I love climbing hills, but sometimes you just want to potter along on the flat, putting very little effort in and shooting the breeze. For Sheffield cyclists that means only one thing – go east! Lincolnshire is flat and the quickest way to get there from Sheffield is to take the train to Lincoln. Takes just over an hour, £17 return, it is just a pity there are no direct services on a Sunday morning. Run by Northern Rail there is a notional limit of two bikes on any train. Julia and I had no trouble getting on, although we did notice that on our outbound journey there were seven bikes on the train at one point.
Arriving in Lincoln it is best to cross the road outside the station on foot and exit the town using the Water Rail Way. This segregated cycle track takes you along the River Witham for 10 miles to Bardney, where the former station has been converted into a cafe and heritage centre. From there it is pretty much a flat southerly route along the river, largely on quiet country roads until a further cycle track takes you into Boston where we found another cafe and watched the world go by.
Exiting Boston to the south is more tricky and involves crossing the river on a major road before cycling along the side of the port. A very welcome but rather narrow cycle track tacks you over Fosdyke Bridge alongside the fast and furious A17. We stayed in Holbeach at the very friendly Elloe Lodge where the owners happily locked our bikes away for the night and didn’t mind us clunking across their wooden floors in our cycling shoes. A hot shower, a walk around and a curry and the best night’s sleep possible followed in rapid succession.
We were then faced with the question; what do you do when you wake up with 60 miles to ride and it is pouring down? The answer, start pedalling and keep pedalling, all the while planning to stop in Bardney for some fish and chips.
Two days, 115 miles, no hills except the climb back to the house in Sheffield. What’s not to like?