9.30 ride to Arrow Café
“No one gets left behind” and “potential members welcome”
Despite the weather forecast it was looking pretty good for the ride as we met at the cricket club
And the 13 starters were all going to follow our ride leader Paul Bacon. The also rides were Owen Thomas, Peter Hanks, Diana Simpson, Robert Stevenson, Chris Higgins, Denise Motley, Helen Hand, Mick Lee, Nick Kay, Andrew Rex, Hilary Thompson. And 2 guest appearances from Mark Motley.
We set off west to the Buttercross and round the duck pond ( ok Mill Dam) and on to Lindrick Lane where we found Jon Ratcliffe wandering lonely etc and conned him into joining us. He had ridden with the club once before a couple of years ago and was getting started again after having his bike nicked! We were therefore 14 and no longer unlucky. — Well, most of us were not!
There seemed to be a lot of traffic when we reached the Blyth Road at the bottom of the Thornhill Lane hill. It took a few minutes for us all to get out of the junction and we regrouped after turning left along New Road towards Firbeck. The going was easy and we were enjoying the ride. No sign of rain which was just as well as I couldn’t find my raincoat and who would want to get a bike wet on its first outing?
We made it to the top of Kidd Lane in 2 groups but regrouped with a quick resumé of the route from Paul before continuing along Lamb Lane and then left onto Ramper Road through Letwell and on towards Gildingwells. Odd how car drivers with plenty of room to pass find it necessary to blow their horns its as though 2 metres clearance and no other traffic was a sign! Any way, we pedalled through Woodsets and along the worksop road to the B6041 where Mick’s Advanced navigation skills took us off road for a while. Just as well really as the dual carriageway was coned off and for the occasion loaded with cars! We walked (most of us) across the dual carriageway and down a path leading onto Shireoaks Common which we followed through Shireoaks and onto Shireoaks Road before turning again onto Spring Lane.
I’m not sure at which point Pauls Garmin realised we were off course but that beeping to tell you that you are, and which occurs frequently until you hit it in anger is annoying! No wonder Paul was out front.
A right turn onto Steetley Lane found us climbing slowly against the flow (of water this time). Lots of water and plenty of big puddles all the way up until gravity took the water to the other side and eventually to the point where an enterprising farmer had dug a trench to divert water off his fields and onto our road! Come summer and drought, he’ll be sorry!
At the end of Steetley Lane we turned right onto the A619 towards the café and made it as a series of singles due to the difficulty of getting through traffic. We almost made it intact — sadly Denise had a puncture within a short walk of the coffee. Despite going back, in case she got mugged, we ended up leaving her to walk the last 100 yards on her own.
She did that in the sure and certain knowledge that the solution warranted it. The phone call to Mark was a success and whilst we all sat chatting he made his way to meet us - I think he had intended to anyway. The repair was not a simple affair and lets be clear if you have a puncture first resort (not last) is a Mark (and friends) pumping the thing up took at least three cyclists! It didn’t stop enjoyment of the drinks and snacks though some of which looked like main courses for gluttons!
We sat there in our club Kit, which from memory gives a very strong hint that we belong to ba cycling club and were asked asked by a café customer if we were cyclists! Congratulations to all those who politely said ‘yes’. We explained the web site as he was interested in joining us - it seems we are our own advertising.
But onwards and upwards we went taking the left fork onto the B6043 and into Whitwell where we turned left onto High Street and singled out as it was quite busy. High Street leads onto Station Road which is a bit of a posh name for a platform halt which is what Whitwell boasts now! At the end of the road we turned left into Mansfield Road (A60) where disaster struck Denise again. And in the spirit of never being left behind I offer a video of us not leaving her behind. Please remember I am an amateur in these things and couldn’t edit it down any further! Whilst Denise did more walking and a couple practiced riding at the same speed without falling off, Mark’s special skills were called for again. We caught up with the bulk of the group who waiting off Piste on Broad Lane and left Denise to wait for a lift home!
At the A57 we headed into Worksop for the more direct route home - and to avoid the busy dual carriageway. At some point I was vaguely aware of Andy leaving us to go directly home in Worksop. and numbers began to reduce. We had been split into two completely detached groups by the puncture anyway and were beginning to realise that we could look like a professional team in twos as we got home at least that was Paul’s view.
Worksop was quite busy but not in a way which affected us and we came out the other side in reasonable shape. The road home is one we have all ridden many times and whilst on occasion there is a detour here or there today we did the ‘straight and narrow’ - at least until Paul couldn’t resist it anymore and went flat out on the last uphill bit before Tickhill.
John, who isn’t a member and set out to do 13Km ended up doing a lot lot more and seemed to enjoy it, Hopefully he will see sense and join up. we were down to 4 by the cricket club after an enjoyable ride and it didn’t rain!