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Mid week ride to the Old School Tea Room

  • Date: 20 March 2024
  • By: Martin Crapper

It wasn’t really raining when I got up and not really raining when I reached the Cricket Club. The others all had rain jackets on, except for Tricia Krill who was in disguise. She came in a car with the bike on the back! No sign of the camper van, she foolishly lent it to a strange man.

Robin Heyward had arrived first and Michelle Greco soon after. I opened the ladies changing room for Tricia who, to annoy me know doubt waited till it was all locked up again before telling me she had left the car keys in the loo!

Determined to follow my plan we set off towards the Buttercross and beyond. The roads were fairly clear and we made good progress. Thornbury Hill was as expected both wet and very potholy ( is that a word?). We regrouped at the main road junction - that’s ride leader speak for “they waited for me”.

Firbeck, Letwell and Woodsetts came and went and we seemed to be making good progress. The plan took us left in Woodsetts so we went left! Following Worksop Road to the gatefold roundabout we went onto the footpath; not Michelle she got held up and didn’t notice we were on the path. The traffic was light and we safely crossed over to the track only to be stopped by a lorry with outriggers completely blocking the road. It was there to deliver big concrete pipes and we waited till the one in the air was safely down before going onto what was left of the verge to get passed. Not Tricia though she limboed under the outriggers so didn’t need to clean her shoes.

The junction with Shireoaks common produced another problem which we solved by taking to the footpath to pass a parked lorry. Parked that is, on the bend making visibility impossible.

We followed the road through Shireoaks before turning left towards Rhodesia. I don’t think they noticed that we had taken a roundabout route to Worksop! But if they did they didn’t whinge!

We lost Michelle for a while as we crossed the big roundabout going into Worksop but waited just after and regrouped. It’s an easy ride through the town only getting harder as you (we) reach Sparken Hill. Robin and Tricia did the decent thing and waited for us at the top. We ignored them and kept going. It’s only a few yards to the tee junction we were always going to get stuck there!

We did but not for long and we then increased the pace all the way to the café. There are a couple of other cyclist there but still plenty of room for us. Table service! I ordered Battenberg cake, never seen one before. It went down well with the Latte. But with a fire in the corner Robin tried to get his coat dry. It was never going to work but I suppose it was a bit drier!

Setting off again we went into and through Clumber Park and then over the A1 towards Retford. There was nothing embarrassing to report, the others were on a warning! At the Babworth road junction we went left up the Straight Mile then right onto Green Mile Lane. The traffic made the turn a pain! One driver managed to snarl up both sides of the road and we had to queue. They have no right to be on the road!

I needed a pause for an energy gel before we got going again so we took a few minutes. I was having one of those periods when flat or downhill I was a racer, slight rise or hill and I was a loser. Not sure if the energy gel ironed that out though!

At the Barnby Moor junction we turned left then left again towards Blyth. The rain had stopped by then but looked like returning so jackets remained on. From Blyth we headed towards Oldcotes turning right passed Manor Farm. Miracles do happen. Michelle didn’t want to stop for a second coffee!

We kept on with me trying to hang on, they doing there best to go slower but eventually we got to the Stripe Road junction. Robin left us to go towards Rossington and we three went on towards Tickhill. I left the ladies and went home and they continued back to the Cricket Club.

An enjoyable ride which taught me at least one thing; I am getting old!