Blue ride/ pothole pootle to Ulley reservoir
Riders were : Matthew Lowe (ride leader), Clair Scammell, Christina Cooper, Kieran James, Mickey Mouse, Kevin Thomas, Paul Elwell, Denise Motley, Tina Musgrive, Paul Stephenson, Martin Crapper.
Not a bad day for a ride and after the rain and wind of the previous few days it was good to see so many ready to go. The task made more difficult by the barrier across the car park entrance. But with the majority lifting their bikes up and over all was well! The red ride left and we 10 waited for Matt to get us going. 9 over the top and outside the gates watched as Matt simply opened the gate walked through and closed it behind him. Thats what makes a ride leader!
So-o-o up to Sunderland Street and right left and a few more of each got us up to the top of Malpass Hill and a bit stretched out. Not the only one at the back but Paul S, out for the first time in a couple of months, after, foolishly breaking bones whilst cycling in France, was finding the going tough. The group waited at the turn on Thornbury Hill Lane and we made our way up and down meeting again at the Maltby-Oldcotes road. Some of us, not mentioning names Clair waited for a gap in the traffic, she has tremendous eyesight spotting cars which must have been in Blyth and waiting for them to pass. Well she was on her new bike and was already having breaking in problems diagnosed in different ways by everyone who looked at it, but fortunately ignored them all. But we made it over and into Firbeck. Somewhere along the road Kieran must have had his own incident and was to be seen removing grease from his hands with tissues supplied by Kevin.
Kidd lane split us again but the winds of previous days were absent and we regrouped at the top of the hill before setting off along Lamb Lane and then into Letwell and beyond. Beyond in this case being Gildingwells where we turned towards Dinnington. Turning right on the outskirts of Dinnington we headed seemingly for home and realising such then wandered aimlessly - no not on a Matt ride we might have thought we were aimless but we had a Matt up front and after heading back along Lamb Lane we turned left along Penny Hill and in a roundabout route made it into Laughton where serious regrouping took place. Rumours had been started about an interim coffee stop at leger lakes but they amounted to nothing, we didn’t even look longingly (well some of you didn’t).
Following the main road out of Laughton we had the pleasure of a long downhill section to recover(?) on the way to meeting the B6060. Its a big number but starts with “B” and wasn’t very busy and got us on the way to Hawk Hill Lane and another of those Penny Hill Lanes. Were there a lot of People called Penny when roads were being named or did she just get about a lot? If you insist on answers on a postcard don’t forget the stamp!
Through Ulley on Main Street, down Reservoir Road and we could smell the coffee, over the reservoir and round the sharp bend got us safely into the café. For a business which only opens one day a month it is extremely popular, it could be the prices but most likely the quality of the cakes which brings the customers in. It is also the only day in the month when the car park needs an attendant (cum photographer).
It had been a hot days ride so far so i took the opportunity to wash my right hand glove in the dogs drinking bowl as I undid the bike-lock, and then dried it in the loos. After the attendant took a group photo we chatted and chatted and once Matt had it all in place up above we set off again. The route took us to Aughton and almost into Aston before we turned left and headed back to Ulley via a couple of steep Hills. Kevins turn for a chain off and where were the tissues? Fortunately Kieran hadn’t had mine so we coped. You know when that happens you are going to worry about needing one yourself all the way home! I didn’t so it was OK. We caught up and headed for Thurcroft with no more mishaps although a bit spread out. The end of Bib Lane looked inviting but we continued alongside the beck in Brookhouse and followed the road up hill towards ….. where it all went wrong!
Kieran and Christina had left us to go their way home and on the first steepish hill whilst already trailing Paul S suddenly had serious cramp in his leg. He managed to get off the bike and manipulate it but it wasn’t going easily. After a while I set off to catch the main group up and let them know we were taking the shortcut home. Luckily they had stopped to wait so it wasn’t too far. Paul and I turned off in Slade Hooton and head for Stone via the edge of Roche Abbey. The hills were a problem and we had a few longish rests but we didn’t avoid Thornbury Hill Lane and made it back in one piece. Despite the mishaps etc I had an enjoyable ride. The weather had been Ok, The scenery special and the company good too. Fingers crossed for next weekend.