Saturday 28 December 2019
Although Ron refuses to be a ride leader, Charlie had persuaded him to let us follow him to Hamish’s for today’s ride! Unfortunately a last minuet change of home plans meant that Ron was unable to ride today and everyone ended up following me instead.
At coffee I was joined by Jenny (going home to play tennis) and Jill (still suffering miserably from a cold) as well as the followers -Charlie, Mike A, Ed, Roger and Keith (who only followed as far as Sturminster Newton).
My ETA for lunch was 1 o’clock, Charlie thought we would be there by midday, so he phoned to reserve a table for 12:30. My timing would have been spot on -but we had a few delays.
Firstly we were late setting off from Henstridge. They were busier than usual with cooked breakfasts and their kettle was struggling to keep up so Roger’s tea didn’t arrive until nearly 10:30, then ten minuets after setting out Roger had a puncture! The offending miniature flint arrowhead in his front tyre was soon found and the new tube installed so the ride could continue.
I led them up in to Marnhull, down through Hinton St Mary and on through Sturminster Newton where my front light decided to leap off my handlebars. Thanks to Keith for rescuing it from being crushed the following cars. It wasn’t going to clip easily back in place so I stuffed it in my pocket to be fixed later, rather than add to the delay. (The Sturminster traffic lights didn’t help -they were on red for ages!)
Onwards through Hazelbury Brian and Glanvilles Wooton -no floods and some nice smooth stretches of new tarmac, across the A352 at Holnest park and I was suddenly aware of some commotion behind me. On a perfectly straight, pothole- and car- free lane, Charlie had managed to fall of his bike! No serious damage, the bike was fine, his brand new leggings (only three years old and already mended once by Sheila) had developed a small hole in the knee. He had no idea how it happened so we all decided to blame Ed!
A mere mile further on the road was blocked by two Basset Hounds. They ambled out of the way as I approached but the rest of the group felt a need to stop and stroke the animals, yet more delays!
It was nearly 1:30 by the time we arrived at Hamish’s, but we needn’t have worried, they were very quiet and our reserved table was still waiting for us. They had run out of Chicken Noodle soup, so we had to try some of the other flavours. Service, as always, was very quick and the food very tasty and we were back on the road by 2:20.
A completely uneventful return journey saw Charlie and Mike turning off at Stalbridge, and Ed and Roger turning off at Marnhull as I continued on to Shaftesbury as the day ended getting darker and damper!
Thanks to the followers