We made double figures! Ok so only 10 but it’s still nearly twice as many riders as we’ve been getting on the blue ride and even though one was a guest it’s still a record. The highest total since I started to remember back in 2019. Beyond that it is just — history!
We 10 were Mick Bulleyment, John Knott, Michelle Greco, Tricia Kril Jan Laing (guest), Kevin Thomas, John Bowden, Robin Heyward, Rob Drohan and me, Martin Crapper. As we headed out of the Cricket Club car park we set a record for the shortest distance to a technical problem, I, together with two others, made it about 100 metres along Sunderland Street before realising we were on our own. So we stopped and waited a while, as you do. And waited a bit more.
It seems that Mick’s chain had come off in the car park! And it obviously took seven to put it back on again. And they all headed towards us as a very pretty group.
Back on the road again we headed off passed the mill dam and on towards the A60. At the junction we paused to regroup even if we didn’t need to but mainly because Michelle was having a good noisy laugh! “Kevin, the loops on bib shorts go over your shoulders, they don’t wave in the wind below your jersey”. We carried on whilst he got sorted — and because he wouldn’t let me take a photo!
I had realised that the published route was very similar to the mid week ride route so a plan B was “utilised” — basically means I can’t get called out for being lost; roughly the same distance but beyond Firbeck all new.
With hindsight one thing sticking in my mind was the number of stops to regroup. The next stop was as we turned onto Thornbury Hill Lane. It was also our first wet road, but a long way from the worst! We carried on into Firbeck avoiding Kidd Lane and heading for Penny Hill.
We regrouped again as we turned onto Leys Lane before heading into Dinnington. The wind was in our faces but it wasn’t cold so we were happy and chatting away as we went. The traffic wasn’t too bad and we were making progress.
The route took us through North and South Anston and down the hill to the Kiverton Park crossing. Some just belted down the hill others went more sedately so we paused again round the corner. It didn’t take long and we were away up the hill and then turning left towards Thorpe Salvin.
Several amongst us went ahead and when we regrouped in the village they were deep in conversation with a local couple they just happened upon. We eventually left them (the couple) and headed on to towards the airfield. We parked the bikes as one of the café ladies threw open the doors to welcome us. Us, the only customers of the day I think. There were loads of planes parked outside but no flying as the runway was waterlogged — everywhere else was so it’s a reasonable guess.
We had our snacks and some of the lady riders had a raucous party in the loos before we set off again. This part of the ride was not one to do on a recumbent bike! Several spots on the way were completely flooded, not deep but water’s wet wherever you find it. John survived though, my socks got wet and it gave us more to talk about!
Eventually we reached the main road into Worksop with a variety of riders being out in front — causing havoc with the meticulous route planning! I didn’t notice but somewhere in Worksop John’s chain came off and caused him a little delay. What I did notice as we approached a set of lights intending to go straight ahead was a car forcing its way through on the outside as we queued at the lights and then trying to turn left. Why? Why? Was this a part of driving I wasn’t taught? He stopped in the middle obviously thinking he was right. He was — in the right hand lane turning left with 10 cyclists inside! Perhaps he hadn’t seen us, there were only 6 of us with fluorescent jackets!
We headed along passed the conch, passed Morrisons and then along Kilton Road and Kilton Hill. We had no more trouble either cars but regrouped on the outskirts of town and chatted for a while. It was then a nice comfortable ride along the road to Blyth to Hundred Acre Lane where we turned towards Carlton. And just before we reached the housing we regrouped. Somehow I had ended at the back, not right at the back because Kevin likes that spot. But I was back in action and ahead by the time we reached the chicane at the junction with the A60.
Rob left us to go back home just after the traffic lights in Langold and Robin and Dave left us at the Stripe Road crossroads. The rest of us made it back to the cricket club with the weather still holding out. Lets hope it does next Sunday!