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Red Ride to Iron Horse

  • Date: 25 February 2024
  • By: Jenny Down

Fast Bubble: Jon Brough, Graham Fletcher-Adams, Dave Lee, Dean O Sullivan, Harry Howlett, Dan Brewster and our newest member, Andy Constantine

Comfort Bubble: Martin Bagshaw, Pete Down, Jenny Down, Diane Jordan

Early Sunday morning didn’t look promising – thick frost and misty.

After a few WhatsApp’s to determine the frost/ice situation around Tickhill it was agreed we do the ride in reverse and leave Sprotbrough Falls until later in the ride, allowing time for pockets of ice under trees and sheltered corners to have disappeared making the fast decent in to a much safer climb.

There was actually quite a gathering of both red and blue riders at TVCHQ when we eventually emerged from the warmth of the changing room.

At 9am prompt (ish) the red ride set off, the fast bubble disappearing up the road at a rapid pace, so rapid in fact that no one looked at their Garmins to see the left turn on Stripe Road towards Rossington! Never mind, they went through Bawtry and Austerfield and rejoined the route at Blaxton Roundabout for the 5 mile slog up the TT course with an average speed of 24mph.

Meanwhile in the comfort bubble, we were joined by Diane in Rossington who was going to come with us to the café then do her own thing. Pete was on the front and pulled us up the TT route in single file to Hatfield, where we turned left and headed towards Stainforth and Moss. It was a beautiful sunny but cold morning with temperatures dragging themselves up from minus numbers to 5 or 6 degrees.

Arriving at the hay loft (Iron Horse) the fast group had just about finished their refuelling stop, as they got there just after opening time. They vanished off at high speed again, only going off route once, but at their speed navigation must be an issue (Strava tells us everything).

After our group had been fed and watered at the café, and we persuaded Diane to do the rest of the route with us, we set off in the direction of Askern, Campsall and Skellow, stopping for the obligatory ‘bridge over the A1’ photo. It was a bit lumpy on the way back through Hooton Pagnell and then down to Sprotbrough falls, which, thankfully was not icy. From there it was a straight back via Apy Lane (where Diane met a fellow cyclist she use to work with) to TVCHQ.

We (Pete and Jenny) escorted Diane back to Rossington before turning towards Bawtry and Scrooby where we’d be staying in our caravan (it does have heating). We managed our first Gran Fondo of 2024.

Chapeau to Diane for staying with the fast bubble – welcome back.

Chapeau to Graham for completing another of his 61 Gran Fondos for his 61st year.

Kudos to the fast bubble for a great pace, if not great navigation.