Blackmore Vale Cycling Club


Ride Report – Stourhead to Salisbury Plain

Saturday 9 June 2018

I was given a route over the Plain which I tried on Wednesday and entailed some rather ‘dodgy ‘ paths. Two punctures later after half a mile caused a major route rethink!

What a day for a ride! Sun shining, decent breeze, so a great turnout at Stourhead.

The group on my ride were Mary, Ben, John from Pilton (welcome to him), Charlie, Mike, Dave, Alan Smith, Ken, Caroline & yours truly.

Richard took a different route along with Jill, Roger, Peter & Nicky.

Robin, Jim, Ron (low battery!) , Mike Pain & Arthur did their own thing

So the main group went via Maiden Bradley, Horningsham, Longleat, Warminster up the hill through the Garrison where we met red flags and signs when summed up stated ‘Cast away all hope ye who enter here’. After a long discussion about going on despite having been assured that the Plain was open online we were about to turn back when a soldier came by and confirmed that access was available so off we went on what must be one of the best kept secret routes around. Hardly another sole around as we made our way to Juliet Crossing where Dave found our exact position allowing us to cycle about two miles to the Rose & Crown in Tilshead where a good menu and beers awaited. Ken and Caroline had shared the ride so Caroline was waiting for us with three gorgeous dogs. We then retraced our route  but came of at Heytesbury then Sutton Veny, then Longbridge Deverill where the main group went home via Mere Down and Ben and I escorted John to Stourhead where a cuppa was a lifesaver. 50 mile ride plus to and from. Ben reckoned 96 whilst Hon Chair must have done 85.

Thanks all for a great ride-my record distance.

Ed Highnam

Supplementary Report

At Stourhead Jill, Roger, Nicky, Peter and myself considered the ride to Tilshead was too much for us.  We went to Chitterne via Warminster and Heytesbury.  Robin came to Maiden Bradley but returned home to care for Sally after her fall.  Our return route was Codford, Corton (where Nicky showed us the grand house of her ancestors), the Deverills and Hillbrush at Mere for tea and cake.

Richard Nicholl

Ride Report – Gillingham to the Chalke Valley

Saturday 26 May 2018

The unpromising weather forecast must have put a few people off cycling today as only a select few met at Orchard Park, Jim Broom joined us for coffee having found himself all alone on his morning ride. Paul wasn’t able to even start the ride, having to return home to the Dog and Daughter (Isn’t that the name of his local pub?!)

So, Jackie, Martin, Ron, Robin, Tony, Mike A, Ed and Jim B followed me out of the car park and as far as Lawn Crossroads where we lost Ed and Jim. We also nearly lost Robin as Ron somehow managed to push him over as we set off again. Luckily no damage was done to body or bike and the two managed to remain friends.

The next losses occurred at Pythouse, Ron was first up the hill on his Ebike, then dashed off home to watch the Giro, Robin was last up the hill and also opted to turn back, Jackie was tempted but decided to soldier on. On through Tisbury and Chicksgrove with a few hills and a slight headwind and up to join the B3089 then turn downhill all the way to Wilton.

As I peered through the window of Coffee Darling, the manager opened the door and handed me the key to the bike-parking alley, so that settled where we would have lunch! A table was cleared for the 5 of us and we all found suitable food from the menu.

After lunch the wind picked up a bit, but we didn’t mind as it was now a tailwind. Just the climb up to the old Ox-Drove to conquer before being blown along the beautiful Chalke Valley with the occasional appearance of the sun. A brief stop in Charlton to see Harry and Teddy -the crias (baby alpacas) and we arrived in Shaftesbury at about 4 o’clock where I left the others to find there own ways home. A round trip of 48 miles.

