Ride Report – Gillingham to Longleat/Frome

Saturday 4 May 2019

The Horse & Doom/Groom Ride

Mistake number one-left home in shorts. Boy that wind was lazy. Yep, rather go through you than round you. Made it to Orchard Park far too early but soon joined by Chairman Paul with a cold. Much more of that weather and he will have a double one. Also Charles, Mike A, Richard N, Jill & Roger, Lorraine, Ben and Mary. Paul returned home and Roger left us at Stourhead leaving eight brave/silly folk.
We went through Gill, Up Hardings Lane past the Riversmeet sport centre then took a footpath to Bay then on to Milton-on-Stour, Wolverton then into a mighty headwind across Zeals Airfield. The (only slightly) faster ones pressed ahead for a longer route whilst Richard took the two ladies on a shorter route. He’s got a way with the girls that Richard, bet he offered them out of date Mars Bars!
So whilst they went via Horningsham I think, ‘tothers went past Shearwater, turned left for Potters Hill, through the woods to the Longleat road then on to the main road for a mile before turning left for the Safari Park. Charlie became worried about becoming tonight’s lion’s supper but we assured him he was really far too tough for them. On to tiny villages before turning down possibly the narrowest, pot holiest, posterior numbingest lane in Wiltsh-no-the world! This brought us past some lovely woods before arriving at our lunch pub. Here it all fell apart when Jill warned that food would be ages coming as only the landlady was there and quite a few customers. We waited for at least 30 minutes before deciding that Sainsburys, Frome was the best option. Of course Richard knew a short cut and the food was excellent. Again Richard knew the best way home so we cycled almost to Trudoxhill before turning for Gare Hill. Of course the wind was with us now and the top section was soon climbed. Apologies here to Lorraine and Richard for not waiting for them at the top and congratulations Lorraine for undertaking what was quite a hard ride.

About 40 miles for us, thanks for the company and oh, maybe the Horse & Doom was a blessing as I had a ride from Alfred’s Tower to Penselwood had there been time- so next time!!

Ed Highnam

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