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Blue ride to Fishlake and beyond

  • Date: 01 November 2020
  • By: Martin Crapper

Riders: Martin Crapper (me), Del Marx, Paul Russell, Kevin Thomas and Mick Lee. We almost had Kerry W but he chickened out and went for the easier Red Ride! And as a group we were all in yellow rainwear (how wrong can you be)

The forecast started off earlier in the week as being Monsoon gales, eased off to typical English winter gales and Facebook had it right in forecasting mild and breezy (or words to that effect.

So we gathered under a promising sky with some wind but nothing to worry about on the way out at least - but maybe coming back more difficult. And Paul had done the last, and worst, section already!

We headed off towards stripe road and Rossington with noticeable traffic so in single file, We could see flooded fields back towards Tickhill but continuing we passed Go-Outdoors and turned right then left towards Auckley/Finningley. We avoided the airport and intended to turn right through the village. Like all sensible leaders I given Kevin the GPX file so he was able to shout at the last minute to let me and Mick know at the last minute that we had to turn right. All those cross roads look the same!

From there we headed to Blaxton and i paused to explain that the next 5 miles was the return leg of the club open TT and good practice for next year. Didn’t work though especially as Kevin had done it before and pointed out that you only got the benefit of the wind one way! Not unsurprisingly the 5 miles went easily. We paused at the TT finish point- all signs of blood had been removed and rain had already washed the sweat away (after the TT not us).

Into the village and left along Cemetery Road with hew wind still in our favour. Up the the main road and left into Hatfield in single file again before turning right past the Church. We did pause there, because Paul had recced the route and knew that to go straight ahead on the track, not road, in these conditions was not sensible - some of the bikes had been cleaned and the recent heavy rain would have left the track unadvisable!

So we turned left and went straight to Beirut, sorry Stainforth and right past the market square and over the bridge. The weather was still “comfortable” mind you back wind always is. I pointed out that in Fishlake the church was about the only building not flooded and from the roadside you can’t tell as they all look “normal”.

From there we set off to loop round to Braithwaite and it would have gone oh so well in theory except it didn’t. The ghost of a thorn got Kevin’s back tyre. He was at the back so we could have left him but rear view mirrors ———! We all returned to help out. Couldn’t find the hole or spike or any evidence of a puncture - other than a very flat tyre. So we changed the tube whilst Del and Paul took turns to find the culprit. And they had plenty of time because Kevin couldn’t bring himself to put a new tire in without finding out why it went down. We were on little known country lane just wide enough fore a car and ups guessed it - I’ve seen fewer on the motorway - and a tractor.

Once the tyre was back on we opted for the straight home route, which might not have been much different from the planned route but made us feel warmer. From here until we reached the roundabout in Rossington I don’t think wind was a problem.

But back to finding our way home. We crossed the canal a couple of times and had the pleasure of quitting at one whilst the nice lady boat owner lowered it after seeing hubby and boat safely through

The turns and bends took us into Barnby Dun passed the church and Onto the main road. Incidentally my dictionary says there is no reason to choose either past or passed they are interchangeable. I just choose to change to show off!

Its not easy to appreciate the general direction on the bike but Strava says that the way through Armthorpe to Rossington was pretty straight. It also took us down the worst bit of road (for pot holes) I’ve come across for a while. And I appeared to be the only one who didn’t spot the way round it. Boris has decided to stop club rides to give me chance to upgrade my route plotting skills!

Good ride today but I hope to see more of you in December!