Saturday 17 April 2018
With a dry day predicted I booked a table for 12 at the Udder Farm but was surprised when 21 riders arrived all on bikes no cars, the largest number for a long time. The café managed to fit us all in and after our drinks and cake we all gathered outside for the group photo which included 2 new riders Peter and Simon from Gillingham on mountain bikes. We then set off towards East Stour crossroads and made our way through the lanes to Stour Row, East Orchard then Iwerne Minster where we started the long slow climb to the top road. After a regroup we carried on straight across on the descent to Tarrant Gunville which was still flooded despite there not being any rain for 2 days. The flood was several hundred yards long but not too deep so everyone negotiated it ok with the 2 mountain bikes given a wide berth because of lack of mudguards! We crossed the A357 at Tarrant Hinton and followed the road around the ford at Tarrant Monkton then onto Tarrant Keyneston and the lane into Blandford. By now the sun was out and it was getting warm so 2 riders decided to stop at M&S for a sandwich and eat them in the sunshine. The rest of us parked our bikes at the church and went into Brasserie 65 where they were happy to accommodate a large group of 16. Lunch arrived quickly for most but Peter had to wait for some time for his omelette. When everyone had finished we all gathered in the high street just ready to set off when Lorraine shouted puncture! Charlie is the usual mechanic but he decided to delegate and so Ben got the job while the rest of us watched in the sunshine. With the puncture repaired we started off down the high street and turned right into the road that goes up through Bryanston school to Durweston and on to the trailway at Stourpaine. Due to the warm sunny weather we decided to stop at Shillingstone railway café for an ice cream. 3 riders decided to carry on without stopping but the rest of us stayed and enjoyed an ice cream in the sunshine. We got going again and left the trailway to head into Child Okeford then Manston, Todber and back to East Stour.
40 miles all together and great weather.
Riders Martin, Jackie, Jill, Roger, Ed, Lorraine, Mary, Dave M, Robin, Charlie, Tony, Ben, Mike A, Mike P, Alex, Richard N, Paul, Jim, Ron and 2 new riders Paul and Simon.