The weather forecasts had started out with atrocious coming to mind softened a little during the week and was better but verging on icy by the crack of dawn. I get up after that and set off early, and arrived at the cricket club early in spite of going back home for a rain jacket to protect my delicate body from the very light drizzle.
There was no one waiting so I went for a ride round the block and arrived back a bit before Jon Brough who was testing his bike which was newly convert (by himself) to Di2. A bit later Mick Lee arrived and shortly after that Gary Durham turned up. So 2 Blue, 2 Red riders and we were ready for off. And watching the other two was watching poetry in motion - check Red ride report!
For completeness the Blue riders were, me - Martin Crapper and Mick Lee. The other potential Blue riders either believed the weather forecast and stayed in bed, stayed home anyway, overslept, nursed hangovers, had valid sick notes and an almost impossible to believe excuse “a better offer”.
We set off in Very Light Drizzle to Light Drizzle towards Rossington cycling into Light to Medium Drizzle before reaching the village. Loads of cars speeding along but we didn’t see any other cyclists. As we passed GoOutdoors we were definitely into proper Medium Drizzle and getting a bit fed up of all those cars. Things improved for a while as we turned towards the airport and deteriorated as we turned to leave.
At the approach to the traffic lights the road to the left was blocked for some nationally critical roadworks (!) and the whole of the lane was flooded anyway. Similarly the road to the right was flooded but the right turn filter lane was more or less OK. At this point traffic was hiding somewhere which was just as well as, with a quick “clear”, Mick shot the red light and I cautiously followed!
The Drizzle had more or less stopped pretending and was now Rain but we had been introduced gradually so didn’t care and apart from freezing fingers and toes we were fine.
Traffic towards Branton was light and we risked two abreast for a while but once beyond had to single out again. Traffic was heavier, faster and didn’t seem to care/notice that we had to move out to the central white line to escape the puddles. All that changed once we turned off on the Wroot road and we were able to peddle on without too much concern over either puddles or cars and there was a hint of lightening or the now Drizzle.
Somewhere around Wroot there was one sided discussion with the outcome being a slightly shorter than intended ride and a slightly slower one Mick was floating the idea of abandoning the long held belief that he simply had to do 50 miles. So - done deal. And before we reached Idle Bank there was no Drizzle! On the downside we didn’t see Diana’s family of swans either.
Idle bank is a really good ride when there is no wind and I’m pretty sure I’ve never ridden along Sanderson’ Bank before without a head-wind. It was a pleasure - just a shame we weren’t going to do it twice.
Visibility had been Ok for most of the ride, and it had been getting brighter to the point where the Sun almost broke through but the view ahead suggested it wasn’t going to improve anymore. Still without wind it didn’t matter. The clouds were not moving but we were - and we were dry by now and still happy to be there.
We encountered no traffic but quite a few walkers in Misson and there was still the remnants of the serious flooding of fields visible on the left after we left the Village. Bawtry seemed to sneak up on us really quickly and with little traffic we were on the main drag effortlessly. Mick wen straight on taking the route to Harworth and then the mysterious west and I turned right and back to Tickhill. And I have a confession, I didn’t go back to the cricket club to take my lead of everyone as everyone had already gone.
Proper Blue ride with multiple riders next week with any luck, Thanks Mick and stay safe everyone.