Ride Report – Sparkford to Westerhay

Saturday 7 September 2019

Something of the autumnal about this, 17 members and friends gathered for coffee in the sunshine. With about 1200 years of life’s experience between them, care was taken to stay out of the cooling breeze from the North.

13 set off on the ride, no room for tridecaphobia, Ron promised to go home before lunch. NCN 26 would take us to Glastonbury. Riding along Kennard road it was apparent that the camping and caravan fraternity were as enthusiastic about the outdoor life as ever. On through the gap in the hedge, passing the Abbey Tea Rooms on this occasion we turned left into the precinct. Pedestrian or not? That is the question! No matter cos this is not a bicycle but a walking aid with wheels set to a different plan.

Heading north around the Godney’s it did not require the assistance of a weather man, as the Minstrel put it, to know which way the wind blows, it’s just a feature of cycling on the levels. We cycled on past Double Gates to rendezvous with Ed’s brother at our lunch stop Sweets Tea Rooms. “Apple Pie and Custard”!! You can keep your energy gels this is real cycling fuel.

Having read of the joys of cycling in the Telegraph supplement Ed’s brother appeared to have designs on becoming a MAMIL!! Too late, we are now entering the GOMIL phase. You may transpose the O and G if desired. Four headed off for prior engagements. Agreeable lunch taken, no queue, medicament administered the remaining eight chose the Bittern Trail for the return journey. Suitable for road bikes exclaims the brochure, “Oh fortunate bicycle,” we know that it’s really the track bed immortalized by Betjeman ‘s Branch Line (see You Tube).

Declining the invitation to a Vintage rally we pressed on turning south to Street, Baltonsborough, and at last some hills to The Lydfords. A favorite place, West Lydford, where despite the recent pollution alerts on Somerset’s rivers, bright young things still leap from the bridge and swim in the river. To complete the day there’s the sound of leather on willow, the Lydford cricketers are home.

Having safely crossed the railway track under Richard’s guidance!! It was back to Haynes for afternoon tea. Notable were the sideways glances and half smiles, in envy or sympathy from the gathered glums on our arrival.

Without doubt the rising popularity of cycling whether Legtronic or Electrically assisted must be a good thing. Not so sure about the Porky Pies on Strava concerning the weight, watts and calories which seem to be in reverse proportion to the Pork Pies consumed resulting in some not so “fortunate bicycles”, apologies to Myfanwy.

Thank you all, for once again making it a grand day out.

The Cast:
Richard N, Lorraine, Roger, Charlie, Ed, Ben, Ron, Geoff, Martin, Jackie
Dave M, Phil, Arthur, Martin T and  John B.

Nicky Vaughan

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