I arrived at the cricket club overwhelmed by cyclists. To a man there for the red ride.
It was a relief to know that I had passed Robin Heywood preparing himself in a lay-by on Sunderland Street and an added bonus was the arrival of Kevin Thomas. So with me, Martin Crapper we were all set.
It was almost a fine day the only slight downside was the temperature but we were all layered up so not too concerned.
Our route took us East then south to Harworth, through he industrial estate and on to Serlby. Not a lot of traffic but plenty of noise from Kevin and Robin getting to know each other behind me.
We paused briefly at the Tee junction on the Great North Road, turns right and then left to skirt around Ranskill and went on towards Mattersey at slightly better than Blue Ride pace. That never lasts too long but it makes you feel better to acknowledge it!
We paused longer at Drakeholes but set off South agreeing a little detour through Wiseton turning right to follow the canal back to the main road. I mean who would want to miss Strawberry Hill? We continued into Clayworth and suddenly there it was. I can usually recognise Strawberry Hill - it’s where everybody ends up in front of me and has to wait somewhere. In this case at the main road (or just beyond).
They saw the error of their ways and came back to the dual carriageway and on to Saundby. Fingers were cold and somebodies toes (can’t remember whose) but the sun was still out and there was little wind. In single file at the roundabout cars coming from Gainsborough split us up so we regrouped on the way into Beckingham.
Going along the length of Station Road towards the river we passed a few cyclists going the other way and fewer walkers. Robin took a moment or two to accept that the last section was a public right of way and not some factory forecourt. And then we were on the river bank “highway”.
Dog walkers, a jogger and a fair number of Sunday morning walkers parted to let us pass. At one point I was able to point out the café across the river the banks seemingly tidied up since my last trip. Up and over the bridge almost - a large family group were escorting a young lady (3or 4?) on a new to her bike and we had to squeeze passed. But that done we doubled back onto the riverside path and we’re at the café in no time.
Whilst securing the bikes to a table one of the waitresses advised that all the tables were taken snide but if we didn’t mind settees ……
We were in and down to stake our places like greyhounds out of the starting traps. Which was timely as a few minutes later a group of 4 cyclist had to be turned away. Orders taken and goodies delivered we chatted away seemingly putting off the return leg! But it had to happen eventually and we paid up and left, backtracking out way to Beckingham.
From there we turned right to Walkeringham with Kevin asking “is at that turning I missed last time?”. It was so we turned down passed the church and after a few gentle ups and downs enjoyed the long steep hill towards the Walkeringham Road. Before we reached “the hill” were went right skirting the village before reaching Mill Road, the A631, and another welcome down hill ride to the turning back into Wiseton. We went to the point where we had turned off on the outward journey and at that point had done every bit of public highway in Wiseton! Won’t appear in the Guinness book of records though.
Parking spots were still full as we went passed Drakeholes and on onto Mattersey. We were almost through the village when an apparition in yellow appeared on the other side of the road. It was Mick Lee looking fit and well and even cheerful if a bit lumpy on his right hip. Since I had my helmet camera on backwards - it nearly always happens behind me - I turned my back to get a picture.
We parted company with him heading to wherever and us homeward bound. It was good to see him, surprising though after his recent “event”.
We backtracked to Ranskill, Serlby and up the hill into Harworth before easing off a bit for the last leg into Tickhill. It had been a good ride. You should try it sometime - next week perhaps, we’ll be waiting.
Oh deary me. I forgot to transfer mick onto that cloud thingy to use on my phone. Sorry people!