Saturday 12 October 2019
In the Rain
I will emphasise the rain…….it was constant. From the leaving home, to Sturminster, persistent heavy shower. Sturminster to Fontmell Magna slightly heavier rain with blobs and drips from the trees. Up to Ashmore more drizzly but in your face downhill to Charlton. Heavy spitting on to the Rising Sun. After lunch slighter spitting till the Donheads. Then to Semley and Motcombe heavy, relentless rain – the proper wetting soaking kind. Turnpike to Marnhull, heavy grey wet soaking rain. So now you can imagine the cycling conditions, the stalwart, brave co-riders can be revealed. Clingons at the start – Mike P off to get in the miles on B roads hoping to avoid tyre deflation situations. Lorraine, sensibly home to relax.
Now the serious part, Charlie, Ron, Mary and her pal Lynne joined me on this rain sodden adventure. Inevitably Mary, Lynne and Ron escaped up the Fontmell Mountain, while Charlie, gentleman that he, is accompanied me struggling puffing and finally having to walk. At this point I grizzled to myself, what was I doing! Was this necessary? I vowed that at the top I would chicken out and miss the Ashmore loop. Well I didn’t, on account of Mary, encouraging me to persevere. The descent from Ashmore was exhilarating, channels of rain water finding the shortest way across the road, flooding, spray from fast cars, spiralling up and over us. After Charlton Lynne took us, near the pub, to see magnificent Suffolk Punches, 13 of them, a real treat! Arriving at Ludwell two unexpected visitors with broad smiles cheered us up! Jenny and Roger came to join in our lunch. The food was like the Curate’s egg: paninis, sandwiches and jackets were great and good value, but Mary’s soup was delicate and pretty, i.e. small. As we left, once again I was tempted to chicken out: I nearly went straight home, but Mary and Lynne were going to do my whole route and the rain was less heavy, so I went on. Within a few minutes it was the wrong decision, heavy – the heaviest all day, rain poured onto us. Lynne and Mary peeled off in Motcombe, Charlie and I continued splashing on to East Stour, Stour Row, Todber and Marnhull. Just over 40 miles in the worst conditions I have ridden in for ages. However as I missed all my cycling this week, and will next week too, I had to go….especially with the responsibility of leading. Now, home, dry, full of dinner, I will admit I am so pleased I went, perversely, in retrospect, I actually enjoyed my day out!