Mary Emerson-Reed

Weekend Ride – Hazelbury Bryan to East Coker

Saturday 19 May 2018

A glorious day to go cycling or get married in Windsor…..Roger planned a meander through the lanes that bewitched us all: a real reminder of why we go cycling especially in late spring. 14 riders mostly in short sleeves, spilled out of the café garden for the photo then sped down towards Mappowder and on to Glanvilles Wootton, where Mary alerted us to a Red Kite swooping across the fields – the furthest west I have seen them. Dave reckoned they were released from near Andover and are setting up home in Dorset now. Crossing the Sherborne road near Longburton we came on the tiny lane to Hermitage which as with most of the day, gave us billowing cow-parsley, copious may blossom, the last of the bluebells and waving wild flowers all along the hedgerows. After this Ron and Robin made for home while the ride continued up and down near Batcombe (but fortunately not up the monster hill), on to Holywell, Eversholt and East Chelborough. By now I was on little known lanes and screamed a lot when not changing down quickly enough on my best Van Nicholas. Speedier anticipation was the suggestion from my colleagues. A last sharp hill and into the Farm Shop for lunch. Mary made her departure owing to a music gig in Poole for the evening, and Ed after quick lunch, made for home. The rest enjoyed delicious healthy salad and sandwiches before saying goodbye to Pete and Nicky who had left at 7.30 to join us for the ride – real mile eaters!

The afternoon was flatter and shorter as the leader predicted but no less pretty with gardens full of lilac trees and spring plants in the villages we passed through – Ryme Intrinsica, Yetminster, and Leigh. By now it was warming up, we had no mechanical incidents, just cheerful gossiping and all was well with the world. By the time we reached the Caundles, Richard had gone on his way to Wincanton – another very long day out, and the rest peeled off at the Stalbridge turning near Spire Hill. We rode 55 miles and it was splendid day out. Also enjoying Roger’s route were: Charlie, Alan, Mike A, Richard N, Pete and Nicky, Ron, Robin, Mary, Tony, Dave, Ed, and me.

Jill Halton

Ride Report – Shillingstone to Pamphill

Saturday 12 May 18

On a dry but chilly morning Robin and I met Lorraine, Richard N, Charlie and Mike on our route to Shillingstone Station Café to find Roger and Ron already there at the door awaiting the cafe to open.  We were shortly joined by Ed, Richard P, Tony and finally Ben before setting –off towards Iwerne Minister via Child Okeford.  Shortly after leaving Child Okeford Richard P turned off right and headed for home and was followed by Lorraine when we turned on to the A350.  So now we were ten and turned right for the long steep climb up Tower Hill to the C13.
During the climb I was surprised to actually overtake Charlie on a hill but I suspect this had more to do with Charlie’s 3 week break from riding rather than any dramatic improvement in fitness on my part.  Anyway Charlie and I arrived at the top of the hill together followed by Ed who had also decided to leave us at this point.
Now nine we continued down the Tarrant Valley which was not flooded unlike two weeks ago and on to the sharp turn up the hill to Tarrant Rushton Airfield.  At this point Ron left us to race home to watch cycle racing on the telly accompanied by Robin who was probably revolting at having to climb another step hill.
Then on to Witchampton bypassing most of the cross country route before finally joining the unpaved byway which proved to be a little bit longer than the 200m I had stated earlier.  Anyway not too much dissention in the ranks before arriving at Pamphill for lunch.
Pamphill Café was very busy but we managed to get tables inside and order lunch, unfortunately the food took a lot longer to arrive than stated but the Pork and Stuffing Baguette was worth waiting for.  We were further delayed as three people decided to have a sweet (no names mentioned) and finally left at 14:30 on our ride home.
We followed the Stour valley via Shapwick to Blandford and then via Bryanston School to the Trailway.  It was then a race to Shillingstone to arrive before the café closed, fortunately we just made it in time for a welcome cup of tea.
Then a fast ride to Manston before we split up and made our way home.  No punctures or mechanical problems with most of us doing upward of 60 miles and of course with Ben doing a lot more.

David Matten

Ride Report – Henstridge to Somerton

Saturday 5 May 2018

You’d think that as it’s a Bank Holiday weekend you’d be let off from having to get your homework ‘composition’ in by Sunday! But no, it’s gotta be done — Cant get wrong with the Rupert Murdoch  of the BVCC!


