Ride Report- Sturminster Newton to Blandford

Saturday 7 December 2020

Prologue
Yesterday (Friday), Chairman Paul rang me. He was suffering from some dreadful lurgy so would not be able to shepherd us to Sturminster Marshall as planned. He did however think that we should pick a somewhat shorter ride as we are very close to 21/22 Dec.

  • 10 full time riders turned up at Poets Corner Café – David M, David WM, Jackie, Martin, Mary, Mike A, Ben, Ed, Ron and yours truly.
  • Mike Pain had deserted us again, preferring to ride a 200Km Audax from Bristol – if interested, see STRAVA
  • 3 clingons also turned up but they had valid excuses.
  • Jill (who had borrowed Joseph’s coat of many colours) was still suffering badly from another type of lurgy so returned home – get well soon Jill, we miss your cheerful banter.
  • Richard wanted to get home in the daylight, so planned his shorter ride, returning back to PC Café for lunch!
  • Roger decided to go with Roger to keep him company
  • Someone suggested that Café 65 at Blandford would be a suitable lunch spot due to ample seating arrangements, rapid service and sensible prices. This was carried unanimously.
  • Off we went after the photo session –  the Café proprietor gladly agreed to hold the camera!
  • Our route was via Manston, Hammoon then across the main road to Okeford Fitzpaine.
  • The next obstacle was Okeford Hill  –  Chairman Paul was adamant that it must be climbed, said he would be thinking of us as we struggled upwards – thank you Paul!
  • Blimey –  nobody walked up this monster today!  First time I’ve seen this display of hill climbing ability since I joined the club in 2012!!
  • Full marks to Jackie who never gives up – she deserves a CDM
  • At the bottom of the descent, Ron shot off back home ( the route for the 2020 Tour de France is due to be announced this very day! )
  • Another gentle climb up out of Winterborne Stickland then the welcome 3 mile drop into Blandford.
  • We arrived early at 12.05 outside Café 65 – bikes all safely locked up outside the church opposite.
  • Great food and service and prices as usual.
  • Back homewards via the traffic free trailway to Shillingstone then Child Okeford where we were sorely tempted to knock on Paul’s door – civility prevailed!
  • On to Manston, with the group finally splitting near Marnhull

No idea of the mileage today as I forgot to wear my Garmin timepiece. Never mind cos I’m sure we all enjoyed the ride in the dry weather conditions, with much friendly chatter and no enforced holdups.

Thank you all……………….Charlie Porter

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