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Blue ride to Retford

  • Date: 14 January 2024
  • By: Martin Crapper

At last! I’ve cracked it!

Its taken me a long time to work things out, I know its a new years resolution thing but how did you all get together secretly to arrange things and draw lots? When only Graham Varga turned up in near freezing weather I realised that he had the short straw. Last ride it was Kevin and I’m just wondering whose turn it is on Wednesday. Ok so the rest of you get to stay in bed with the mornings “offering” turning up in his lycra making sure I don’t ride alone. Shame on you! If you sent two riders that would cover things when the first sucker fails to arrive.

Ok, back to the job in hand. We were badly outnumbered by red riders (again) but undeterred we set off once the red groups were gone. Heading East with minimal traffic we went towards Harworth in single file - mainly because what traffic there was seemed to be hell bent on getting there before us! For a time I thought it was our high speed that enabled us to sweep passed the red riders who were by the roadside at the corner of Snape Lane. Only later did we come down to earth and discover that they had had an incident - some detail no doubt on the Red Ride Report. If you remember your school days you were supposed to pay attention to the 3Rs.

We went on puzzling over what had happened and missed our turning. Wahoo put us right and we went back a few yards, through the other estate road and left at the lights towards Blyth. From there we simply turned right at the far end of he village and headed for Worksop. Graham an I had an interesting conversation; err conversations - we were a hundred yards apart. I blame the tiny rear view mirror but we met up in a lay-by and promised to do better!

Worksop was empty, I know it was Sunday but StreetLife was lacking, there wasn’t that much traffic either. So we wandered through, up the slope, through the speed bumps, over the roundabout and sharp left on Windmill Lane. Windmill Lane turned out to be a brilliant part of the ride; only one car the entire length and the road went on and on. Sunshine, sheltered from any breeze and more gentle downs than ups. At the end we turned left and then went through the pedestrian gate into Clumber Park proper. We had to turn left on Limetree Avenue and over all those present and future potholes to get to the big A1 roundabout. But a stop at the arch meant we had a quick chat and drink.

From there to Babworth was another good stretch of road but it got busier from there into town. We parked the bikes and sat inside the Ten Green Bottles. The drinks and buns came and went and we set off again - almost! The big group photo was needed which we did inside before getting back to the bikes. Another larger group of cyclists were arriving and we exchanged greetings then got on our bikes. Well I got on mine. Graham did that graceful falling off thing when you get your foot tangled with a peddle.

A very nice young couple with a pram stopped and the young man got Graham up. He got himself on the bike and with embarrassment behind him he prepared to set. The chain was off though! So a bit of fiddling and we were away heading more or less straight back to Tickhill.

I thought Graham had been with me on this part of the ride before. So when I pulled onto the North Road - that quiet road which runs parallel to the main North Road I was surprised when Graham kept straight on! Admittedly my swerve round the car waiting to come out of the side road was confusing. But he stopped went back round the hedge and we went on together away from all the cars. We had to join them eventually so when a road to Sutton appeared we took it.

A left turn onto Daneshill Road, with a wait for two trains at the crossing, brought us back to Torworth. It was an easy ride back then through Ranskill, Serlby and Oldcotes to Tickhill. Graham leaving me to take Stripe Road and home and me going straight back for my shower!

A quiet but good ride, thanks Graham.

Blue ride to Retford