Riders: Martin Bagshaw (ride leader), Mick Lee, Nick Kay, James Saunders, Jonathan Brough, Martin Crapper.
All rides had been cancelled due to potential bad weather with a promise my M Ba to turn up and review in case a ride was possible. And it was, so we 6 opted for ride leaders voice which was to Barnburgh Lake Café. And off we set through the village in the wrong direction, but we soon put that right, obviously a multitasking problem - staying upright and on course!
Apy Lane was a mess with twigs and mud full width and full length except where full width puddles took over. But we didn’t care! Onwards and upwards!
We rode through Micklebring and into Ravenfield Getting to know each other and swapping gossip as always but along roads I don’t remember having been along before. A nice view of Thrybergh Country Park down below us and then a rapid decent into Hooton Roberts. For a very short time I knew where I was! A right turn to the lights then left towards Kilhurst and right again onto Denaby Lane where I was once again lost. But the company was good and they seemed confident with the directions and I admit to enjoying myself. Pain and pleasure don’t seem to go together. Thats not an invitation to comment thank you!
Another decent into Denaby main where we crossed the river and turned onto Pastures Road. Im pretty sure the signs said “ROAD CLOSED” but we went anyway, hesitating only till muggins headed first into the flood. Wet up to the ankles and pretty cold but fairly chirpy still as I turned to watch the others brave the obstacle. Bright lot really - they only half pedalled so neither foot went into the water! We could see a small car tempted to come but not daring for an age but horns were a blowing so she came through eventually.
So onwards a good hundred yards, but i was wet anyway so just kept going and got more wet. The ladies in the 4x4 stopped to ask if it was safe to go through so I told them we made it and just to keep the doors closed. Ludwell Hill up into Barnburgh is a good way to get warm if not doing too much for the wooly wet socks. But the freewheel down the other side and into the café was better. Please note - the Café was open.
We were ushered to a table for 6 in the sunny window overlooking the lake and had our orders for drinks and then food taken. The drinks came reasonably quickly but the cooked food seemed a long time coming. Nevertheless we enjoyed it and were probably putting off getting going again especially as Martin (the other one) had a “5” mile loop in mind just to make the journey more of a ride.
Out in the car park in ones and twos, on our bikes and ready to go - 2 already at the gate - and Nick decides to have a puncture! It takes a lot (4) of people to fix Nick’s punctures 3 for the sarcastic comments and one to engineer the repair. We got away eventually and headed over to Brodsworth and then Marr before making it back to the top of Ludwell Hill and near the coffee stop. Those 5 miles were North Anston miles roughly translated as 8 proper English miles.
Now somewhere here Mick hid from us. The general opinion was that he was up front, just round the corner and definitely over the hill. And we failed to find him. But we just knew he would head towards the bridge at Sprotborough so we eventually went on. And at every corner still failed to see him. Cadeby came and went and as we went down the hill towards the boarded up Pub by the river we still expected to see him. But we didn’t!
From the falls we went up into Warmsworth and opted to go straight through Edlington to the five lane end junction. Edlington is a Hill and the questions were coming, “is it straight ahead?” “are there any turnings?”. In the end Martin gave in and told James and Neil to wait for us at the roundabouts!
They did and Martin’s plan A came to light - he was going home and leaving us to wander about the countryside like lost sheep. Sheep on bikes?
We tucked in as a foursome and headed along Cockhill Lane left and right into Tickhill Back Lane . If anything the road seemed wetter and dirtier than earlier and a very helpful man on a bike advised us not to go down there!
Oh I haven’t mention Nick for a while. Hardly had we started the homeward drive when Nick decided to have another puncture! We made him walk the 20 yards into the entrance to the gas compound and offer helpful comments about repairs, and a new tube from Neil (guaranteed not to puncture that one was). After the traditional 15 minutes repair downtime we set off more sedately to the Cricket Club car park. James went straight off to Bawtry leaving three of us to say our goodbyes.
PS Mick is alive and well but a bit p——-d off after having done 60 miles by the time he found his way home.
PPS sorry James I couldn’t decide how to repeat what you said at the Edlington roundabouts!