Cycling UK Louth ‘mini’ Group Ride

Sunday 27th September 2020

Autumn Ride to Woodthorpe (shortened ride due to the strong winds)

Gusty winds on the coast of Lincolnshire had reached 65 mph on the Friday, decreasing to 50 mph on the Saturday. The forecast however was for coastal resorts still to reach 40-45 mph on the Sunday and so Ride Leader Tim Newbery opted not to go to Mablethorpe, choosing instead the shortened version to Woodthorpe and Claythorpe and away from the coast, where winds would be limited to 35 mph (apologies to those that had wanted a dip in the sea!)

Joining Tim were Rob Cook, Chris Owen and John Rickett. We would be thinking of Rob Whitworth who can’t be with us for the time being but had sent words of encouragement. Good Luck Rob! Leaving the Leisure Centre under leaden skies, drizzly showers soon set in and temperatures were struggling to rise much above 10 degrees Celsius. Certainly, an Autumnal feel to the weather, although we would benefit from the brisk northerly wind which soon had us passing through Stewton, Legbourne and the Carltons.

At Withern we would temporarily bid farewell to Chris whilst Tim, John and Rob continued to Woody’s Bar and Restaurant at Woodthorpe. Following the new procedures, we were ushered to our table and Rob very kindly treated us to coffee and for some, bacon baps. Great service and John Ambler would be glad to know the bacon bap scored highly according to Tim.

On departure, the showers had ceased and there were even some glimpses of blue sky and faint rays of sunshine and it was obvious from the noise that Woodthorpe Kart Club were enjoying a busy day. At the junction with Rye Lane we were delighted to meet up again with Chris for the short hop to Claythorpe Water Mill for our final refreshment stop. The date on the mill informs us that it was built in 1720, although sadly the mill last ran in the 1970’s. Rob Cook would need to get home whilst the remainder enjoyed another coffee and for some a slice of cake.

Time to leave and having crossed the Great Eau it was Chris who pointed out the former Claythorpe Railway Station and goods shed. An interesting history, the station was originally named ‘Claythorpe’ when opened on 3 September 1848, but later renamed ‘Aby for Claythorpe' in1885. Serving as part of the East Lincolnshire Railway, the Louth to Boston section cost £123,000 (equivalent to about £13 million today).

A headwind for our last leg back to Louth and we had to work hard along the ‘undulating’ lanes. For the Louth contingent arriving home at a little after 1 pm, a ride distance of 25 miles; closer to 35 miles for John. Many thanks to all an especially to Rob for the purchase of the refreshments. Much appreciated

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