The riders were: Matthew Lowe (ride leader), Peter Hanks, Paul Elwell, Christina Cooper, Helen Hand, Stuart Oades, Mick Lee, Martin Crapper, Paul Russell, Robert Stevenson, Denise Motley, Nick Kay, Kevin Thomas.
It was a surprisingly good cycling day fine, dry, little wind and a lot of us to get going. The Red ride was similarly large.
Can I begin with a health warning please? If you name begins with “A” and you are fortunate enough to be the chief carer for an aspiring but failing sassenach cyclist can you firstly give him his trouser clips, put him on he is bike and make him get more practice (please) and secondly read no more, in fact delete this report and go back to proper intellectual pursuits.
Ok, so we watched the red ride lead out and then headed left around the village before heading up Apy Lane at a nice leisurely pace. At the end of the road, now called Tickhill Back Lane, we turned right and then left onto Cockhill Field Lane, Micklebring Lane and here we lost got lost! Well us, not Matt, obviously!
We were a bit spread out, with three or four of us just out of sight of the main group. We 3 or 4 were busy watching the two guys on the cherry picker at the junction, who in turn were watching us! At the junction the main group went left and then sharp left again, we went left and stopped as the shouting from amused cherry pick people alerted us to our error. Oh and Kevin was waiting just in sight and shouting, so we made the turn - a bit clumsy I admit but success I think.
Back Lane is - back Lane and at the end Matt was busy looking at his phone and planning on the hoof. At this stage we, or “I” at least, were enjoying ourselves with an idea of the destination but no idea of the route. We seemed to have no clear idea - but looking at the final result on Strava Matt was guiding us along a very nice roundish circuit and that is why he is a ride leader. No no Im not building him up for a fall!
Continuing along a whole string of Lanes we reached Bramley where we again regrouped and chatted about previous visits before taking a higgledy piggledy route through back streets and into Wickersley. And then straight along the B6060 (oh what a romantic name) and onto Moat Lane before skirting round Thurcroft and into Brookhouse. A choice was offered, hard right or easy left? So 2 of us took the easy route along Rose Lane, the rest went up Brookhouse Lane and we met up again outside the local school. well actually the others waited for us and we waved and continued, but they didn’t take long to catch up. Those most desperate for coffee shot past, including Paul E, in his pristine new kit. I have a theory that Paul knew it had been an uneventful ride so in the spirit of good journalism (really!) he did a spectacular skid on the ramp into the café and ended up broadside on the deck. The bike was fine. Pristine kit matched the trendy shredded jeans so popular amongst the younger generation at the moment. We picked him up and headed into the café.
You are not still reading are you “A…..”?
Ok so Aspiring, un-named cyclist did a rather more spectacular dive at the same spot. His kit didn’t suffer and said rider seemed OK, embarrassed for sure, and we all helped make that worse with gentle ribbing, but undamaged.
There were plenty of seats in the cafe but loads of people so ordering took time and delivery was a bit strange. My Latte came as Americano and Pete had Paul’s tea and vice versa.
We assembled in the yard area ready fo off and in a smart line, but as a special request didn’t take any group photos. Hence close up of Pete’s Giant.
We tried to head out left but had a little enforced wait whilst Matt conceded that left was OK! And then we shot off down the lane (and downhill) for home. We were a bit strung out by the time we got through Firbeck and approaching the main Oldcotes/Maltby road we pulled into the gateway of Christina’s summer accommodation, a modest limestone pile, before splitting up, she going to the Maltby Pad, we going right towards Oldcotes and Thornbury Hill Lane. As a group we got the farm at the top of the hill and rested a while before continuing. But in doing so we were bit spread out. Aspiring un-named cyclist decided he didn’t want to share the limelight with Paul so hit a pothole or pebble and had a pinch puncture leaving 5 of us to fix it. The others were so far ahead they didn’t realise we had a problem so kept on going. If you see them, they didn’t have a leader, just send them home.
The co2 bootle didn’t want to stay on the new valve and froze so we ended up using a pump anyway. Eventually we resumed and at the end of the road turned left to Tickhill and I am guessing that Helen and Stuart went right to miss out the main road on their way home. In Tickhill we wandered around the village on a route which Pete pointed out is the safest way to the cricket club. One unnamed cyclist left us to go home and a bit later Kevin peeled off and went to a different home.
Im looking forward to next weeks ride already especially as Matt will most likely lead out again, see you all then!