Saturday 18 August 2018
After last week’s soggy ride, the weather today was perfect for those who have an aversion to ‘tarmac melting’ temperatures or prolonged precipitation.
A few of our regulars were not expected however – Jackie and Martin were having a ‘relatively’ good time in Cornwall, Caroline and Ken had disappeared abroad with their 3 hounds to bonnie Scotland, Mike (mile eater) Pain had taken his family plus surf boards to Newquay, Mike Anyan had again been called out for an emergency plumbing job and Tony was still AWOL!
So only 10 of us met at Time after Time café where large Marquees had been erected – preparing for a large extravaganza in the evening. After our coffee/tea cups and plates were emptied at 10.30, Keith returned home – his heart problem will hopefully soon improve, enabling him to attend full rides. But good to have Alex with us again after an enforced absence.
A tried and tested route was followed, passing through Kings Stag and Hazelbury Bryan – Paul and Roger left us just as Pete and Nicky joined us after riding over from Ash. That now left 9 of us finding our way to Milborne St Andrew. Here, Ed went on ahead in search of a gateway for obvious reasons. When Ron and I caught up with him – the rest of the group being 200 yards behind – he had been ‘stung’ into action. The nettles were higher than he estimated, so he received a shock in a sensitive area – Ron and I said we wouldn’t tell anyone, so we didn’t!
After the unavoidable section of busy main road to Wool via the Bovington Camp Training area and Monkey World, we cycled the last 4 miles on a quiet lane to the Walled Garden at Moreton. A wedding party taking place meant that the only hot food was Baked potatoes with various fillings of course – which proved to be excellent – plus the sandwiches and Ploughman’s.
The exciting part of lunch however was dominated by the squadrons of WASPS which took a liking to our food and drink. At our end of the table, Major Matten took great delight in trapping as many critters as possible in an upturned glass tumbler – I counted al least 7 – Jill meanwhile, deserved an Academy Award for imitating a ‘pop up’ toaster as she tried in vain to avoid any contact with the hovering pests. She must have spent more time standing than sitting.
The return journey had no unpleasant surprises and after a long slog up the Piddle Valley, someone remembered that the small farm shop at Buckland Newton sold ice cream and lollies. So stop we did – it saved the day, so suitably refreshed we set off on the last leg, Pete and Nicky leaving us at Duntish and the rest of us splitting up at Bagber crossroads.
My thanks to Mary, Jill, Nicky, Ed, David, Alex, Ron and Pete for putting up with me all day. No problems with bikes and no unplanned stoppages.
Only a measly 53 miles for me today. Everyone else will have done significantly more.
And now to the other 3 big mile eaters in our club – Mary, Nicky and Pete – Someone told me that they said “ it really isn’t worth going out for less than 100 miles nowadays” – CHEEK