Easter Sunday Ride to Woodhall Spa

Easter Sunday Ride to Woodhall Spa

Easter Sunday Ride to Woodhall Spa

RIDE REPORT

The Meteorological Office had been steadfast in its predictions of a stunning warm and sunny day for Easter Sunday and as Cycling UK Louth members gathered at the Leisure Centre in Louth it looked as if it would indeed turn out to be the warmest day of the year so far.

Today's Ride Leader Tim Newbery was joined by Bernie Hobill (this would be his longest ride with the club), Rob Whitworth and Alan Hockham. Apologies had been accepted form a number of members who were on holiday and involved with family duties.

Leaving the Leisure Centre at 9.30 am club members followed a route past Hubbards Hills, Hallington and Raithby before ascending to the Bluestone Heath Road. The first of a number of climbs and time for an adjustment of Bernie's saddle (thanks to our resident mechanic Alan). A fast decent down Redhill proved a fine reward before another climb up Horncastle Road. At this point Bernie had to lose his yellow jacket before heat exhaustion took its toll and luckily there was enough room in his rear pocket to stow the item away.

The next leg of the journey would take us through Hemingby where we made good progress (with a short delay due to jumping chains) viewing the menagerie at the wildlife park on the outskirts of Horncastle with interest. Not long till we reached the School House Coffee Bar where it was surprisingly quiet. Enquiring as to the possibility of purchasing bacon and sausage sandwiches, we were initially politely turned down but the chef very kindly agreed to cook up a batch for us and we enjoyed fine refreshments.

Continuing to Woodhall Spa via the 'Spa Trail' we were again surprised to find the route pleasantly quiet, enjoying the scenic route to its full advantage. The Spa Trail is a 3 to 4 mile multi user path along the mid-section of the old Horncastle to Woodhall Junction railway line and part of the Horncastle Canal. The railway which opened in 1855, finally had its passenger passenger service withdrawn in 1954 (although a goods service was retained until 1971).

In Woodhall Spa Alan suggested we head to Jubilee Park via King George Avenue and Coronation Road, just as well as we almost immediately met up with Chris and Ying Owen who had cycled independently from Horncastle. We rode together to the Lido and enjoyed hot drinks and ice creams, the temperature now having climbed to a very warm 20-21 degrees Celsius.

Chris and Ying would join us for the start of the route home but we bade farewell just past the famous Wellington Monument, built in 1844 to commemorate the Battle of Waterloo. The adjacent wood was planted from acorns sown immediately after the memorable battle. Cycling UK members then continued via Horsington to Minting where we took refuge in the Sebastopol Public House and enjoyed cold drinks.

Following words of encouragement to Bernie, we began the last leg of the journey by continuing to Hatton, Sotby and Market Stainton, following in part the old Roman salt road that connected the Lincolnshire coast to Lincoln. A fine and rewarding descent to the River Bain which was bathed in dappled light under the trees, and then a final push up Manor Hill to the mast at Stenigot and the Bluestone Heath Road. Downhill now almost the whole way to Louth via Pokes Hole and Hallington and we arrived back at the Leisure Centre at a little after 5 pm having covered 48 miles. Congratulations to Bernie for his longest ride and thanks to all for the company.

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