Riders: John Musgrove, Tina Musgrove, Stephen Grieg, Paul Ferguson, David lee, Jon Brough, Gary Durham, Lawrence Buckley, Martin Bagshaw
Sunday morning and although it was a bit chilly, ok very chilly it promised to be a bright dry morning, so spirits were high as we gathered at the cricket club. It was a little busier than normal as both 9:00 & 9:30 rides, or Red & Blue as they are known as now were starting together.
It was good to see Adrian roll in but it was clear that 6 days was not long enough to recover from anaphylactic shock, so he took our advice and returned home to put his feet up. Safety brief done, red, blue and even purple rides sorted out we departed up Wilsic lane rather than Apy lane as there were reports of debris on the road. Although there was a little bit of effort climbing into Barthwell it was still deemed chilly and a quick look round confirmed there were no knees on show.
The speed was controlled to a degree as we rolled through Micklebring and into Ravenfield as anyone shooting off the front would incur the wrath of Tina so the only event was an overzealous electric mountain biker weaving his way through the group in an erratic manner. Gary departed for home here having been on the Black (7:00) ride earlier leaving the rest of us turning right at the crossroads we descended into Old Ravenfield and following a little incline detour descended into Thrybergh. There is a left turn on the exit of Thrybergh which everyone, well almost everyone negotiated without issue as an enthusiastic front rider, mentioning no names Jon, over shot it and had to be reigned back in.
We then began the climb into Old Denaby which is a bit of a pull but everyone, including me, was doing ok until there was an alarm call from back in the group and we turned to see Lawrence wobbling to a halt and pulling his helmet off! Turns out a bee (or wasp) had got stuck in the strap and stung the side of his head! What is it with our club and bees! We were all cautious following the bad experiences we’ve had recently but Lawrence assured us he was usually ok and would shout up if he felt wobbly so off we went again.
The final climb did its usual best to split the group, but we were still reasonably close together as we crossed Doncaster Road where we could virtually see the café off to the left but we had some unfinished business with the final push over the top of the hill to Marr and Brodsworth. It was getting warmer now and a few removed a layer or two as we decided we would do the “pointless loop” which remains on the route from the days before Markham Grange became a designer Bistro, either way it puts a couple of extra miles on the day and a bit more elevation so it stays in.
Pointless loop completed we dug in for the steady climb to Hickleton and as is usually the case when there is an extend climb a natural A & B ride formed with four racing snakes powering up the hill with four, non-racing snakes bringing up the rear. We regrouped on the crest of the hill for a sweeping descent into Barnburgh where a couple of riders felt honour bound to catch up and over take a mountain biker who to be fair was doing a fair lick going down the hill. Less than one Martin mile from the village to Barnburgh lakes café so wasn’t long before we rolled into shatter the tranquillity of the anglers. Stephen G tried to tell us something about cleaning his pole and greasing his quivering tip, something to do with fishing, but the focus of the group was inside the café rather than in the lake.
8 riders fitted nicely onto 2 tables and as it wasn’t too busy service was pretty swift, so it wasn’t long before we were fed and watered. I can’t vouch for the other table’s conversation but ours covered a variety of topics from TVC club history to Felicity Kendal’s role on TV ranging from The Good Life to Rosemary & Thyme. Food consumed there was just time for a team photo with Frankenstein before heading back out on the road.
Straight out of the café there is a bit of a climb up to High Melton, the clue’s in the name, but then it was relatively flat and straight forward until we got to Sprotborough where we descended to the river and climb out the other side via the hairpin to the lights in Warmsworth. Stephen departed to Maltby via Edlington leaving the rest of us to head for the last little climb up the gravelly Tofield Road which has a last little kick up at the end into a sunny and tranquil Wadworth. Here Paul split left for home while the remainder of the group headed to the top of Wilsic lane for the return leg into Tickhill, well everyone except me that is as I took a right instead of left and headed for home via Barthwell and Maltby. I assume everyone else made it back to Tickhill as the rides were posted on Strava.
A great ride as always, thanks to everyone for turning out in the cold, it was worth it in the long run.