Summer Wednesday Exploration Ride to Mablethorpe
Cycling UK Louth's final official Summer Exploration Ride of the season and a second attempt of a 'Day Out At The Seaside'.
Weather forecasts had varied and after a wet night with very active thunderstorms, it was encouraging to see that the prospect of the next band of rain was not expected until later in the afternoon, late enough for a dry ride. Joining Tim Newbery were Barry Jordan and Rob Whitworth and a pre arranged rendezvous with Reg Bagshaw at Little Carlton. The route would indeed take the club through Stewton to the Carltons, we were just a few minutes late meeting up with Reg. Increasingly blue skies and it was already feeling warm.
On leaving the A157 at Withern, Stain Lane would take us directly to Meers Bridge and Mablethorpe North End.
Mablethorpe has a surprisingly interesting history. It is thought that it was a secondary settlement to Skegness, set up by Viking traders from Helsingør, Denmark in 700-800 AD. However in 1564 a great storm tide broke up the raised ground of Skegness and Mablethorpe and the settlements were lost to the sea. Rebuilt over the centuries, Mablethorpe became the centre for ship breaking in the 19th Century. In later years in was notable for being a favourite haunt of Alfred Lord Tennyson and also the destination for the Morel family's first holiday in the D. H. Lawrence novel, Sons and Lovers!
A short ride into the town and along to the promenade and Coral Cafe for refreshments. A busy day at the cafe but not overcrowded and whilst taking coffee and bacon sandwiches we were introduced to a fellow Cycling UK cyclist, Lloyd who had been waiting our arrival. Lloyd had previously been riding with CTC Peterbough but now lives locally. Interesting tales and stories of how he had once ridden with Chris Boardman in a Time Trial (although very briefly before being passed at speed!).
Time now for a ride along the 'Coast and Country Cycle Trail' which runs from Mablethorpe to Sutton on Sea, Sandilands and Huttoft. For our route, we would depart the sea front at Sandilands but found the newly resurfaced and refurbished promenade a pleasure to cycle along. Great views of the beach, looking very summery under clear blue skies. Temperatures by now a pleasant 22 degrees Celsius.
Lloyd would join us for the short route to Farmer Brown's Ice Cream Parlour where single scoops, double scoops and 'healthy' fruit sundaes were consumed. This was Reg's first visit to Farmer Brown's.
Lloyd would head home from here whilst Rob, Reg, Barry and Tim would continue through Hagnaby and Beesby. Very rural scenery with farmers busy working the land to bring in the harvest. Interesting to see a large swathe of sunflowers, we could have been in Continental Europe. Onwards through Woodthorpe, Manby and Grimoldby where we bid farewell to Reg - Tim, Barry and Rob finally arriving back at the leisure centre on schedule at about 2.30 pm having completed 42 miles. (The rain held off till after 4 pm!)
An enjoyable day out and we hope to have the company of Lloyd again soon (hope that's the correct spelling!).
*Cycling UK Louth will continue to meet up at the Lesiure Centre on Wednesdays for ad hoc rides. Riders choice on the day.*