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Blue ride to Sandtoft and the Happy Café

  • Date: 07 January 2024
  • By: Martin Crapper

For a while, surrounded by loads of Red Group riders, I thought it was going to be another lonely Blue Ride, but the they started to roll in. We set off as 5, Kevin Thomas, Michelle Greco, Graham Varga, Tina Musgrove and me, Martin Crapper. I had arranged to meet Robin Hayward on the way, so we set off.

Not sure which side of zero it was but it sure felt pretty cold. We only got as far as Stripe Road before we had to stop for me to put on my rain jacket to try to get warm!

We carried on to Rossington regrouped the roundabout and went on past go outdoors. When we got to the start of Hurst Lane, we stopped again for Michelle to tell us about an incident which happened to her and her husband, while they were driving along the road. Apparently a thug/vandall was lying in wait in the woods and threw a brick, which hit the Car-door. He then ran off! Michelle’s husband, apparently used words she wasn’t used to hearing.

By the time we reached the roundabout as a junction of Hurst lane, and the Yorkshire way, we were 10 minutes to quarter of an hour late. Robin was in the middle of sending a text message to ask where we were. we carried on straight past and he eventually caught us up. I was anxious to get on because there was a chance of meeting Diana at the magic roundabout. Needless to say we were well over a quarter of an hour late, and I wasn’t surprised that she wasn’t there.

We carried on straight over the roundabout and eventually turned left to go onto Wroot. Some of us seem to be wanting to stretch our legs and sprint. Others have been off the bike for awhile and we’re trying to get fit. We had a few attempts to adjust the speed to keep us all together and where we didn’t manage that we had more pauses.

The wind wasn’t much of a problem, but wind is always a problem on idle bank. There was very little traffic so we travelled to abreast doing our best not to shiver. I didn’t think it took long to get through to the airfield, and when we did, it was packed with cyclists. We fought our way past dozens of cycles and parked our bikes right at the back of the yard area and managed to find a table for six right at the back of the café.

We were well into our drinks and snacks when the door opened, and Diana Simpson arrived. She started by greeting Paul, who worked for Don Valley Cycles and then came over to sit on a table by the window and next to us. It was great to see her, and to chat briefly, but eventually we had to leave.

It was cold outside after being in the nice warm café and we got even colder as we paused in front of the aeroplanes for a photograph. No truth in the rumour Michelle wanted a lift home!

We turned right out of the airfield and headed into Belton, turning right there and onto Epworth. It was definitely cooler, my wahoo said 1 degree! We went on passed Low Burnham up the hill and along to Haley. We glanced right but didn’t say Nick Kay as we passed his house!

Traffic was beginning to build up a little, and we were forced to ride single file for quite a bit of the way until we turned off Sanderson bank towards Misson and then it was mostly side by side with chatting compulsory. The floods between Misson and Bawtry are terrible - in an attempt to keep the road, clear farmers of sandbagged, the side of the road at one point.

We reached Austerfield and said goodbye to Robin and Graham, who hopefully struck to the road all the way, rather than doing that tough Mudder thing Robin and John did when they left us to go home mid week.

So the three of us got back to the cricket club to find it and the streets round about packed with cars - we didn’t stop to find out why as it was too cold!

A good ride, join us next Sunday?

Blue ride to Sandtoft and the Happy Café