Ride Report - Midhopestones
A very eventful day.
We started with eight leaving Whiston, but one left us leaving the village (Just came to see everyone in our new kit), and two left us as we entered Hoyland (Didn't fancy what was about to come).
It was a pretty miserable day. Misty, drizzly but still quite warm, so was very muggy.
As advertised this route was not for the feint-hearted, there were a few lumps and bumps to begin with, but as soon as we left Hoyland we knew it was going to be a day of big climbs. First we tackled Lowe Lane at Hood Green. A tasty 1.4 km category 4 with an average gradient of 6%. We all managed to get over this hurdle without too much issue. We then followed the road as it meandered through the hills over to Midhopestones where we took on the climb used in 2014's Tour de France, the infamous Cote de Midhopestones a 2.5km category 3. This was a lot harder than we expected it to be.
We waited for all the members to regroup on the top where we went past a 25% gradient sign. We then descended, which was fine at first, but as we approached the hair pin, the rain and slippery road surface meant that a few members over-cooked the corner. The worse off being Paul who, if it wasn't for the wire fence, would have surely needed an ambulance. Instead he ended up with a few cuts and bruises.
We carried on from here more cautiously. More hills skirting around the lake at Stocksbridge and as the weather wasn't getting any better, rather than going up to Wortley and tackling Pea Royd Lane, we went down to Hillsbrough where we headed for the Riverside Cafe.
Before we got there, Darren came a cropper turning into a t-junction and his bike slipped from under him on the white paint.
I'm glad to report that both riders a fine and well.
After the cafe we bombed down the A61 and then over past the old Airport before returning to Whiston.
After diverting to Hillsbrough, club member Ade pointed out the Riverside cafe to us where we stopped for food, drink and warmth.
There was a lot on offer, a few of us had quiche and a few had pork sandwiches. The staff were really welcoming and even filled out water bottles for us.
We sat inside, but there was a nice seating area outside on the back which overlooked the river. If it was a sunnier, warmer day this would have been ideal.
This is a cafe we'll factor into another ride.
As we were only a small group we stuck together for the most part, but we really came together and and supported each other as the weather turned and the incidents unfolded.
No man was left behind, we rode as a group and made decisions as a group. That's what our club is all about.
Our next Sunday club ride is this weekend, 19th June. After this weekends events, it's a nice gentle ride to our favourite cafe The Broomwagon in Retford. See you there.