It wasn’t raining as I arrived at the cricket club but the forecast wasn’t by any means “dry” and as a consequence numbers were down. In a way numbers being down turned out to be a good thing!
We turned out to be three, me, Robin Heyward and Graham Varga who due to unforeseen circumstances had had to double as Graham Warner the previous week. But I’ve got my hearing aid working at last. A volunteer, Robin, offered to lead a slight variation on the planned route. Yes! Yes , YEESS!
Graham who thought we might go too fast opted for the middle which left me at the back. Best place for me, I know. We headed off towards the Buttercross - it was moist but not really wet as we picked our way along. And by the time we reached the Mill Dam I had some catching up to do. But they waited for me and Graham was having no trouble keeping up with Robin.
By the top of Malpass Hill I was gasping but could still see them. And they waited again. There wasn’t much traffic and even less on Thornbury Hill Lane which was covered in mud and soggy leaves. We went slowly down the other side where they waited for me again at the main road.
We had only gone about half a mile further when a forced stop to ease my mudguard off the wheel was required - and it gave me a rest!
There was no sign of any threatened rain and we continued - with relief on my part Robin went straight passed Kidd Lane taking the left fork a little further along. Then after turning right and then left along Lamb Lane we came to Dinnington where we stopped. “We” being the other two who waited for me again. They waited again at the far end of Dinnington where we had a discussion - “ shall we go somewhere nearer?” Oh yes please (from me, trying to sound anything but desperate).
So we headed for the Butterfly farm but not before we had an enforced stop to try and tweak Graham’s front mech cable. The thing having about 4” of excess length insisted on clashing with the peddle. To be honest it probably annoyed me more than Graham but we persisted. And failed!
With a click, cluck, click we carried on and in what seemed like no time we were at the café. Although it seemed empty the first floor had loads of folk in. We ordered what we wanted and sat near the window where we could see the bikes. We could also see it was beginning to rain.
The drinks and treats came and we ate drank and chatted. Oh and the ghost tipped Robin’s green tea off the table. It wasn’t me, or me or me. We all agreed. And in the middle of this lake of green tea swimming on her back was Karen a bedraggled moth named after another Karen well known locally for her swimming prowess. Apologies to anyone named Karen who didn’t like the association!
Robin got some paper towel from the lady behind the counter and mopped up. By this time Karen was out of the pool and drying out in the heat of the err rain. Now the storey gets a bit scary and you may want to close your eyes. Karen sadly was butchered, yes butchered by Robin. He had no regard for the fact that we were at the butterfly farm. WACK and Karen was a gonner - wiped out literally by Robins blue paper towel. I mean wacking a moth on a butterfly farm! Really!
We snuck out in case the butterfly police had seen us and headed through the rain to the bikes. Robin, obviously trying to make up for the emergence of his darker side found tools and a strap to fix Grahams mech cable. Before long we were on our way (in the rain) and into Woodsetts. I think by this time, even though I was going a bit faster (well it was downhill with a following wind) we had collectively decided to go home.
So we turned left in Woodsetts and headed to Gildingwells and Letwell. Realising that in my beleaguered state I might need assistance ‘they’ insisted on seeing me home, but changed their minds at the end of Stripe road assuming that if I got lost finding my way to Tickhill and home that a) someone would point me in the right direction or b) they would find me next week and c) they didn’t care anyway.
They went on home along Stripe Road I went left and you can’t get lost in half a mile - not even me. P. S. I was dry when I got back. Not a bad ride really just a bit short.