Sutton-on-Sea 29th March 2023

Cycling UK Louth Annual Lunch and Prizegiving

Wednesday 29th March 2023:

Today, a Wednesday Wander to Sutton-on-Sea with the added bonus of also taking part in the club’s annual meal and prizegiving.

The day had started very promising with dry and bright conditions with even some sunny periods. The forecast had however indicated longer periods of rain later in the afternoon.

Paul Linder and John Rickett along with Tim Newbery set off from the Meridian Leisure Centre a little after 10 am. Within a few hundred metres there was a delegation from both John and Paul to inform Tim he was departing on a reverse direction of the prescribed route. Oops. A hasty pressing of buttons on Tim’s satnav and we were eventually underway heading through Keddington and tackling the potholes along Red Leas Lane. Elevens Green to Howdales is not much better with the road showing significant signs of subsidence. Three Bridges Lane in contrast is one of the best metalled roads in Lincolnshire!

A brisk headwind from Saltfleetby to Mablethorpe slowed our pace but we would keep to schedule as we picked up the South Promenade Cycle Route at Coral Café. We were concerned about the amount of sand blown in from the recent easterly winds and washed up by high tides but the ride was perfectly manageable and chatted to passers-by enjoying a stroll or walking their dogs. A super ride enjoying the view of some fine looking beaches, which no doubt will be packed in a little over a week’s time at Easter.

With the sun still shining we arrived at the Beach Bar at Sutton-on-Sea exactly on schedule at 11.30 am to be warmly greeted by Steve Croton who had cycled in from home. Time to enjoy a drink before other members arrived for the meal.

We would soon be joined by Barry and Jim, John and Celia and a little later by Alan and Karen. Meals duly ordered we wouldn’t have to wait long and Tim read out apologies from Reg and Chris, Chris and Ying and Rob Cook. To the relief of the assembled company, Tim’s speech was short and he was delighted to announce that John Rickett was to be this year’s recipient of the ‘John Ambler Trophy’. Last presented to Rob Whitworth three years ago, it’s awarded to the Cycling UK Louth member who has attended - and assisted with - the greatest number of rides and events over the past year. Certainly, during the winter months, John has battled rain, near gale force winds, frost and icy conditions and attended most Wednesday’s and Sunday’s and led the group twice across the Wolds just last Sunday. Well deserved John.

Whilst dining, looking through the large windows affording a panoramic view of the beach, we noticed increasingly persistent and heavy rain. For those who had cycled in it was on with the waterproofs as it looked that the rain had set in for some time (the weather radar would confirm). A soggy ride followed through Thorpe and Hagnaby and puddles started to merge, joining left and right flanks with no other option but to wade our way through the by now typical ‘marsh’ lanes.

By the time we reached Aby, we had bidden farewell to both Paul and Steve and the weather was now so inclement as we passed Claythorpe Mill that Tim would turn down the option of a large slice of cake! Instead, a decision was made to head directly back to Louth’s Leisure Centre where John had promised a refreshing mug of coffee.

Arrived at 3.00 pm having covered 39 miles. Temperatures, a mild 13 Degrees Celsius. As luck would have it, the rain had now stopped!

Great to have met up with everyone today. Here’s hoping for better weather on Sunday for the ‘Hilly Horncastle’.