On 24th May, a group of 17 adventurous Easy Wheelers set out, in glorious weather, on a cycle ride to Grantham. For safety reasons, we formed two pelotons, one lead by Route Master, John Saunders and one by Group Leader, David Rose, ably supported by Back Markers Trevor Onions and John Gibson.
One puncture down in Group 1 before we made it to the first pit-stop at Holme Pierrepont but it didn’t delay proceedings as Group 1 had to wait for Group 2 as they went on an unplanned tour of the industrial estate at Dunkirk.
Pressing on, we made good time to get to the next pit-stop at Aslockton, where the “smiling” landlord served us drinks, some of which were what we asked for. We were covering the distance so quickly that we had time for an unscheduled pit-stop at the Dirty-Duck, where we basked in the sunshine before pressing on to complete the 37 miles target for the day.
Team Beadle guided us through the rush-hour congestion in Grantham and it became clear that the Route master hadn’t added VAT to the distance calculation as, after 45 miles, we finally arrived at the hotel, to be met by our support driver, Pam Spray.
The hotel – well! A ten-minute wait for the receptionist to arrive and further delays to find a key to the bike storage that was full of old furniture, this should have told us what we were in for…
After a quick, refreshing, shower, where the hotel plumbing had mixed reviews, we proceeded to a local Italian restaurant. Our local “blue-badge” guides negotiated a good deal and a most enjoyable evening ensued as we replenished some carbohydrates and fluids we had lost during the day.
After a refreshing sleep, we met up for what proved to be an entertaining breakfast, unaware that, aside from a more attractive Manuel character, the hotel must have been the inspiration for Fawlty Towers. The staff visited the local Aldi to replenish some items and had clearly bulk bought the entire stock of Rice Crispies. Provided guests didn’t expect the cooked breakfast they ordered from “Manuel” or prefer it warm, everything was fine.
Sudocremed and ready, we said farewell to the hotel and set off in our two pelotons for the return leg. Once again, the sun was kind to us and we rapidly clocked up the first 12 miles before stopping for refreshments at Long Bennington.
Rejoining the route we headed for home and after a convenience break at Car Colston we pressed on to Lowdham where some more refuelling took place. The last push was easy. After all, we only had to cycle up Gravely Hollow! Puncture number 2 at Burnstump Park and a dash for home finished the 39 mile distance in good time to enjoy the last of the sunshine.
Lynda Jackson Cycle Group
(This was part of our training for the Great Notts Cycle 50/75 mile ride on Sunday June 23rd)