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Blue Ride - Round South Yorkshire

  • Date: 25 October 2020
  • By: Martin Crapper

Blue Ride / wanderings

Riders: Martin Crapper, Mick Lee, Kevin Thomas, Paul Stevenson Del Marx and Paul Russell

Most of us seemed to have had fears that the day would be wet and cold but the forecast changed with the weather and we met in the CC car park with weak sunshine but a fair old wind. This our first “tier 3” outing was difficult to anticipate; how many would arrive, who would arrive, how far could the weakest or slowest go comfortably without a coffee stop and how can we stay within South Yorkshire. You can worry too much but then at the moment the decisions made can affect lives.

We let The red ride set off first and once they were out of sight we left by wandering through the village getting to Apy Lane before we had our first “casualty”. To be fair, Paul S did the right thing, didn’t feel at all well and turned back. Hopefully a bit of a rest and he will be better.

As we went along Apy Lane the wind was a feature but only really a problem when hedges and gateways came into play. A lot of the route was either sheltered or open and the constant head or side wind was easier to deal with. We turned left, right and then left onto Cockhill Field Lane and onto Braithwell. We regrouped on Micklebring Lane and then were off to Micklebring itself. I’ve worked out why its better lead from up front - you don’t have to keep belting after whoever is in front to tell them which way to go! Always more difficult when we are separated by a very socially distancing set of MTB riders.

On this occasion Del waited and we turned sharply into Back lane and followed to its end where we turned back to Braithwell - you can’t get enough of these places - well you can apparently -see later!

In Braithwell we turned right to Maltby enjoying the sunshine and lack of motor traffic. There were bikes a plenty!

within sight of the leisure centre we turned right onto Lilly Hall road just because I wanted to freewheel down Cliff Hill. It was my first going down and the view from the top is amazing. Self survival skills were applied and we made our way to the bottom safely and turned left and then right to go up Carr Lane, Del waiting for us again at the Back Lane Junction and again at the top.

We cycled along High Hooton Road up to the point where it becomes Hooton Lane and more cliff like than Cliff Hill and turned right!.

The stream was full and swiftly flowing as we travelled along through Brookhouse. Seeing a possible short cut and another hill, Del and Mick turned left up Brookhouse lane leaving 3 of us taking the easier route around to Laughton. For a few yards anyway until Kevin decided to go show them the way. That last two of us to be sensible!

We regrouped at the top and headed towards Dinnington, all except Paul R who assumed we would go via Leger Lakes. Once we had retrieved him we resumed along to Throapham and took a right and left into Dinnington wandering briefly until we re-met the Oldcotes road. The freewheeling along this section saw us well spread out, not as steep as Cliff Hill but much longer and with the wind more or less behind as a bonus.

We paused a while before continuing down Kidd lane and went through Firbeck and up to the main Oldcotes Maltby road. At this point we had a brief one-sided discussion about possibly going through Braithwell fo a third time, it appeared to have lost its attraction. We discussed all sorts of options for home v more miles many of which were in conflict with “official policy”!

Assuming I knew what I was doing we avoided Thornbury Hill Lane and went straight on to Oldcotes and turned left to Tickhill. Traffic and lights left us a bit stretched out so three of us sauntered along to give the other two chance to catch up, eventually stopping at the Blyth Gate Lane junction and waiting — and waiting. Eventually we guessed that kevin and Paul had assumed/hoped we had gone straight up at the lights instead of turning right so had continued that way.

We decided to continue along Blyth Gate Lane which although slowly rising gave us a nice downhill into the village and home. Back at the cricket club we were joined by Kevin who confirmed that they had gone on to Styrrup.

I got home to a visit from my daughter who reported seeing Paul R just heading into Rossington. So we did all get home safely.

Notes to self: winter is on the way, we need to stick to good roads; we need to choose some flatter routes when wet; we need to avoid conflict with forbidden boundaries; we don’t need to avoid passing cafés they will probably be closed to us anyway. It can’t go on forever, we have to be positive! And don’t forget the photo next time!

I hope to see folk next Sunday