The day started really badly – there was a strange foreign body in the sky as I left home; and it stayed there all day too. Very odd and disturbing, plus it seemed to make everywhere so hot!

Umpteen bicycle persons foregathered at the golf club and settled into the comfortable armchairs provided for “mature” persons:-

High-Tension Ron

General Matten

Mickey Big-knickers Payne

Tony The Post


The Ol’ Colonial (Robin)

Pink Mary (Murdoch)

Ed and Mem Sahib

Roger and Jill — Them of the lauded and much publicised new bikes  (it was obviously dry enough to warrant letting the beasts see the light of day, without the risk of getting them remotely dirty)

Jaffa Nichol

Martin and Jackie – Fresh from The London Marathon – Said they’d had to run all the way (to get back in time!)

and me Mickeydrippin

– – – – but no Charlie! He’s having one of his extremities repaired, Sheila and doctors forbad him attend and several Club members, who like him (a bit) told him he’d be nuts to come along. Apparently he’s supposed to spend his time horizontally, having grapes peeled for him. Are there any ‘dusky maidens’ in Stalbridge?


Jackie, Martin and Jill all peeled off at the start, but the rest of us set off, in high spirits (courtesy of the sun), right, out of the golf club entrance and easterly through a very picturesque industrial estate and to the crossing with the A30. Then through the lanes to Yenston – met a gurt tractor complete with muckspreader attached, right across the road. Nobody argued with it (Phew!). Out onto the Wincanton road as far as Templecombe and then left towards Bowden and Stowell: some minor rebellion there cos of those who wanted to avoid the hill into Stowell! Made it into Charleton Horethorne though, where Lorraine left us to go back home; said she had “a chicken bad”. The rest of us pressed on through to the Cadburys, past The Chapel cafe and out through the top of North Cadbury, onto the Sparkford/Bruton road. North(ish) for a little while and then left to Foddington and Babcary, taking in a nice ‘Mary Hill’ on the way. Crossed the FosseWay (no Romans extant) to Charleton Adam, Charleton Mackrell (where’s that from? It’s nowhere near the sea — Not unless there’s been a REALLY high tide) and loop round to Somerton and lunch at Williams (in the precinct) — Where they took hours to feed us, despite being told that we were coming. Never mind, everyone was in good humour and there was plenty of chatter and banter at the table. Mary did a Greta Garbo and went off to eat sandwiches (I presume) up by the Gasworks.

I had planned 3 routes back, one going south of Yeovil and back via Yetminster (that one got hammered immediately), the other two going back over Babylon hill and lastly, shortest way home, down to Podimore roundabout, Sparkford and back through South Cadbury n Cheriton — That one got the popular vote, except with Mary  ——- So, Podimore roundabout Yeovilton RNAS, Queen Camel, Sparkford and South Cadbury. Mary Mike and Ron went straight on: we’d already lost Richard due a route disagreement (at speed) in Queen Camel. The rest of us though stopped for tea and cucumber sandwiches at Rosie’s (very civilised) and then home via Cheritons: Ed and I carried on through Templecombe and back to the golf club —Where the owners et al were sitting in the late sun drinking beer (What a good idea!)

Luvverly ride, for me anyway. Seems lifetimes ago that we had sunny days like that! And the good weather made sure I had sufficient protein in my diet; in the form of flies. Who was it told me “there’s no such thing as a vegetarian cyclist”? Popped in to see Sheila n Charlie, as I’d promised< just to say hello and tell him/them about the ride/day —– So you all know, he’s fine, doctors pleased with him —Just champing at the bit to be back on a bike


Thanks all for your company —– Mickeydrippin  (Mike Anyan)

Saturday Ride – Wincanton to Shepton Mallet

Saturday 28 April 2018

It was a dull cold but dry day.  We all went to the fish and chip shop and had a variety of meals, not just the Senior Citizens fish and chips.  Jill & Roger Halton, Jackie and Martin Fortis, Ben Garside, Robin Wrede and Ed Highnam joined me for the ride.  Ed showed how tough he is by riding in shorts!!!

