Monday, 3 October 2011

Sunday, October 2nd 2011 - Monday October 3rd 2011

Market Rasen Racecourse, Affilliated Caravan Club Site.

It is my birthday this week, that plus the excellent weather we have been having, has decided us that we will have another outing in the campervan.

Lincolnshire has been selected on the basis that it should be good cycling country, since it is flat!

Sunday morning, as we are due to leave, it has been glorious sunshine for the past week, this morning it is raining!, but as we head south, it clears and by the time we arrive at Market Rasen, shortly after lunch, it is another beautiful day.

We spend the remainder of the afternoon exploring Market Rasen, looking for good pub(s), and/or places to eat. This is not exactly successful.


Armed with our OS Map of the area, we set off on a cycle ride. The plan is to cycle to Horlton-cum-Beckering.

From the beginning almost, things do not go smoothly.

According to the map there is a "byeway", which will save us from cycling along the road.

Initially, due to my poor map reading skills, we cycle past it and have to retrace our steps.

We do not know it at the time, but cycling back to find it was not really a good idea. It starts well, but soon becomes this rough overgrown track.

It is impossible to cycle much of the time, because the surface alternates between deep ruts, and large irregular stones.

Kathleen plods on, with no complaints, this is ominous, she is not normally so cooperative.

Eventually we emerge from the overgrown byeway, at a small village called Linwood.

Here we see, there is a perfectly good cycle track, all nicely signposted and surfaced, which we could have taken from Market Rasen.

Still Kathleen is calm about it, no recriminations, what can the problem be?

We cycle on, following the cycle route signs, until we come to Wickernby.

By now, it is nearing times for elevenses, or at least  a coffee. So far we have not even seen a shop, nevermind a pub or cafe. At Wickernby, we stop for a rest and a drink of water (this being all that is on offer). We notice a group of people outside the church, they dressed as if they have been attending some function, but are having a picnic, we will soon find out why.

We continue on our way, soon we come to Wickerby Airport, don't get carried away, it is  not exactly Heathrow. It is a former WW2 RAF airfield, now used by light aircraft and helicopters, plus there are a few factory units.

Most interesting of all, there is (according to a sign) a cafe in the former control tower, we make our way there. Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. The place is like a scene form the film "Battle of Britain", ie a few empty chairs and a bowl of water for the dog, but no coffee or tea, I had even hoped for a bacon sandwich.

We pause and watch this helicopter take off, I have never been this close to a helicopter taking off before.

We now reason, if this was a former RAF airfield, there MUST be a pub nearby, I mean, in all of the best WW2 films, the pilots return from an "op" and go straight to the pub. We cycle on to Holton-cum-Beckering.

There is a pub, the "White Hart" we peddle to it briskly, "closed on Mondays", the sign says. Who ever heard of a pub which was closed on Mondays? Perhaps there is another pub in the village, but no, we cycle right through the place and emerge from the other side, no pub, no cafe.

We decide we will head back toward Market Rasen, before we die of dehydration, we can see from the map, we can return via a place called Lissington, it looks to be a reasonable size, perhaps....

that is right, no pub or cafe in Lissington.

On to Middle Rasen, here there is a fine church.

There is also a Bowls Club, a shop and a post office.

It even has a map and information board, showing "places of interest", nothing that interests us, no food, no refreshments.

Until now, we have been lighthearted about this, having a laugh as we pedalled along, the joke is beginning to wear thin.

Soon we are back in Market Rasen,  where we quickly find the Aston Arms and order ourselves pint shandies.

Refreshed, we return to the racecourse and caravan site.

We have cycled 21 miles this morning, after lunch, we spend the afternoon soaking up the sunshine.

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