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Wednesday morning easy ride to Sandtoft

  • Date: 28 February 2024
  • By: Martin Crapper

OK, I was almost late arriving! There were 3 ladies already there - Tricia Krill, Linda Bardsley and a guest Emily Whitaker-Jones. Pete Hanks was sitting under the canopy wondering what he was in for and when! He had been wondering why traffic was so heavy on a Sunday. I know the feeling but it was Wednesday!

We waited and waited for Michelle to arrive - she had told Tricia she would - but after 5or 10 minutes we set off without her. We need to meet Robin Haywood en-route and didn’t want to be too late!

I was determined to follow the plan and we set off East towards Stripe Road and along to Rossington at an “easy” pace. Even so we were a long spread out group. I called for a pause at the Styrrup pub car park to check we were all OK and then set off again to go passed Go-Outdoors and along Hurst Lane.

I think Robin was on the point of giving in and doing his own thing as we arrived. We were only 15 minutes late! And in our defences it was his idea that we could go faster than we had achieved.

Onwards then! After explaining that we would be meeting Diana Simpson somewhere along the way. We went along through the airport and passed realises Nurseries to the Magic Roundabout.

Diana was definitely on the point of going home! She had parked herself next to the pub (not open) and had given us an extra 5 minutes longer than her estimate and then a few minutes more. So we were now 7, the biggest mid week ride that I can remember.

We continued along Bank End lane and then left along to Wroot. There was increasing chatter so I didn’t need to keep checking that they were all there! We turned left in the village and eventually reached Idle Bank and with the bit of breeze behind us we made good progress. We remained pretty well grouped and reached the roundabout “as one”. From there it was a short ride to the airfield (is it still an airfield if it has a tarmac runway?).

We found 2 empty tables and moved them together and sat eating and drinking till it was time to continue. Naturally and true to recent form I forgot the photo and we set off towards Belton, taking the scenic route round the back lanes rather than sticking to the main road. We passed the cafe at the entrance to the nature reserve just outside Belton and note it for a possible future destination. Once passed Epworth we were split up by the traffic and were quite strung out along the road. One nice (not) van driver pulled up beside me blocking the road and almost causing an accident to tell me I had no business cycling two abreast and getting in his way. Since I was alone at the time I let it pass! The others caught up as we turned right towards Haxey.

It was in Haxey that we realised that “we” hadn’t taken a photo but by then Diana had left us to make her way home, or possibly to get more miles in. Anyway we stopped in front of the church and did the decent thing - and I have taken a still from my video camera just to prove we did have Diana with us!

Pete had decided he would stop in Westwoodside and go home and set off with renewed energy. We followed as fast as we could and fortunately he stopped at the end of hie road! After saying goodbye we continued along making our way back to the main road and turned right for home. There are straight roads involved but no more following winds as we, now five, continued along Sanderson’s Bank and turned left with relief along Springs Road towards Misson. The flooding once we were through the village was dramatic. There will be miles of fields struggling to produce crops if and when the water subsides.

The roads were dry fortunately and we carried on with a brief stop whilst I refuelled. A quick jet got me going and we made good time into Bawtry. The junctions can be tied up with touring motorist at the weekend by this was Wednesday and amazingly there was a big gap in any traffic allowing us easy passage through the centre and right towards Tickhill. There was some panic in the ranks when I said I wasn’t going back to the Cricket Club, but then Emily didn’t realise that meant I left them with much less than a quarter of a mile to go.

Wednesday morning easy ride to Sandtoft