When we go to Shepton Mallet there are always complaints about the hills.  The almost straight 2 mile climb from Stoney Stratton to the Steam Railway near Doulting attracted the most moans.  After lunch we went via Pilton, used the footbridge at Cockmill as the ford looked green and slippery, and then up another big hill (more moans) before the decent to Wraxall.

Except for Ben, all came back to the Nicholl residence for hot cross buns, in date Mars Bars and tea.

Richard Nicholl 

Ride Report – East Stour to Blandford

Saturday 17 April 2018

With a dry day predicted I booked a table for 12 at the Udder Farm but was surprised when 21 riders arrived all on bikes no cars, the largest number for a long time. The café managed to fit us all in and after our drinks and cake we all gathered outside for the group photo which included 2 new riders Peter and Simon from Gillingham on mountain bikes. We then set off towards East Stour crossroads and made our way through the lanes to Stour Row, East Orchard then Iwerne Minster where we started the long slow climb to the top road. After a regroup we carried on straight across on the descent to Tarrant Gunville which was still flooded despite there not being any rain for 2 days. The flood was several hundred yards long but not too deep so everyone negotiated it ok with the 2 mountain bikes given a wide berth because of lack of mudguards! We crossed the A357 at Tarrant Hinton and followed the road around the ford at Tarrant Monkton then onto Tarrant Keyneston and the lane into Blandford. By now the sun was out and it was getting warm so 2 riders decided to stop at M&S for a sandwich and eat them in the sunshine. The rest of us parked our bikes at the church and went into Brasserie 65 where they were happy to accommodate a large group of 16. Lunch arrived quickly for most but Peter had to wait for some time for his omelette. When everyone had finished we all gathered in the high street just ready to set off when Lorraine shouted puncture! Charlie is the usual mechanic but he decided to delegate and so Ben got the job while the rest of us watched in the sunshine. With the puncture repaired we started off down the high street and turned right into the road that goes up through Bryanston school to Durweston and on to the trailway at Stourpaine. Due to the warm sunny weather we decided to stop at Shillingstone railway café for an ice cream. 3 riders decided to carry on without stopping but the rest of us stayed and enjoyed an ice cream in the sunshine. We got going again and left the trailway to head into Child Okeford then Manston, Todber and back to East Stour.

40 miles all together and great weather.

Riders Martin, Jackie, Jill, Roger, Ed, Lorraine, Mary, Dave M, Robin, Charlie, Tony, Ben, Mike A, Mike P, Alex, Richard N, Paul, Jim, Ron and 2 new riders Paul and Simon.

Martin Fortis

Neil Tomlinson 1938 to 2018

Neil Tomlinson

1938 to 2018

Neil Tomlinson sadly passed peacefully away late on Friday 6 April 2018.

A service to celebrate his life is to be held at Norton Sub Hamdon Church at 12:00 Wednesday 18 April 2018,

followed by refreshments at 13:00 in the Lord Nelson pub, Norton Sub Hamdon

Bright attire please.

Family flowers only

Donations, if desired, to cancer research

Ride Report – Child Okeford to a Pub but not in Moreton

Saturday 31 March 2018

Having watched the weather forecast the night before, I was fairly confident that I would not be called upon to lead Saturday’s ride to Moreton. Imagine my disappointment when at 9.40 there was a knock on the door and outside were a bedraggled Charlie and Mike complaining that the café was not yet open. After cups of tea while drying their gloves on the Aga. we went over to the Gold Hill café to find Mary, Ben and Ed dressed to ride, and Martin, Jackie, Robin and Lorraine who had sensibly come by car.

