Alford 22-03-2023

Cycling UK Louth Wednesday Wander to Alford - 22nd March 2023:

A bright sunny day with well above average temperatures had been forecast but the downside was that it would be a very blustery day with gusty winds of about 35 mph. There had therefore been an option of a shorter ride to Manby or a longer one to Alford.

Meeting up with Tim Newbery in Louth were Paul Linder and John Rickett and a decision was made to take refreshments at the Crafty Café in Alford.

We were swiftly blown along the lanes through Stewton, Legbourne Furze and the Carltons and it wouldn’t be long before we were passing through Woodthorpe to tackle the short section of Alford Road into the historic town centre. Paul had informed us that Bay’s Cafe has now closed down so it was off the ‘Crafty Café’ where the owners always give us a warm welcome. Tim was about to choose the sticky toffee pudding and custard before more sensibly he plumped for beans on toast.

Paul would take the short hop to home from here whilst Tim and John continued to Well Turn and a brief stop at ‘Crossing Cottage’, formerly on the East Lincolnshire Railway Line that served Alford and Willoughby. Completed in 1848, the line connected Louth with Boston at a princely sum of £123,000.

Lincolnshire County Council’s Cycle Route C4 through Well, Rigsby and Haugh is always attractive and a joy to cycle along. We caught sight of several hares dashing across the road, their unpredictable behaviour very much living up to the idiomatic phrase ‘as mad as a March hare’. This route also follows the boundary of the Lincolnshire Wolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) which will be celebrating its 50th Anniversary in April this year.

From South Thoresby we continued past Belleau Bridge to climb up to the ‘Top Road’ taking us to today’s highest altitude of about 60 m at Meagram Top.

With the cross winds not as problematic as earlier on, a straightforward run back into Louth, arriving at the Leisure Centre at 1.15 pm where John treated Tim to a reviving mug of coffee.

31 miles covered for the Louth contingent. Temperatures now a dizzy 15 degrees.