Ride Report – Gillingham to Crockerton (not Castle Cary to Wells)

Saturday 5 October 2019

We’re having a competition this year – it’s called SWAP YOUR RIDE.  The leader with the most swaps gets a prize – yet to be determined.  Richard the cake is already in the lead as he was too weak to lead today’s outing!

Ron and I agreed to modify the route somewhat as we felt that Castle Cary to Wells would not attract a large following at this time of year, hence the aforementioned ride.

  • 11 bikers arrived at Orchard Park
  • 2 of these were ‘cling ons’ – Lorraine was set to visit Robin and Sally. Richard had taken 3 hours to cycle from home (must truly be ill) and would return to Wincanton before midnight!
  • The 9 adventurers were Ron, Jill, Mary, Roger, Ed, Ken, Martin, Paul and TCP
  • We set off after the standard official photo shoot – taken by an unsuspecting member of the public when Lorraine  – bless her – shoved her mobile into his hands and told him to point it at us.
  • Ron was now our ‘front man’ and so we all followed him unquestioningly with me bringing up the rear as Tail end Charlie
  • A preponderance of long black leggings was in evidence this morning, indicative of cooler weather to come – it is October after all.
  • Jill was sporting her RAPHA leggings, a few pence less than the Empire State Building – she was disappointed however that this manufacturer had no plans to bring out the ¾ length option.
  • Mary was competing with Jill with her flashy new resplendent pink jersey long sleeved top. What next – pink Hair??
  • As we passed Shearwater, Ron decided to take a wrong (as it turned out) turn – 2 short steep hills bringing the sound of crunching low gears. He eventually shepherded us into the car park of Crockerton Garden Centre – bang on time.
  • The food was excellent, affordable and served promptly. We had chose either soup, toasted sandwiches, or paninis. The soups were worth a special mention as they came with a mountainous chunk of brown bread!
  • Time to go now, left on the main road for 1 mile then right to the Deverills.
  • There were a few moans as we approached Mere DOWN, climbing the UP section of 2 miles then at last swooping down the run into Mere then left on the back road towards Motcombe.
  • Somehow we lost Mary on the way, but She’s tough and knows her way around.
  • Martin and Ken took a right turn towards Gillingham – Ken had parked his Jeep there – he was on his own today as Caroline was bell ringing for a wedding – bringing another £40 into the household coffers – enough for a 10 minute flight in their lovely super new ultralight aircraft.
  • Ron took the remaining 6 of us back via Duncliffe Wood then right to Todber where Paul and Ron said their goodbyes, the rest of us heading for Marnhull and Stalbridge.

The first ride of the club’s new year and no rain like last weeks deluge in Yorkshire and the south. I managed 55 miles on a trouble free day, apart from Ed’s rear wheel keeping us all awake with its irritating squelch all day!

Thanks to Ron for his pathfinder role today and to the rest of you for the pleasant banter. As Jill says in her fine report, club rides keep us together.

Charlie Porter

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