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Blue ride to Gainsborough - Reeds Café

  • Date: 25 October 2023
  • By: Martin Crapper

It was a nice morning for a ride, Misty but with the promise of sun and not too windy. So 4 of us set off along to Harworth, Serlby, Ranskill and Mattersey. I might be wrong but I think Michelle has lived for a while in them all and some other villages that were on the way! That reminds me the riders were Michelle Greco, Robin Heyward, John Clarke and me Martin Crapper.

The going was easy but traffic heavy. We decided the heavy traffic was due to a diversion to avoid the flood on the Bawtry/Gainsborough road and stopped to take a photo at Matter-en-sea. With hindsight the photo doesn’t do justice to the expanse of water! But the roads were dry-ish so it didn’t matter.

We went on through Drakeholes and Clayworth turning left at the canal to head for North Wheatley which is where problems began (mine). Slow legs, heavy bike, three fit fellow cyclists! They waited patiently at the top of Strawberry Hill though and we went on to Sturton Le Steeple (to avoid the busy dual carriageway) and back towards Beckingham. The least busy part of the entire ride was the road and riverside path from Beckingham to the Trent bridge. The only complaint would have been of the sun in our eyes although it was beginning to cloud over a bit.

Arriving at the café we decided to sit inside so secured the bikes to the steel stair and the security bars on the café window. John was in there first and found a table as far from the door as possible. We three (men) waited for Michelle so we could order together only to find that she was late to the table having ordered on her way through! We ordered, chatted, Michelle Paid her half yearly subscription and became a fully fledged TVC member - No champagne on offer!

We set off again noticing a drop in temperature but cheerful. The wind had built up and was going to be a head wind. We headed back via Beckingham, Walkeringham and on towards Gringley. Now I planned on turning right at the bottom of `Gringley hill BUT! Well Michell said she felt OK and she was on a relatively new LIV bike and she had only ever walked up the hill in the past so wanted to have a go. To be honest she was so far in front within yards that I have to take her word that she rode all the way - with two witnesses there was no other option! So I took a celebratory Photo - reminiscent of the Holme Moss photos you all take!

There is one of me taken there too although I didn’t have the energy to get off the bike or the road!

We carried on and went through Wiseton, by which time we all had rain jackets on. It was no longer like riding through cloud more like proper rain. It eased as we went passed Drakeholes again and improved towards Mattersey. The way home was the way we had ridden out. We said goodbye to Robin at Stripe Road crossroads and made or way into the CC car park. Holidays in the private yacht(!) don’t help the fitness - I can’t remember being so tired at the end of a club ride! Enjoyed it though.