Ride Report – Fontmell Magna to Tarrant Monkton

Saturday 15 November 2019

Finally……a sunny Saturday!   Obviously organised by Mary who had celebrated her enormous birthday this week!!  We met at Fontmell Magna’s tea room which was chosen by way of support for our struggling village shop.   Popular with cyclists however as the cake portions were generous and we had to depart to make room for the next cycle group.   13 riders arrived but Keith went straight home, Ed came a short distance then left for choir practice and Ron, disappointed that I couldn’t provide any fords to cross, left us exiting the grounds of Bryanston school.

Hitting the Trailway at Shillingstone, the colours of the trees, particularly the oaks, nearly took my mind off the prospect of punctures, but the autumn leaves softened the rougher surfaces and we stopped to enjoy the rush of the Stour through the sluices just before Durweston.  And no punctures!  The beech trees of Bryanston were glorious and a pleasant ride through Langton Long and up the Tarrant valley had some riders actually removing layers in the continuing autumn sunshine.

The Langton Arms at Tarrant Monkton were ready for us as Ken had alerted them to our arrival.  The food choice was a bit limited – baguettes which are a bit pricey but people shared, they were tasty, and the staff made us welcome.   Everyone was happy, especially Roger who, according to Jill, had an “enormous one”…..Ooh err, Mrs!!

And that was my task complete – I could hand over to Ken for the return ride!  It was all set up for him on my Garmin ( which whined at us all the way through lunch) – what could go wrong?!   Thank you to all who came along:   Over to you Ken …….

For some totally undeserved reason, I seem to have acquired a reputation as an unreliable navigator, so you can imagine the reservations I felt about “leading” the return from Caroline’s ride to Tarrant Monkton.  I need not have worried.   I was accompanied by eight other riders, all of whom ( with the possible exception of Jackie!) knew the way home blindfold.   And anyway, I had been given Caroline’s Garmin with the route clearly displayed.

We set off, cunningly avoiding Ron’s favourite ford, and the picture on the Garmin resolutely remained at the pub, never to move again!  No sweat, even I could follow the road up through Tarrant Gunville and then Mary escorted me around Child Okeford as the team gradually speared off to go their separate ways home.   A thank you to all for letting me ” lead” the return.

Ken Rhodes
P.S.  Is he hired?

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