Ride Report – Shillingstone to Upton House

Saturday 13 July 2019

When Charlie put me down for this ride little did I know that a gentle ride to Upton House would cause enough hot air to power a hot air balloon!!

We met at Shillingstone Station for a 10.30 depart on the still-blocked Durweston Road. “We” being Charlie, Chairman Paul, Mary, Ron, Ken, Ben, Mike P with Caroline, Jill, Roger and Lorraine leaving for bell ringing and other reasons.

Whilst the leader(??) thought it best to join the trailway to Blandford it was decided to go via that cheap Bryanston School then following Caroline’s route to the Langford Long road which took us to Wimborne. Ron knew the Sustrans route through the town so far but as the direction pointers are no longer there I made the first of many wrong turns which gave us all a quite new view of the town.

We joined the Castleman Trail by the Willett Arms. It has a decent surface and completely level but as I had only ridden it from the other direction a left hand turn was missed and we came across a stream which I had never encountered afore so stopped and asked a couple of walkers the way. It happened that one of them was of Asian decent and (insult no.1) Ron spouts “not only got us lost but had to ask a foreigner directions!” So we crossed the busy roads and entered Upton House where a tasty, reasonably priced lunch awaited. During lunch there were more aspersions cast on my character when guess who, Ron threatened to tell all at church about me but even worse our (once) esteemed Chairman suggested I needed to join Ron for holy guidance That’s insult 2&3.

I had intended treating all to a ride back across the gravel tracks of  ,Tarrant Valley and Church Lane (cart track) up to Hartgrove but Mike sensibly suggested a less rural route so we set off through Upton only to become involved in their carnival. We of course won the cup for the best comedy group and had to weave our way with the procession through town then on to the two Lychetts’ before crossing the road at Stur Marshall and back to Blandford where Ken had disappeared like a Phantom and Ron kept going whilst five of us went to the M & S café for a reviver. Ben left here and the four of us took the Trail to Durweston before joining the main road to Hammoon where Charlie suffered a chain problem (note, must give him maintenance coaching sometime). I both was unaware of this and running out of puff so kept going for home.

Thanks all for a most enjoyable day. 60 miles for me, more for some.

Ed Highnam

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