Mablethorpe in the Autumn

Mablethorpe in the Autumn

Cycling UK Louth ‘mini’ Group ride to Mablethorpe

Sunday 4th October 2020

In the days running up to our ride all eyes were on the weather tracking Storm ‘Alex’, which would indeed bring significant heavy rain to many parts of central and southwest UK. Even a little before our departure the forecast was still for showers or longer periods of rain, although meeting up at the Leisure Centre in Louth, the sun was shining and the temperature was rising quickly.

Joining Tim Newbery were John Rickett and Alan Hockham with the plan to ride to North Somercotes for refreshments and then onto Mablethorpe for lunch. Weather permitting. Apologies had been sent from Jason Bartup, Chris Owen, John Ambler and Rob Cook.

Departing Magna Vitae Leisure Centre, we dug into the headwind and continued along Easfield Road to Keddington, crossing the Louth Navigation and onwards to Alvingham and the Cockeringtons. Pleasant enough cycling along Red Leas Lane, although the state of the lanes is deteriorating noticeably with subsidence evident on the margins.

With the sun continuing to lift our spirits it wasn’t long before we were approaching Church End, St Mary’s Church offering great views of the Medieval standing stone in the churchyard. The base of the cross is the only part which is original. In this case, it probably served as a station for outdoor processions, particularly in the observance of Palm Sunday. Another mile and we had arrived at Oasis Fishing Lakes Café where the good ladies were ready to offer take away refreshments. Many thanks to John for providing the team with hot drinks, and for Tim a rather fine bacon bap.

With John preferring to be back home by 2 pm, a decision was made to utilise the suggested route south through Theddlethoprpe and Saltfleet. A brief stop at ‘Veandar’ for a quick chat with Jean but we had probably just missed her. We all wish her well. Approaching midday and we arrived at Sea View Café, Quebec Road, Mablethorpe. This time it was thanks to Alan who provided the coffee and cake. Lovely. Nearby, there’s a fascinating connection with Alfred Lord Tennyson whose family would rent a cottage for summer holidays. Even in his time it was a popular resort and his father wrote “Every pot-bellied grocer and dirty linen draper bespeaks his lodgings from year to year”.

Amazingly, skies remained bright and we were now able to enjoy a tail wind just about all the way back to Louth. Our route would take us west along Stain Lane, the low-lying marsh roads evidence of the post glacial clays. A few notable hills such as Stain Hill (9 m AMSL) where once stood a church and it was the site of a thriving Medieval village. An increasingly swift ride through Withern and at Little Carlton it was John who pointed out to Tim the interpretation board where graphics would show quite clearly how high the water levels were back in Saxon times.

John would leave the group at South Cockerington whilst Tim and Alan returned to Louth at a little before 2 pm. John would be pleased. We were pleased too to have had a friendly wave from Rob Cook who we spotted near the Leisure Centre. Reviewing the rainfall radar reports we were surprised to see that we were in an ‘oasis’ of bright sunny conditions with plenty of showers in almost every direction. We had indeed been blessed with some fine weather.

A little over 40 miles for the Louth contingent. Thanks to all for the company.

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