The opening gambit for this Friday’s ride came from Raymond but initially there was no route forthcoming. Perhaps he was keeping his cards close to his chest, waiting to see how many “players” were going to turn up. “We have a limited number of ‘casinos’ where they can easily cater for so many ‘high rollers'” he opined as he ‘dealt out the cards’ to the eleven players who’d taken a place at the table (aka Manor House).
A breathless Michael, having originally gone to the wrong ‘table’, arrived just in time to register his ‘stake’. He was also the first to lay his cards on the table as the gamblers set off along Finchcroft Lane. Unfortunately his gain on the ‘first round’ came to nought as we all came together at Cherry Burton.
The next few ‘deals’ saw the players eyeing each other up trying to figure out who’s bluffing and who’s holding as they navigated their way through Etton and on to Holme-on-the-Wolds. While approaching the church at South Dalton, a cry from the “croupier” called out to “limit the stake” to reduce the losses incurred by other players. However the leading pair were “on a roll” and continued the high stakes until reaching the top.
The next “deal” saw the players maintain level pegging until reaching Middleton-on-the-Wolds where Mark took to the front with a good run leading the players to North Dalton. Thereafter, Matty then showed some “finesse” as he led the way up to Huggate. After all the poker faces heading uphill, a change of “game” was therefore very welcome as we switched to the “roulette wheel” spinning our way down to Tibthorpe. “Odds and Evens” or “Red and Black” were the most popular choice as the players battled against the wind to Hutton and Cranswick. While most of the players headed for the cafe, Dave 💦🏡 decided to head for the “cage” and cash in his “chips” before heading for home.
Following our lunch break, the players set off for the next “game” which was announced by Raymondo, minus Steve who decided to cash in and head directly home. Retracing our steps back through Cranswick we then looped round Carr Lane to Watton. Along the way, Sharrin showed a good hand taking the lead and upping the stakes. On reaching Watton, the “dealer” asked what game we’d like to play now. “Is it ‘Flanders Field’ or high stakes main road to Kilnwick?” he asked. “That way” pointed Pugwash. “You don’t want to go ‘that way'” warned Matty “It’s a minefield of potholes” he added. Reluctantly he followed where others led.
Following the umpteenth shout of “POTHOLE” and a couple of off-road trips, Matty piped up “Now do you believe me!” It did feel a bit like the ball bouncing around in the roulette wheel but eventually we reached smoother surfaces. Our next game took us from Kilnwick to Lockington. “I’m not familiar with this game. I don’t think I’ve played here before” he mused despite his previous two attempts. We were soon back to more familiar territory on Bracken Lane.
The final deal took the players back to South Dalton. On the Dalton ramp an impromptu ‘race’ occurred as Matty raised the stakes matched by Pugwash and Michael. Just as Pugwash managed to get to the front, the other two upped the ante even more with Michael coming out on top as the others “folded”. The rest of the journey home was a little gentler, well until “Grannies Hump” where Chad having played a quiet game suddenly burst to life with a “full house” posting the best time of the day of 29sec and an average speed of 37.9 km/h.
Given the heat of the last few days, today’s ride in grey skies and light easterly breeze proved quite a contrast. Another excellent ride, no ‘winners’ no ‘losers’ but an enjoyable day out for all. Well perhaps not Flanders Field!