North Sea Observatory

North Sea Observatory

Mothering Sunday Ride to North Sea Observatory

RIDE REPORT

After a few days of balmy Spring warmth (18 degrees Celsius) winds had turned easterly overnight and today's maximum was predicted to be a much cooler 8 degrees. Never the less skies were clear blue and there was an enthusiastic gathering of the club at the Leisure Centre. Tim Newbery was joined by John Rickett, John Ambler, Rob Whitworth, Bernie Hobill (having recovered from last week's aches and pains), Mike Gray and Chris Owen, who had ridden in from Alford. An attendance of eight, the highest of the year so far, ready to ride the longest ride of the year so far!

After discussions over tea and coffee it was decided to ride the route anti-clockwise as originally planned and so we departed Louth on the B1200, Legbourne Road and turnrned off to continue through Little Cawthorpe and Muckton. Reaching today's high point at Meagram Top of about 60 m, we were afforded fine views of the Great Eau Valley and the remains of the Motte and Bailey at Toot Hill, the sun beaming down upon us all. Onwards through Ailby we reached Alford in good time in spite of a brisk cross wind and drinks were taken at the Half Moon Hotel.

Soon time to continue through Bilsby, Thurlby and Anderby where we took Rectory Road and Sea Road which would lead us directly to the coast (although by now pointing straight into the wind). Only a few miles to Chapel St Leonards where we were led by Alan Hockham to Jackson's Café at Millers Leisure Centre. For some a small breakfast, others bacon buns and beans on toast. Excellent value for money and we were given a warm welcome.

The return route began by retracing our steps to The North Sea Observatory at Chapel Point. Completed only a year ago it is the UK's first purpose built marine observatory. It forms part of the coastal park and houses Seascape Cafe and an exhibition room, which today showcased a beach hut theme called 'Bathing Beauties'. The much heralded Mablethorpe to Skegness section of the national coastal path which opened just a few weeks ago is also just a few metres away.

Following the brief visit we rode north to Anderby but close to Huttoft Bank Farm we came to a temporary stop to examine a blown tyre on Alan's bike. He would limp back home to pick up a replacement bike, later to rejoin us at Woodthorpe. Chris meanwhile departed near Hannah to return to Alford and would complete 49 miles.

The route would continue to Woodthorpe, the wind by this time helping to propel us at a quickening pace. A short stop to visit the memorial at former RAF Strubby (operational from 1944 till 1972) detailing all of the various units to be based here and commemorating all of those who gave their lives in the Second World War, many just teenagers. Today the airfield in still very much in use and the Lincolnshire Gliding Club are very active.

Just five minutes after arriving at Woody's Bar and Restaurant, Alan came breezing in on the promised replacement bike. Quite a turn of speed. Well done Alan.

The final leg of the journey took us through Withern, the Carltons and Stewton before arriving back at the Leisure Centre a little after 4 pm having completed 47 miles. Many thanks to all for their, wit, repartee and company!

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