Across The Wolds
Across The Wolds
Rob Cook had meticulously planned a hilly route 'Across The Wolds’ for today’s ride, encompassing a couple of his favourite hills; ‘Nab Hill’ near Fulletby and ‘Weldsdale Hill’ near Donnington-on-Bain.
Following near gale force winds and heavy rain on Saturday, we were all delighted to find the morning dawn dry and bright with clear blues skies. Rob it seemed had chosen a perfect day for a route across the Lincolnshire Wolds. Meeting up with Rob Cook at the Meridian Leisure Centre were John Rickett, John Ambler, Jason Bartup, Reg Bagshaw and Tim Newbery. We would later see both Chris Owen and Alan Hockham following routes to suit.
Leaving the Leisure Centre a little after 9.30 am Rob led the group through Little Cawthorpe and along ‘Top Road’ through Muckton and Reg’s favourite, ‘Meagram Top’. Turning south and utilising a short section of Lincolnshire County Council’s Cycle Route ‘C4’, there was a temporary split into two groups before meeting up again at Calceby. Now following the Bluestone Heath Road, Jason had forged ahead but was delighted to find Alan waiting at the Massingberd Arms for a chat. He would later go onto Somersby and Hagworthingham. We would later find out that both Chris and Alan had also met up at Somersby, perhaps to view the birthplace of the Poet Laureate Alfred Lord Tennyson. St Margaret’s Church is well worth a visit.
Rob, John(s), Reg, Tim and Jason would continue a little further before stopping for ‘elevenses’ at Tetford War Memorial. Tim enjoyed a flask of coffee, cheese sandwiches and home-made chocolate cake. He hoped the rest of the group had enjoyed their refreshments.
Reg would depart for home at this point, missing out on the opportunity of climbing ‘Nab Hill’ and 'Castlecliff Hill’ (139 m) near Fulletby to join the Bluestone Heath Road once more. Memories of the annual 'Emma Jayne’ charity ride which used this route. At least we were rewarded by a fast descent along Furlong Lane into Belchford, where we would say farewell to Jason.
A departure from Rob’s carefully worked out plans, he had relented to requests and would include a drink’s break at The Coach and Horses Public House at Hemingby. It has been about 15 years since the club had last visited this hostelry! At shortly before 12.30 pm, we arrived to find the landlord just opening up. Many thanks to John Rickett for coffees and pints of Old Speckled Hen (both Tim and John Ambler thoroughly enjoyed the latter.
With the sun still shining and amid friendly chat and camaraderie, we were to enjoy a ‘flattish’ route to Donnington-on-Bain and this time the wind was behind us. It was turning out to be a very pleasant ride. More cups of coffee at Jenny Ward’s where snacks and packed lunches were finished. All was set to climb Rob’s choice of route up to the ridgeway, this time along Welsdale Road! Three stages to this one before finally ascending to a peak altitude of close to 150 m.
Undulations now to ‘Flint Hill’ and then a rewarding descent back into Louth at which point we had completed about 40 miles. A super day out and thanks to Rob for the route and miraculously choosing a fine sunny day in-between a very unsettled spell of weather.
Glad that both Chris and Alan had enjoyed their day out (Alan having completed 40 miles) and we hoped that Jason got back home in time for the delivery of a new cooker.