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Wednesday morning easy ride

  • Date: 03 January 2024
  • By: Martin Crapper

After yesterdays storm which left many fields and roads flooded I wasn’t expecting much of a turnout. But the phone was pinging with inconsiderate folk waking me up just to know if there was a ride on! Its me guys there’s (nearly) always a ride on. So I arrived at the cricket club to find Tricia Krill and her camper van (can’t remember van’s name), Robin Heyward, Michelle Greco and John Clark waiting to go. It wasn’t raining but It was going to! In the interests of democracy we discussed routes and in dictator like fashion I opted for Leger Lakes.

We headed for the Buttercross noticing the complete lack of traffic. Schools are not yet open I assume so no mums and mums’ tractors. We got to the Mill pond and stopped with a view of the fencing whilst I put my rain jacket on. Sadly I needed help form Mother hen (Tricia) because I couldn’t get my arms in. After 70+ years of practice I can’t get gloved hands down sleeves!

Our route went out towards Oldcotes and the rain was keeping us in single file with our heads down. Well Michelle and I were busy eyeing up the scenery not watching the other three ploughing there way up Malpass Hill and turning right onto Thornbury Hill Lane. We caught up and took the lead - we weren’t going that way! We paused again for a chat just before the lights in Oldcotes and then headed along towards Langold.

I’ve been know to get a little confused so please accept that somewhere along our journey (past or future) we had a couple of chains to put back on (separate bikes) but we were not daunted! Oh no,we just carried on until someone said “we’ve lost a couple”! Could have been here could have been there. It wasn’t me, although it nearly was - my chain had a mind of its own going up Malpass Hill. It couldn’t decide which ring to use and kept going up and down. I kept shouting at it but that didn’t help.

So, straight down towards the South, Langold then Carlton in Lindrick. We were all a bit happier once we turned onto Owday Lane and away from what bit of traffic there was and with the rain attacking us from a different direction. Still rain though! As we approached the far end of the road just before turning right we had a discussion about Leger Lakes v Butterfly farm (the site of the infamous moth murder on our last visit) and confirmed that Leger Lakes was our goal. And so we turned right went through Woodsetts and on to Dinnington. The next way marker should have been Laughton Common but bossy worker in day-glow jacket and a lot of water pumping kit on a massive lorry had the road blocked off so we turned to go via Throapham.

To backtrack a bit; ust before we left the right hand turn from Owday lane back there, I had been following Robin and his Christmas present - flashing laser quality rear lights, and we had discussed the possibility of Hypnosis and Epilepsy. So it should be no surprise to learn that I mis-counted at the roundabout and we had to do a little turn around and take exit 4 not 3! But from there it was easy going all the way to the café.

We three had drinks and a bun, Michelle bought 2 buns claiming one was for her other half, and John, well John had a meal! Toast, scrambled egg and Salmon! Poor lad was on a liquid diet so I guess we can’t blame him. I wonder if Lindsey has found out yet!

We paid and set off but paused to take a photo with livestock in the background, eased our way over the sliding gate track and went off down towards Firbeck. By this time the rain had almost stopped and the riding became easier - right up to the bottom of Thornbury Hill Lane. There was a lot of gravel and water as we picked our way around the potholes. By the top we were in two groups Robin and us! Us chose to freewheel all the way down to the A60 junction, He, sorry Robin, disappeared in the distance although he was probably too far ahead to hear that we were going to be playing on the way down..

We did the now regular stop in the entrance to the “Horsey place” to say goodbye to Robin and headed off to the cricket club.Mid chat at the cricket club a local lad on a very nice bike (Giant) with a very flat tyre came into the car park seeking help. He actually thought a pump would do the job! We upturned his bike, took the wheel off and then watched Robin unpack his workshop quality toolbar and spare tube and fix it. I checked the inside of the tyre and drew blood on a shard of metal which apparently came “off me Dad’s car). He went off to play at wheelies and the last we saw of him he was off towards Sunderland Street with his pal on the handlebars. But he did have a helmet on! Good end to a nice ride.

Wednesday morning easy ride