Welcome back Summer

Summer has decided to gatecrash the party, after a Spring that seemed to be more like Winter in disguise the clouds parted to reveal endless blue skies. I headed out for a ride on Tuesday evening on the new Whyte to savour some heat, light and the little used tracks that thread through Nottinghamshire.

Less than 2 miles from home in Sherwood lays greenbelt land as far as you can see. It was 6.00pm and the early evening sun sat high beating down muggy warmth on the last of the commuter traffic. I left the road near Mapperley and disappeared onto the footpaths. Decent tracks cut down through the rapeseed fields to Lambley, Ploughmans Wood, Woodborough and down through to Oxton Village.

Oxton provides a path that leads up to Robin Hood Hill, a pointy hill that gives views over North Notts for miles around. On this balmy summers evening a couple and a family had made their way up the hill for a sunset picnic. I found a quiet patch to refuel with some posho waitrose pasties and a flapjack the size of a breezeblock.

Paths snake their way through empty fields and woods which lead to Farnsfield, unable to handle the intensive urban metropolis it was back to the fields taking a path to Blidworth as the sun dipped behind the horizon.

Blidworth Bottoms and Thieves Wood are great spots for riding, like a mini Sherwood Pines full of fast winding intersecting singletrack and tree roots. Unfortunately after dark it also serves as Nottinghamshire’s premier location for after dark lovin between strangers. Best keep pedalling.

The route home was through Thieves Wood to Burntstump Country Park which is spitting distance from Bestwood and finally Redhill, mostly without using main roads. Three punctures aside, it was a perfect night. Two weeks ago I slept out in Derbyshire and woke to a frost, tonight was too warm in a t-shirt.

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