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Blue ride to Epworth ( or close anyway)

  • Date: 11 April 2021
  • By: Martin Crapper

I’ve never had to throw someone off a ride before! Sorry Mr Chairman but we have our standards, low though they may be.

That left three of us, Mick Lee, Nick Kay and me, Martin Crapper. And for you budding blue riders please don’t be afraid, future rides will be short and at your pace (10-15 mph). We can stop now and again, fix broken bits on bikes and even minor body repairs. 3 on a blue ride is embarrassing when there are so many on the red ride they have to split into two groups! And we are quite nice, honest.

It was another good day for cycling, ok cold but not too windy and nice and clear. We set off towards Bawtry, not too much traffic but we rode in single file anyway. We three hadn’t ridden together for the best part of a year so we took our time to gauge the pace. Mick had had a couple of rides on the road, otherwise on the turbo in the garage. I try to ignore the weather and just go on the road and I think Nick does the same.

Traffic lights at the new housing estate stopped us but we cycled in the sterile zone next to the 18” drop and without incident. Nick seemed keen on being up front so ‘we’ lead from the back. Bawtry, Finningley, Wroot seemed to slip by painlessly and we began to feel the wind behind us occasionally. Plenty of swans to see but no deer and only the odd bird of prey.

Somewhere between a swan and a tee junction we opted to go towards Sandtoft into the head wind on idle bank. At the five lane junction we had the chance to go to Epworth but went on towards Sandtoft anyway. This thinking on the move stuff can be tiring.

The airfield car park was full and there were six or seven planes lined up for the owners to play with but most importantly the café was shut.

Belton, Beltoft, West Butterwick were memorable for the easing of the wind, but then as we turned south we had the wind behind us. It’s never as strong as you hope though, but better behind than in front. We kept on down to Owston Ferry and Graislound with the pace noticeably slower. A short stop by the roadside to refuel was supposed to get us back into racing style - not quite but we took it anyway!

More head wind from Westwoodside until the turn-off for Misson where somehow the wind seemed in our favour. Nick’s eyesight was playing up and he offered to race us to catch the bike in front. The bike in front being an electricity point for the last 20 odd years. But he went in front and for a while we took advantage so didn’t tease him too much. Mind you with eyesight like that he wouldn’t have known it was us!

Misson came and went, we commented on the floodwaters still being there. It must be over a year since the flooding caused it! Anyway we were dry but could see what looked like heavy squalls behind us. And not a rain coat between us, fortunately we didn’t need them.

Bawtry was quiet and we cycled through without problems and up the hill to join the queue at the temporary lights. Mick wasn’t having any of it and crossed over to the protected zone again. From there it was a gentle plod back to Tickhill. All safe and happy.

No photo opportunities despite at least one photogenic rider being ready to pose anywhere if asked. Better luck next week. Warmer as well please.