Riders were Matthew Lowe, Peter Hanks, Rob Stevenson, Mick Lee and Martin Crapper.
I have to remember to be really nice to Mick for the next week or two (till he has forgotten) and especially not to mention anything mean or naughty, not that at the moment I can think of anything!
The mid-week proposal was a ride to Netherthorpe airfield café but we paused at the cricket club gate for a rethink as the wind was forecast to be bad by mid day. So left out of the gate thinking “loop around and back to Wellingtons” but the very handsome ML wanted to buy us breakfast (!) so we continued, thinking “not Wellingtons” and rethought. At this point the wind was light and it wasn’t even wintery cold so we headed out and around the village eventually getting back to the Maltby road and heading west and then south along Blyth Gate Lane - my first ride along this section of road. Blythgate road is exposed and at the southern end covered in debris which hides potholes and today twigs and spikes from a recent hedge cutting. Just before turning back onto the main road (A60) the road is more unmade track than tarmac but we coped! Even Rob who understandably was taking it easy.
Back on the A60 and straight into Malpass Hill and then a regrouping at the turn into Thornbury Hill Lane. The Lane was, as always, pot-holy and wet and the other side of the hill was worse. A pause for traffic before turning right and then left towards Firbeck left us realising that the wind was building up so we settled on Leger Lakes as a good place to stop, although not necessarily in a direct line - Matt has a reputation to uphold!
Through Firbeck and up Kidd lane and pausing at the top we realised that you can’t put a spin on head wind, exposed and part up hill. Undeterred we continued into Letwell and through to Gildingwells with a pause at the cross roads. We didn’t want it but the left turn towards Carlton in Lindrick was blocked with cones and barriers we simply turned right.
By the time we reached Dinnington we were getting a little heated - dead on our feet was a closer description. The wind and slope were at their worst! And there had been a few drivers not aware of the 1.5 metre rule.
We cycled straight through Dinnington and through the houses to Throapham and up the hill into Laughton before heading towards the cafe stop. My garmin/strave route lies! there was no great cross country loop we did what we always do and which I affectionately think of as Matt’s paper round route through the houses.
Mick was first there with the rest a short distance behind. But Mick was the last in! By a long way.
he’d lost his glasses so once we had all ordered I went out for a second look around. The wind was strong so they could have been anywhere! As drinks and food was arriving I asked the obvious question “Does anyone remember seeing Mick in his glasses?” We blokes stuck together “NO” we said. “Never mind I’ve got another pair” he replied. Trying to change the subject I asked when his birthday was “last Friday” he replied. Regrettably we didn’t sing to him but you could do that when you next meet up!
At some point there was a suggestion he might not have had his glasses on at all! Hmm!
I have to say in his defence ………
With a following wind we headed back towards Firbeck at high speed even though freewheeling. We had a regrouping in the pub entrance on the corner before setting off again only to be halted within a few yards by Pete who had a technical hitch. I’ve never seen the like hence photo. We had loads of brains but ended up letting Rob force the issue with his foot!
The route back was uneventful although we added a mile or so in to get up to at least 20 miles, wet yes, windy yes, but no problems and amazingly everybody went back to the cricket club - yes some (Matt and Pete) had the excuse of collecting their cars which only left Rob and me with no excuse other than to see if Mick’s glasses were in the changing rooms! YES, result! On the floor under the bench where he sat! Obviously he doesn’t really need them they are just a fashion accessory!
We had had a good ride only just over 20 miles but in the circumstances the right length and destination. Thanks everybody, especially Mick.