Riders: Diane Jordan, Karen Cleminson Tina Musgrove, John Musgrove, Jon Brough, Gary Durham, Lawrence Buckley, Dave Lee, William Smith, Mick Cleghorn, Steve Greg, Pete Downs, Mick Abbiss and yours truly Martin Bagshaw
Red ride to Citrus Cafe this morning, 20% chance of rain if you’re a pessimist, 80% chance of no rain if you’re an optimist. Northern wind thrown in for good measure just to remind us that we were still in May and flaming June hadn’t arrived yet.
Various degrees of kit were apparent, plenty of shorts but also plenty of long sleeve shirts and base layers on 14 riders meant we needed two bubbles. As usual the fast bubble delegates all claimed to be tired, or not fit this weekend so the two bubbles would stay together with a suitable overtaking gap between them. After a quick chat to the Blue riders, some of whom were suffering with varying degrees of hangover, although I’m too discreet to mention names, we rolled out of the Cricket Club.
The plan was to go through Bawtry, Misson, Westwoodside and Haxey to get to Owston Ferry and the Trent. The northern wind we faced going out of Tickhill promised to be a tailwind going down the Trent. That was the plan, but this was the first club outing with my new Garmin, and I had been messing with screens and settings so anything could happen.
All was fine, progress was good, and conversation flowed up and down the group as we passed through Misson and into open country. The “I’m not fit enough” fast bubble had found their legs and opened quiet a large overtaking gap, probably about a mile wide as they disappeared up the road into the distance as usual. We regrouped at Bank End Road as the comfort bubble were a little stretched thanks to my new Garmin which I’d spent a long time setting up to tell me things like temperature, gradient of hills, average speed of last lap and other useful stuff but not the actual speed of the ride! A schoolboy error but I didn’t want to fiddle during a live ride, it would be a disaster not to have a complete Garmin record, hmmm wouldn’t it just, more on that later.
There was a little climb out of Westwoodside over Tower Hill before descending into Haxey and through to Owston Ferry where we found a couple of the group by the side of the road, one looking in some discomfort. Turns out he was suffering from bruising in a sensitive area and had called for a lift home. We had a Doctor, a Physio, a Nurse, a Triathlon Open Water First Aider, and an Industrial First Aider on the ride but the affected rider was happy to wait for his lift rather than being examined at the side of the road, can’t understand why.
Now down to thirteen we turned right to head down the side of the Trent with a tailwind, an unusual concept for most as the Trent usually has a head wind irrespective of which direction you’re going. At the end of Canal Lane, as we approached the outskirts of Misterton, there are always some second hand bikes for sale at the end of someone’s drive where we found Lawrence browsing what was on offer, perhaps thinking about the N+1 rule.
From here it was a short hop to the café, the comfort bubble taking the quiet route though Beckingham while the fast bubble opted to stay on the dual carriage way, presumably to gain some marginal gain from passing cars. That or a navigational error by the bubble leader, I’ll let you decide.
It was five months since we visited Citrus and what a difference we found! Our usual route through the plant stalls to the bike park was blocked by a big fence! “You’ll have to leave the bikes in the carpark mate” a helpful employee informed us, “can’t take ‘em through the shop due to ‘elf & safety” Not fancying leaving twenty grands worth of bikes in a public carpark we were hatching plans to move on to the next café when a more helpful employee suggested we take the bikes round the outside, across a field and up an embankment to get in the back entrance of the café “we’re getting a bike rack installed in the next couple of weeks”. The round the outside option worked today but doesn’t seem an option for wet winter months Citrus could be losing some business unless the promised bike rack is something a bit special.
Gary & Jon opted to ride past the café to get back home in a more timely manner so the thirteen riders became eleven. Service & food were good as usual as we took over three tables and there were no dramas until John decided to give his wife, Tina, a shoulder massage as he passed by only to find it wasn’t Tina! It was a toss up who was the most surprised John or Karen who wasn’t expecting an impromptu massage. In his defence both ladies had blonde ponytails and John’s getting on these days so perhaps his eyesight isn’t what it used to be!
Food & drinks consumed it was time to get back on the road, them bikes don’t ride themselves as we keep saying, so we set off under darkening skies, perhaps we were going to be unlucky on the 20% chance of rain. Strawberry hill did what it usually does and stretched the group out and, as we crested the hill and began the descent, the heavens opened so we rode into Clayworth freezing cold and wet through. It looked like being a long ride back to Tickhill.
One thing about the British weather is if you don’t like it, give it 30 minutes and it will probably change and sure enough by the time we got into Mattersey the rain had stopped, the clouds had parted, and we were basking in sunshine once again drying us out by the time we turned left off Great North road to head for Serlby Golf course and home. I split from the group here so eleven became ten as I left them to make their own way back to Tickhill while I took a shortcut through Styrrup and home.
Away from the group I paused to check my new Garmin and try to get some meaningful data from it only to find it was stuck on 35 miles! I now know that the red border on the display indicates the timer has been stopped, press play, and it turns green! Brilliant, I’d forgotten restart after the café, another schoolboy error, doesn’t bode well for some of the longer rides on unfamiliar roads
Great ride, great company, lets do it again next week