Ride Report – Stalbridge to Shaftesbury

Saturday 21 December 2019

HOORAY, the shortest day of the year and Boo, with more rain forecast, the wettest October, November and December I can remember. Thyme after Time was our start today – surprisingly all tables were taken when the 11 of us were seated. The boss told us they served 64 breakfasts yesterday, so business is booming.  Great news for us!

  • We – being Jackie, Mary, Mike A, David M, Keith, Richard, Ken, Martin, Roger (But sadly no Jill, as she has reverted to poor health – too soon back in the gym again with all that nasty bacteria lurking everywhere??), and Jenny still nursing her facial scars and sporting a wrist bandage following last Sunday’s crash.
  • Richard had to ride straight home to pack his holiday gear  – he is setting off for Yorkshire tomorrow morning for a weeks holiday – yet another disappearing act
  • Out into the very slight precipitation at 10.30 – no photo shoot as too dark for a colourful bunch like us.
  • Route was Cox Hill, Marnhull, Margaret Marsh, Hartgrove then to Bedchester where the group photo was taken in brilliant sunshine.
  • Ken left us here to babysit a 2 year old Springer Spaniel with a poorly foot!
  • The roads at the back of Guys Marsh were awash and slightly flooded in many places but not too deep – anyway Mike A would have helped – he used to be a deep sea diver in a previous life.
  • As we approached the foothills of Shaftesbury, Keith parted company just as a heavy drizzle started to slowly soak us.
  • The last obstruction was the famous Gold Hill which Mary and Jenny cleverly avoided as they live in a different part of the town.
  • Due to the constant precipitation, the wet cobbles and the 1 in 4 incline, we all sensibly walked the last 100 yards to the Salt Cellar Café –  I’m confident  we would have all ridden up if the weather had been kind!
  • Food was excellent as usual as we sat at the reserved table for 6. We tarried a little longer than usual hoping that the rain would ease – no chance.
  • So under darkening skies – well it was 1.15 after all – the constant rain did not stop us walking down the treacherous surface. Thank goodness for the handrail along the wall.
  • The descent of Foyle hill was also interesting as it was now chucking it down with a virtual river rushing down the steep slope and fogged up glasses making it challenging.
  • We lost Martin and Jackie at Stour Row as they squelched off to EastStour
  • Roger said goodbye at Gannets Quarry leaving Mike and myself to continue the soggy ride back to Stalbridge.
  • Thanks to all who turned up today. Luckily there were no bike problems as usual.
    The shortest mileage of the year so far – only 28 for me.

    A very Happy Christmas to all our readers – perhaps next Saturday will be dry – we can only hope!

    Charlie Porter

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