Saturday 31 March 2018
Having watched the weather forecast the night before, I was fairly confident that I would not be called upon to lead Saturday’s ride to Moreton. Imagine my disappointment when at 9.40 there was a knock on the door and outside were a bedraggled Charlie and Mike complaining that the café was not yet open. After cups of tea while drying their gloves on the Aga. we went over to the Gold Hill café to find Mary, Ben and Ed dressed to ride, and Martin, Jackie, Robin and Lorraine who had sensibly come by car.
As the rain seemed to have eased we set off through increasingly wet and muddy lanes towards Ansty. Perhaps discouraged by his encounter with a deep water-filled pothole Ed decided to peel off at this point and go home, leaving the rest of us to continue down the valley to Cheselbourne. Leaving the village we passed the recently re-opened Rivers Arms and tempted by the roaring wood burning stove, decided to make an early lunch stop there. We were made very welcome and it was with some reluctance that we set out to return by a revised route. The road from Cheselbourne to Piddletrenthide is remarkably hilly, but the group were very kind in waiting for the leader to catch up at the top of the many hills. We made our way back via Plush (more hills) to Hazelbury Bryan, where Ben left for home, and then to Sturminster Newton where the river level was ominously close to the tops of the arches of the bridge. Charlie and Mike continued on towards Marnhull, while Mary came as far as Manston before turning home towards Shaftesbury to get ready for her holiday.
Moreton will have to wait for another day.