Weekend Ride – Stalbridge to Ibberton

Saturday 16 March 2019

Fearless Five Fight the Force Forty Five mph winds, led by Roger.

Roger was recovering from a lingering cold, anticipating an early return home when we arrived at Dikes in Stalbridge. Within a few minutes it was evident this would be a less well attended ride. Ed, Charlie, Mary, Jill and our leader.

We set off the classic way, floundering in the gusty bouts of wind, towards Stourton Caundle but the first diversion our leader took was down towards Goat Hill, a sharp bend and up again. A long grind up Holt Hill with a cross wind for company brought us eventually to cross the A3030 at Bishops Caundle. The wind still knocking us sideways, we ploughed on to Glanvilles Wootton, admiring the topiary Scottie dog with its pup on the verge. Crossing the Dorchester road through the lanes to Mappowder, the wind was now behind and wooooo we sped along the lane, doubled back with side wind again up to Park Gate and on to Droop. We felt a little droopy by now, constantly battered and blown beside gateway gaps, and I certainly began to wonder why I was there….However, not much further and another swoop into Ibberton.

A special side room with the table laid for 8 – 10 had been allocated, the beer was tasty and not pricey and an excellent menu – especially for cyclists, meant lunch was cheerful and satisfying. Sorry for those who missed it – do go it was excellent. Mary enquired about the ancient door into the bar – listed apparently, and the old part of the pub is over 500 years old!
Now the fun started, a little rise through Belchalwell Street, and a glorious tail wind propelled us furiously down to Okeford Fitzpaine. I was doing 32 mph and Mary well ahead of me….never has my speedometer been consistently over 20 mph for so long! Another roll round and down to Shillingstone, on to Child Okeford, Farrington and eventually the Orchards and Manston. Twisty roads and lanes briefly exposed us to side winds but we were rolling by now!

Mary left for Todber and home as the now fearless four battled back into the wind to Marnhull.

Forty miles, not the highest mileage, however it was hard earned, quite a lot enjoyed, especially the golden PRs for Strava in the tail winds, and best of all, our leader did it all, from the front – Hurrah, he’s better.

Jill Halton’s version of the day.

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