BackBack to ride reports

Blue ride to Harley Gallery/old school tea room

  • Date: 25 June 2023
  • By: Martin Crapper

There were an awful lot of glammed up ladies this morning! Christina Cooper, Diana Simpson, Denise Motley, Diane Jordan and Karen Cleminson. It was Christina‘s photo shoot, so I’d asked everybody to arrive at 8:45. And typically there’s always one who is late. But because it was me and I had the key to the loos I was treated to the normal or slightly increased level of abuse.

Oh and there were blokes as well! Pete Hanks, Kevin Thomas, Rob Drohan, Martin Crapper and Dave Bowden. This was Dave’s first ride with us so he probably was thinking “do they always have the press photographers on their rides?”. I even had to tell the photographer where we were going so he could lie in wait! He thought I knew!

A selection of artistic poses followed some of which may actually appear in the magazine. And then we were off!

9 of us set off. It was brilliant of Diana to turn out in support of CC especially as she needed to go straight back home. We wish her well.

The mob of mad ladies set off at breakneck speed. I think they thought the paparazzi would get away. He had been lying in wait on Lindrick but we guys were so far behind we didn’t see him and he missed an opportunity!

There was some sort of a match on the football field and endless cars queuing to get in to the car park (field). We, the boys, turned left to find the ladies had taken pity on us and were waiting not far away. The fact that they didn’t know where we were going probably wasn’t a factor.

We went on, there he was again but by the time we got up Malpass hill we were strung out and needed to regroup. We must have taken too long so our personal paparazzi came looking for us. He pulled onto the grass verge opposite us and seriously pissed off the discovery driver who thought he owned the road.

We went on again into Oldcotes where Pete decided to leave us and make his way east at the traffic lights for home. “Straight on” had become our mantra and sure enough, man with browny and big lense kept on.

It’s impossible (for me) to recount how many more times photos were taken but the last and most memorable was the one he took of Christina’s rear end! We paused in the bus lay-by in Carleton to say goodby. There was a lot of frivolous banter but in the end he only wanted a final shot of the heart shaped light on her bike and was not interested in the owners anatomy.

It should have been easy from then on. We could go slow (slower) and we did following the main road into Worksop. There was so much to discuss, serious issues to resolve, who was on telly tonight - you know the stuff.

That was why we missed the turning! It doesn’t explain why it took so long to realise. But I almost got away with saying “you’ve confused Harley and Hardwick”.

And so we headed for the old school tea room. Blue ride democracy on the fly!

Sparken Hill sorted us out. I watched them go up from my position at the rear. The general consensus was that Denise knew the way. And then we turned right and Denise was at the back and firstly Rob and then Karen at the front.

We arrived early at the café and the place was empty -well It wasn’t even going up to eleven yet! We ordered and took our seats and melted in the shade. Big cakes were Ok, you were going to sweat it off.

Having finished we paused for a group photo. A collective countdown from ten to zero always seems to get folk smiling!

A hastily reconfigured route home involved us going through Clumber park and along to the Sutton Lane. It was getting hotter and we took a few breaks to take on liquid when we could find shade. Two of our number made a break for the front and left the peleton way behind. Obviously chatting they missed the left turn in Sutton so we all had to follow.

Fortunately before we got to Daneshill Road we caught them and turned left. It was a long road with temperatures reaching 30. I was flagging and where we could have separated into two groups, one to Serlby and the other to Blyth we lost the plot and went to Blyth. It suited some obviously.

In Blyth we did split with Rob and Karen going left and we, the rest, heading for Harworth. Once over the A1 we found a tree who’s shade was suddenly very attractive.

Having had a long drink I was offered sugary ‘stuff’ which I accepted and then - - -. “Shall I pour some cold water down your back” “oh yes lease Diane” “ I’ll pour some as well” “thanks Christina”. Being the clever little person that I am I thought “I can do that” and have emptied my bottle down the front.

“What was in your bottles ladies” I asked! “Water” they said. Mine was Turmeric and ginger! Don’t do it guys you may need to cut your jersey off. But I didn’t know that till I was almost dry at the industrial estate - dry and as sticky as hell!

Five of us ended back in Tickhill and I left the other four hoping to get my New Jersey off before I got in the shower!

A good ride but oh so hot. Might not be so exciting in the future Dave but I hope you are there.

Blue ride to Harley Gallery/old school tea room