Saturday 11 January 2020
Wow – 18 riders (yes eighteen) out today. Quite a shock to the system being only the second ride of 2020 and the forecast promising strong winds and light drizzle. However, we almost managed to monopolise all the seating apparatus in the back room of Thyme after Time café – even the waitresses were struggling with this large influx of bodies, which accounts for us leaving 15 minutes late.
- Let’s look at the extensive start sheet: Ed, Martin, Major David, Doctor David, Jackie, Mary, Ben, Richard, Paul, Ron, Sarah and Rob from the Gillingham Wheelers and new girl Lucy who has started cycling with the Wincanton Club. She knows Steve Way – ah well, nobody’s perfect.
- 3 Clingons today -Keith, Jill who was taking it steady before her extended holiday in Portugal starting on Wednesday and Jenny – I forgot her excuse but she had just completed her customary Park Run and was probably playing 3 hours of tennis in the afternoon in order to help heal her damaged wrist!
- And so here we go, after the obligatory photo call taken in the only sunbeam of the day.
- I planned to set off into a headwind for the first section of the ride via Stourton and Bishops Caundle, Holwell, and Pulham then to Duntish.
- Taking a left, we now had a great tail wind up to Mappowder then left to the bottom of Bullbarrow.
- When some members realised what was next in store, there were moans a plenty – I even had 3 death threats. Ah well – you don’t get better on hills without practising on hills was my retort.
- The vicious climb of Stoke Wake with its final 1 in 4 section sorted out the men from the boys – a few members got in some walking experience. The girls however had no such problems.
- When the heavy breathing stopped 5 minutes after the summit, it was downhill all the way and the tricky short steep descent into Ibberton was luckily dry today – even so, we managed to wear out a few brake blocks in the process.
- Arriving at the Ibberton Inn, Roger and Alison – yes, Ed’s Alison – had ridden there separately plus Richard who had cheekily avoided the climb by taking a short cut. He’s just waiting for his new electric bike after he gets back from another exotic holiday at the end of this month – watch this space!
- There was a longish wait after the drinks were poured – it takes time to produce 15 meals. Chairman Paul didn’t mind however, supping his second pint!
- The food arrived all in one go so everyone was happy – and it was worth waiting for.
- To take advantage of the tailwind, the return journey had to be via Okeford Fitzpaine, Hammoon, Manston, Todber and East Stour with riders peeling off home as usual.
- I know it wasn’t the longest ride in history but I’m sure we all had a wonderful time with no problems or holdups, even though the bikes were blathered in mud from the mucky and partially flooded lanes that I so carefully included. Oops!
- Thanks to the visitors Sarah, Lucy and Rod for making up the numbers.Want to join OUR club as well? – it’s only a fiver. Mary is quite willing to collect your brass in May.
- 4 girls on the ride today – very welcome news.
My thanks to all of you, and a Healthy New Year………………….Charlie Porter