Blue ride to Moss (the flat Moss, not the Holme Moss)
Car park arrivals: Helen and Stewart Oades who agreed to do there own thing as numbers were too high!
Riders: Martin Crapper, Mick Lee, Kevin Thomas, Del Marx (guest), Paul Stevenson and Tom and Rob Drohan.
Quick instructions to Garmin and we were ready to set off! Along to Sunderland Street and left towards the east. Plenty of traffic so we stuck to single file and turned left to go along Stripe Road towards Rossington. Garmin threw a ‘wobbly’ at this point but I’m getting used to that! We continued along taking a glance to the right and waving at the house where Paul R lives (currently keeping us safe as a relative of his has tested positive for the plague). We took a right turn at the roundabout and another to take us past Go-Outdoors. I know, I know you don’t shop there. Garmin came out in sympathy and didn’t just throw a wobbly it insisted i did a restart just after we reached the long road into Finningley (or is it Auckley? (Don’t - I don’t need to know and won’t remember anyway).
So flying blind and relying on instinct and attempting to give the impression I knew where we were going we continued along Hurst Lane right up the road works. It was a good opportunity to make sure we were all together whilst waiting for the temporary traffic lights to turn green.
Turning left we headed towards Branton, traffic was a bit easier but the wind was still in our faces (and cold). there was a bit of shelter as we reached Branton and turned along Whiphill Top Lane but not for long. It was a really clear day though as it often is when we get to autumn and the bracing winds that go with it. We turned left (no choice really) and the road became Gate Wood lane and took us over the motorway and to Nutwell Lane where we turned right towards Amthorpe. Much more traffic along this section but not really a problem.
Apart that is from the really close pass which turned out to be a driving instructor! Avoid him if you’re thinking of learning.
It’s an easy turn around the roundabout in the centre except when there is a stack of traffic but going a little slowly brought us all together as we travelled along Mill Street. Mill Street becomes Hatfield Lane both of which are in need of a resurface. The rough bits always seem to be the only place to be for a cyclist -short of risking oblivion anyway.
There were no problems crossing West Moor Link Road at the roundabout and onwards to the next big roundabout and Armthorpe Lane. Interestingly the road goes straight along past the ned of Bricks Lane but the maps show the continuing road as thin and Bricks Lane a s thicker - maybe they know something no one else does!
I was looking forward to the end of this road and the right turn towards Barnby Dun because that would get us off the busy section of the route. We did get a bit strung out and stopped in a gateway having turned left onto High Street. It gavels a chance to have a drink and check we were all Ok. By this time Garmin said I had done under 10 miles with 122 feet of climbing. Its an American thing heavily influenced by their senior politician? Or its broken!
Hill Street took us along to the canal bridge where we turned left and then right passed the site of the Barnby Dun Power station. There is little evidence now of what was there before and that absence may be partly to blame for the lack of road repairs. But along we went past Trumfleet and passed several isolated farms. I have trouble with Past and passed - my dictionary says they are interchangeable.
At the end of the road we turned left and almost immediately right into the hedge-lined drive to the café. There is a very nice bike rack in the parking area -exactly the right size for the group which had arrived before us! So we fastened bikes to whatever we thought made them secure and made our way upstairs to the café. We had booked so had a corner reserved table. It was table service only so we ordered and were served in reasonable time, although Mick’s soup took a long time to come and my coffee got forgotten.
It didn’t matter as we chatted away and listened to Rob getting told off for sitting on an irreplaceable antique1 OK a sheep shaped stool! being nosy and interrogating Del on his cycling history also helped keep things lively.
But Rob and Tom had an appointment so wanted to go back ahead of us and so left us while the rest of us considered and then went to pay.
With food over we prepared for the return - with a visit to the loo (singular). By the time we were all done and ready to go we were pretty cold and decided to go back the direct route - the way we had come!
Back though Trumfleet, which sounds big but isn’t, and back over the canal bridge where a car and caravan spit the group and gave the lead few chance to slow down. Back along Armthorpe Lane and Hatfield Lane and into Armthorpe where Del hit the front and upped the pace into Branton which is where it almost went wrong. A sign on the left suggested we turn left to go round the block to get lined up for Hurst lane. We decided - Ok my fault - to walk along the footpath on the right to get passed the road works. But then we discovered we had to recross to the left side and finally realised that we could use our bikes; should have thought of that!
From there it was a simple ride back to the old North Road and right and left passed Go-Outdoors again. Into and out of Rossington and there ahead of us we could see Tom and Rob. It was too tempting and we caught them up at the Stripe Road crossroad! in doing that we split the group and had a bit of a wait till the five remainders re-met at the cricket club. There were signs of the returning red ride as we got back - rare for us to get back at roughly the same time.
A good ride despite the wind on the way out but it helped us considerably on the way home. And we are hoping for no wind and plenty of sun next weekend.
We’ll have to go back chaps - I forgot the photo!