Saturday 1 February 2020
Only three bikes at Stourhead when I arrived -I must have been early. Sure enough, by the time we were ready to leave there were 15 of us and only two (Jackie and Keith) were not coming on the ride.
With the wind behind us and frequent patches of sunshine we sailed along through Maiden Bradley and on to the junction to Crockerton, where I waited to make sure everyone knew we were turning left. We’d been riding in a fairly close bunch but two were missing, Ken, the back marker and Mike A. I waited with Nicky for ages (the rest of the group ploughed on!) before they arrived -no explanations for their absence, though I expect it was a Mike A “comfort break” !!
We regrouped at the now closed Bath Arms, then rode a short distance on the rather busy A350 before turning right onto a quiet road through the woods to Sutton Veny. A wind assisted ride along the beautiful Wylye Valley soon got us to the Ginger Piggery, luckily they were very quiet (before we arrived) as I had been unable to get a phone signal to warn them that our numbers were 13 and not the 8 that I had guessed when I called them in the week.
It took a while for all the food to be served but we didn’t mind waiting in pleasant surroundings with the sun streaming in, we had plenty of time and weren’t in a hurry to face the headwind home.
The wind had not abated for our return journey, so we put the two E bikes on the front and sheltered on their back wheels -well that was the plan! In fact we had plenty of volunteers to take a turn at the front so all arrived more or less together at the start of the climb up Mere Down.
In Mere the group started to split up into there various routes home, the wind was still strong but the skies were clear, a great end to the best ride of the year so far!
Thanks to all who came with me: Nicky, Peter, Ben, eRon, eAlan, Martins F and T, Charlie, Ken (all day!!) Paul, Dave M, Mike A.