Saturday 28 July 2018
No matter how early I arrive for a Saturday ride there always seems to be someone from BVCC there before me. This morning was no exception as Richard (odd socks) was sat on a platform bench seat outside the Station Cafe at an impressive hour of 9:40am with a huge smile to greet Charlie, Alan and myself. Following the bolt sliding back on the cafe door I counted 13 enthusiastic BVCC riders(Alan, Charlie, Mary, Ron, David, Jenny, Roger & Jill, Paul, Richard N. Richard P. & Robin) sat around the tables drinking mugs of tea and coffee ready for my planned ride to Corfe Castle. As is usually the case there was a shorter alternative ride that Richard N. had planned.
As we set off along the Trail way towards Durweston I had 4 other companions Mary, Charlie, David & Ron. Where was Alan? Ooops, I had not given Alan a briefing on the planned route, and he had set off in the wrong direction. Not a good start as a ride leader! Following a few minutes wait I managed to retrieve Alan and we set off again. The weather had certainly changed on the day compared to what we have grown used to over the last few months, avg. temp for the ride was only 16 deg. C and there was a strong south westerly breeze of 26 mph. We continued on our route over the footbridges following Stourpaine to Durweston , then on to Bryanston Shchool where David commented how good it was to cycle on some newly laid surfaces of tarmac! We continued over the weir at Blandford and on towards Sturminster Marshall. Soon afterwards I managed to loose 2 more of my companions Ron & Charlie, where they turned left at Keyneston Mill along NCN 253, towards Tarrant Keynestone & returned home (and then there were 4!). My route took us through Lychett Matravers and Hamworthy where my peloton had a brief pause due to the twin sail bridges opening in front of us. Traffic through Poole & the Sandbanks road was very busy, yet we just kept to the cycle way lane and managed to catch the Sandbanks Chain Ferry just as it arrived. We paid our one pound fare and enjoyed a very wind swept crossing to Shell Bay. As we made the crossing David pointed out the impressive Hotel on Brownsea Island , owned by John Lewis, where their staff get preferential holidays. We encountered what amounted to a sand storm on disembarking from the ferry into the south westerly head wind! On leaving Studland we enjoyed good views over Poole Harbour and surrounding National Nature Reserve. Oh no, not again, Alan decided to leave us at the Corfe Castle Junction with the A351 to make his own way back to Stalbridge, due to an evening commitment. Yet another member of my Peloton (and then there were 3!).
David, Mary and myself enjoyed lunch at the Greyhound Inn in Corfe overlooking the Castle, where I had previously booked a table. The food was good and was served in a very few minutes.
Our return home was via Hartland Moor Nature Reserve, Wareham, Bere Regis & the Winterbornes, it was a little less hard work as we enjoyed a following breeze on occasions. However, there was a sting in the tail due to encountering Okeford Hill towards the end of the ride and also manging to catch several rain showers.
Just a few stats to finish my report. Distance from Stalbridge: 83.1miles; Max bike speed: 40mph (we did have Mary with us after all!).