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Wednesday morning easy ride to Clumber Park

  • Date: 17 April 2024
  • By: Martin Crapper

It was a cold morning with a northerly wind accompanied by a weather forecast of no rain. So we could expect a few riders but I didn’t expect this many!

Riders were: Michelle Greco, Linda Bardsley, karen Marshall (guest), Tricia Kril, Rob Drohan, Kevin Thomas, Christina Cooper, Robin Heyward, Martin Crapper.

We set off to the sound of “my garmin says we are going the wrong way” which caused some concern until at a pause in the farms gate at Tickhill Spital it was realised that there was confusion over Drakeholes and Blyth!!!! We were going to Blyth and as we reached the traffic lights at the Harworth industrial estate I mentioned that we hadn’t been on this bit of road for a long time. I now know why! It’s more of a quarry broken up by bits of tarmac than road with potholes. We all complained but eventually reached the A1 roundabout pausing again to regroup. No damage so we had survived!

The route took us along and through Blyth to the Worksop road by which time we had got used to rough roads and the traffic. The wind was behind us and we were aware that it wouldn’t be on the way home. It was fine but very cold with the hope of sunshine to come.

We were a bit spread out by the lights on the outskirts of Worksop. Tricia didn’t realise that taking the wind for the group meant being just in front of us; 200 metres doesn’t do it. Fortunately she didn’t know the way and had to wait for us to tell her.

The lights all the way through Worksop were red! I don’t know how they knew we were coming! Sparken Hill saw us spread out but again we regrouped before heading along and into Clumber Park.

At the archway entrance we stopped to discuss which café to go to and opting for sitting outside turned left for Hardwick. An uneven road but nothing approaching pothole category. And when we arrived the sun was out and there were loads of seats. Oh and a possible flat tyre.

Most of us sat down with drinks and snacks watching Karen working on her rear tyre. We eventually joined in and found a bulge of sorts which whilst a bit concerning wasn’t something we could deal with. It looked as though it would survive the journey home and it got a fair amount of pumping up.

At this stage (2 days later) I can’t remember seeing Rob but was told he had left to go home for a mid day “event”. The rest of us set off home. The return leg started by taking us out through Apleyhead and over the A1 towards Retford. Karen was beginning to find her pace and kept surging ahead but we managed to keep together reasonably well.

We paused for traffic after Botany Bay and went straight over and through Babworth towards Sutton. It was in Sutton that things went a bit wrong in the shape of a flat tyre. The good news was it was a front tyre the bad news was that it was my front tyre. Everyone played a part although I admit I didn’t get covered in grease but Kevin probably did. Robin had the biggest saddle bag with the most kit. Kit which included a broken pump. Fortunately Christina had a rather fancy one with a pressure gauge which she let me and then Kevin play with.

Once done we were off again and into the wind. Turning left along Daneshill Road didn’t lessen the effect of the wind and it seemed cooler. We turned right towards Ranskill and then left towards Serlby.

At this point I admit I lost track of who was left. I think Michelle probably sought out a second breakfast somewhere but can’t be sure. I think I stayed with the group but ………..

Those of us remaining made it back to the cricket club with a hint of drizzle in the air making it just like a normal Blue Ride!

Wednesday morning easy ride to Clumber Park