Saturday 4 January 2020
First ride of a new decade for all of us!
Good turn-out at Poet’s Corner, or is that Poets’ Corner (—- for exponents of the “apostrophe”)
Dilys Gartside (new visitor for the day)
— and me
Mary, Richard and Jim were not to join us, Mary because she was reeling with cold (this one that seems to be doing the rounds), Jim cos he’d slipped getting out of his bath and broken a couple of ribs and Richard because he thought the ride would be too long on top of his ride from Wincanton and back.
So, more or less on time, ten of us left for Cheselbourne: Ed took a bit of persuading because he’d got wind of my intention to travel via Bulbarrow. It wasn’t raining (how nice), although the weather was a bit gloomy: not conducive to sunbathing.
Down the hill and over the river. Right, to take the turning to Hazelbury Bryan, then fork left towards Okeford Fitzpaine and then right again before reaching it, to go though Belchalwell (wonder what language that was/is?). Which led us to the foot of what my map calls Bell Hill, but actually the NE end of Bulbarrow —– I think we were all pretty dismayed (except Rocket Ron), thinking about lack of recent exercise and Christmas excesses. I received one or two death-threats. BUT we all made it and plodded to the top, for a marvellous view, despite the mist —- and a great feeling of achievement: for some it was a PB, never having climbed the hill before without a breather. Shame poor ol’ Robin wasn’t there to flounder up the hill with us and to hum/sing his way along the flatter bits, as he used to.
I had planned and recced a right turn, back off the hill and down towards Ibberton and Stoke Wade, in a big loop. Then back up Bulbarrow and on to Ansty. Rocket Ron and Dave-the-Doc had gone on and the other members of the peloton (or is that “geroton” —- peloton of pensioners) mutinied, so we carried on to Ansty over the top of the hill. Then just a straight signposted run to Cheselbourne, through it actually, to the pub “The Rivers Arms” We’d booked and were made welcome, but were too early — ie there was zero heat and no infra-red rays (or any other welcome rays from that lovely big Jotul stove). Lunch was great but we were all pretty happy to get back on the road, mostly to get warm. A straight ride back through Hazelbury Bryan, where the group split up to take their various routes home.
For me, it was a good ride. We got the pace right for most of us, so we stayed in a group and nobody was abandoned to struggle alone, great sense achievement at climbing Bulbarrow (so early in the year) and a good time to finish at this time of year. Thanks all for coming and I do hope the new recruit, Dilys, will forgive my idea of humour and come again
—– Happy New Year to all