Riders: Matthew Lowe (ride leader), Paul Bacon, Denise Motley, Mick Lee, Christina Cooper, Diana Simpson, Dave Orridge, Nick Kay, Eleaner Thomas, Kevin Thomas, Owen Thomas, Nick Smark, Peter Hanks, Kieran James Andrew Rex, Rob Stevenson.
A chilly meet at the cricket club with the forecast a bit iffy. Rain overnight had left many roads if not flooded then hosting big puddles. But we were with Matthew - he would keep us safe (not). It will be fine - it won’t rain till 3 - its cold but will be warmer - who cares lets get going!
Having quietly announced the destination, for the benefit of those who didn’t already know, Matt cheerfully declared that he would make the route up as we went along! Had he been talking to Rob Drohan? He also asked that we ride as one group in twos and reasonably close. Not sure who was Billy no mates but somehow it didn’t seem to matter.
We set off cheerfully east towards the Stripe Road crossroads and turned right towards Harworth, over the dual roundabouts and left through the industrial estate. We had a bit of a wait at the A614 crossroads but made it over safely and made it safely past the golf club despite Suicide Sam in his 4-wheel drive checking caution to the wind and narrowly missing car coming the other way in his dash to pass us - I don’t think I would have risked an overtake their in any conditions! But we continued un-eventfully………..
Andrew chose the road leading to Scrooby Top and the A638 to loose a pedal, well strictly speaking he didn’t loose the pedal - it and the crank arm were still attached to his clips but regrettably not the bike! We found the little washer thingy back on the road but lacked the right bit of kit (a 10mm allen Key) to reassemble it.
Whilst the bulk of the group waited on the corner for what seems forever a few did their best to see what could be done to get him riding again but it was not to be. Kieran volunteered to cycle back to Tickhill and bring back said tool. I am not sure many others would have made the offer. I feel an etherial medal ceremony coming on! More later.
The main group set off again turning south and the left onto Folly Nook Lane then left again but not over the railway bridge onto the Mattersey Road. We went right into Ranskill and then right again at the traffic lights. Awkward junction this and the second car in the queue must have wondered w=hat had happened when 14 riders piled into the available space he had left between himself and the car infant, but we turned right and he went straight on! It wasn’t yet warm but at a decent (9.30) speed we were warming up and we had plenty to chat about and to look at. The hedges are green now but there were good views all round.
Just as we reached the outskirts of Blyth we took the left turn along Retford Road and left again onto Graves Moor Road and Baulk Lane into Torworth. A round trip of a few miles to gain about 300 yards in our journey south. But enjoyable and i remind you of that as we took a right turn into Billy Button Lane. I didn’t have an underwater camera or I would have taken a shot of what we found. Not one but two Bl—-y great puddles/ lakes across the road. Muddy water too so we could see if there were potholes or even crocodiles but we made it and turn left onto the A634 (again) at a sedate pace.
After the jiggery pokery I think coffee beckoned because once we got to Barnby Moor we could see a direct route to Retford and followed it. A short stop on Grove Street to take a collective view on where the Bay Tree Café actually was and we were off again turning right into New Street left on Carolgate and more or less straight over the junction to the café.
Good sensible order taking of the kind “hands up all those who want …” it worked and we all had our drinks followed after a short rest by whatever snacks we ordered. Eggs Benedict Nick? i was surprised you could get moving again. Part way through Rob arrived but no sign of Andy or Kieran.
Christina checked her phone and found a message from Kieran saying he couldn’t find Andy and had wandered all round Ranskill expecting to find him. Needless to say after much anticipation Kieran didn’t arrive he must have decided enough was enough. Regrettable and perhaps a lesson or two to us all! Communication is essential and, we all do know, enjoyable. No news so far from Andy who will no doubt be visiting the local bike shop.
I sure you are ware of my superior photoshopping talents by now and in the interests of fair play and possible to save my life I used them on the café photo. Happily Mark Motley turned up and took a proper group photo to add to the gallery(!) - although obviously lacking two of the starters.
More trauma with his wrist but hopefully Mark can get better quickly now he has a better diagnosis and more impressive bandager.
The assembly in the area we chose to park the3 bikes seems to be taking a long time and after several minutes it seemed that Nick, of 95% fame, was down to 94% having just found a detached spoke - Nice knitting guys! It got him back to TCC anyway. Hopefully the new bike guarantee will get him back up a percentage point or two - and I now he is nearly ready for his non electric bike.
Going home seemed uneventful. We followed the ring road (A638) back to the main traffic lights and went right forking left onto Tiln Lane (strange name) but turning right , although it looks like the main road onto Smeath Lane. I once went straight along Tiln Lane. Its quite a long Road for a dead end - don’t go there!
Smeath lane is also quite long, and windy, and at its end we took the left turn towards and through Hayton. The corner at the Boat Inn ha son forward view and immediately run it is a steep bridge over the Chesterfield Canal. There is a pretty good view from the crown of the bridge along Clayworth common and the countryside around. Clayworth Common obviously took us into Clayworth and we were on familiar ground although going in the opposite direction to the usual way. Wiseton Road took us to Drakeholes - how does a group of so few building get itself a name on the Maps?
Any road up! Feel pool Road was taking us towards Mattersey and we turned left onto Mattersey Road which through Mattersey somehow becomes the A6045 and then on towards Ranskill again. Please look away if you are of a sensitive disposition for a paragraph or so.
We stopped in Ranskill on Folly Nook Lane and I am not sure who brought it up, oh yes it was Pauls fault. He took a layer off to put it in his bum bag which looks like another article of clothing. For the next 5 minutes we had a very interesting discussion about bras. At one point the ladies joined in but didn’t seem able to add sensibly to the conversation. I concluded the it was a great place to keep a mobile phone.
We retraced our outward route past the Golf Course at Serlby, safely across the A614 junction and back through the Harworth Industrial estate, right onto Blyth then Tickhill Roads before turning left onto the A631 and into Tickhill.
There seemed quite a few arriving, including Nick, and the general opinion was that it had been a good day. We went our separate ways looking forward to more good weather next Sunday
Thanks everybody I enjoyed myself.