Ride Report – Stalbridge to Cheselbourne

Saturday 29 December 2018

Oh! —- BIG blank screen! No time & no inspiration. —- Last ride of the year too. Should be full of interests and adventures. Perhaps I need some Christmas Chivas Regal assistance ——- Ergo —– Bravely gathered at Dikes Auberge, Bistro & Cafe (haunt of bons viveurs, gastronomes, gourmets, gourmands and enthusiasts of “the big breakfast”)  at very close to 10 o’clock (as if they didn’t have any homes) were:-
Richard Nicholl
Mickey Biggnikkers Payne
Jenny —- Fresh from her Park Run (50km I believe)
Electric Ron — Fully charged
Mary — On the Pink Clone
Ed Higham
Me, Mickeydrippin (quality plumber)
——————–All bound for lunch at The River Arms at Cheselbourne. I was inefficient, so Charlie had checked online that they were open — but it was a bit bothersome that I couldn’t get an answer when I phoned to give them numbers: twice. Richard apparently wasn’t coming to the lunchstop, only as far as Mappowder (whence that name??? Something to do with The Gunpowder Plot, or maybe Yardley, Chanel?) I believe. Then he was going to return to Dikes for his lunch. Unfortunately he got his wish earlier than he intended since owing to “zipper problems” in the Gentlemen’s’ WC, he was left behind. We, meanwhile, oblivious of his fate (and possibly pain) pedalled orff towards Kings Stag, past that beautiful dairy (I think) building: not much mad traffic and nobody killed or maimed (not even a bit). Everyone seemed somewhat subdued in general, there wasn’t the usual banter and there was definitely some walrus puffing and panting up the first few hills. Result of turkey/Christmas pudding/mince pies/whisky or whiskey/ wine??? On to Hazelbury Bryan, Mappowder (Richard didnt leave us here cos he was already back at Dikes —— Sorry Richard! Rotten Ride-Leader) Plush, Piddletrenthide and over the moors to Cheselbourne and lunch.

It was rather an uneventful ride, under grey skies, but, fortunately no rain.

The only adventure as far as I was concerned was getting left behind for a phone call  not far from the lunch stop. I thought it was the River Alms ringing me to confirm our lunch stop, but no, just someone wanting their “pipes fixed” (I told them I was entirely the wrong person to ask to fix a leak. I was the one who usually created them). Anyway, then I had to catch up; going flat-out on a wet, greasy and muddy road: downhill fast to a Y junction and starting to take the wrong fork. Instead of going on, stopping sensibly and retracing my steps to the correct turn, Joe Soap tightened the turn whilst braking hard and attempted the road.  Wheels skidding all over the place, backwards and forwards across the road, while road barriers and large (enough to be painful, even terminal) flashed past my eyes. Made it, just! Made me think, though, that perhaps I should “put my affairs in order”

Mary had waited for me, or Jenny, at the bottom of a turning and very unexpected hill, so I/we were in entirely the wrong gear.

And then, apart from taking the left turn instead of the right (called back by The Executive Officer/Officer Of The Watch) we arrived for lunch. Up the steep drive to the car park. Doors locked, serious concerns regarding sustenance and bodily comforts, frowns and hurtful comments from the distaff fraternity, till some bright spark suggested that we go down to the main entrance.
Yeah !!! They were open and willing to feed us, even to the point of providing beetroot and tomato soup of a pleasing bluish-red hue. And to please the rest of us too! Naturally the sun came out while we were in the pub, just to make us feel suitably wistful as we hit the road again under grey skies.

Back home through Ansty and Hazelbury Bryan to Sturminster Newton, where Mary and Jenny peeled off, out towards Marnhull. Ed peeled off at some point there and Ron too, leaving only Charlie, Mickey Biggnikkers and Mickeydrippin to “return to base”: Richard had not hung on!

That’s it! There’s no time to check the punctuation! Gotta get this in to The Press Office

Happy New Year to everyone: good rides, lotsa sun, no crashes or sore bottoms
Mike Anyan

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