As the rain seemed to have eased we set off through increasingly wet and muddy lanes towards Ansty. Perhaps discouraged by his encounter with a deep water-filled pothole Ed decided to peel off at this point and go home, leaving the rest of us to continue down the valley to Cheselbourne. Leaving the village we passed the recently re-opened Rivers Arms and tempted by the roaring wood burning stove, decided to make an early lunch stop there. We were made very welcome and it was with some reluctance that we set out to return by a revised route. The road from Cheselbourne to Piddletrenthide is remarkably hilly, but the group were very kind in waiting for the leader to catch up at the top of the many hills. We made our way back via Plush (more hills) to Hazelbury Bryan, where Ben left for home, and then to Sturminster Newton where the river level was ominously close to the tops of the arches of the bridge. Charlie and Mike continued on towards Marnhull, while Mary came as far as Manston before turning home towards Shaftesbury to get ready for her holiday.

Moreton will have to wait for another day.

Paul Nicholson

Ride Report – Sherborne to Cerne Abbas

Saturday 24 March 2018


With drizzle and cloud forecast we were surprised to find anyone at Castle Gardens. Yet, Charlie and Phil were already installed when we arrived, soon to be joined by Mary, Dave, Tony, Ben and Ron. Ed like us was using the Park and Ride.

Refreshments taken, including vegetarian Easter Bunny biscuits made by Liz, it is time to go .No dissenters in this congregation, no one going home, 10 travelling to Cerne Abbas to join Jill and Roger riding direct from home.

Photo taken off we go, Thornford, Yetminster, Chetnole.This is going too well! Short of Red Ford the call goes up, “Puncture”! How many does it take to replace a tube? A chance for the Ride Leader to gain some distance!! With instruction to wait at the next junction wait he did, time passed, horses passed, a text arrived “We are on the second tube”.

You start opposite the valve and finish at the valve. Or is it the other way around? Anyhow try not to pinch the tube especially if it is one of the two that you have managed to scrounge, having left yours at home. (Care of the elderly). Maybe a cunning plan to save even more weight than the 1/11 chain set!

Back together up and over Batcombe Down to a log fire and agreeable lunch at The Giants Head Inn. It was noted that The Giant had lost a considerable amount of weight since viewed on Tuesday wearing his coat of snow.

Lunch over, decisions to be made; up to Giants Head or retrace our steps along the very quiet A352. Phil being a fit young man with afternoon commitments left right up the climb, the rest left left to Minterne Magna. At Dogberry Gate a further split ensued, social engagements taking precedence, Tony was off to dance the night away, Happy Anniversary.  This left five on the planned route to enjoy the wonderful freewheel down to Totnel Corner. Rounding Telegraph Hill Ed announced that he had left his rucksack in the pub (care of the elderly) Phone call to be made number not available, at least not from the shoulder of the aptly named Telegraph Hill. Not to worry we can try again from the milk stand on Bailey Ridge where Nicky used to collect car numbers. Success Ed’s bag is safe.

Onto Holnest, Boy’s Hill and Sandhills where Mary and Charlie turned to Holwell, for us it was onto Hunters Bridge, Folke and the Park and Ride facilities in Sherborne.

Back in Sherborne Garmin had clocked 37.75 miles, a significant distance equal to one lap of the Isle Of Man Mountain Circuit. Nicky and Peter would like to dedicate this ride to the happy memory of Phil Williams, a man of wheels, 2, 3 or 4,  always with a smile,

Nicky and Peter Vaughan

Upcoming Events

  1. Ron’s Reprise

    26 February @ 11:00 - 12:00
  2. Weekend Ride – Stourhead to Tilshead

    29 February @ 10:00 - 17:00
  3. Sunday Saunter

    1 March @ 10:00 - 14:00
  4. Coffee Stop – Wincanton

    3 March @ 10:30 - 11:30
  5. Jill’s Jaunt

    4 March @ 09:30 - 14:00
  6. Weekend Ride – Gillingham to Horton

    7 March @ 08:00 - 17:00
  7. Sunday Saunter

    8 March @ 10:00 - 14:00
  8. Coffee Stop – Guy’s Marsh

    10 March @ 10:30 - 11:30
  9. Ron’ Rendezvous

    11 March @ 11:00 - 12:00
  10. Weekend Ride – Fontmell Magna to Buckland Newton

    14 March @ 10:00 - 17:00