none appeared along Idle Bank or Thorn Bank as we made our way to the café - and then a second addition to our group - Pete Hanks on a bike! He was going the other way but having seen the advertised destination he had set to seek us out. We had reached the café early but that wasn’t going to deter us.


So as we sat in the café we were 14! coffees teas and grub ordered and delivered some of us ate well others (see photo) were gorging. Despite  doing his best I can confirm “he” wasn’t able to finish it off!


Eventually we had to leave but not before we had a couple of photos taken. I’m not entirely certain what was happening as superwoman made her way into the posse but your guesses are most welcome! We turned left out of the gate reaching the junction with Sandersons Bank (again) where we said “Goodbye” to Diana and a few minutes later to Nick and Gareth. The rest of us turned right along Springs Road towards Misson. The journey had been flat and easy and we continued chatting and swapping tales.


The fracking sites seemed deserted perhaps unused but the objectors camp was full as we made our way towards Newington and eventually Bawtry again. Much more traffic at the junction this time. And the gentle hill out of Bawtry didn’t seem an obstacle at all. Pauls E and R pulled out somewhere and we were down to half a dozen or so back at the cricket club.


Summer holidays are beginning to take effect and some of us will be missing for a while but with the memory of pleasant rides like this I will be back for more asap. Thanks Paul B for organising things today - job well done!