Blackmore Vale Cycling Club
Saturday 8 December 2018
I always look forward to those Saturday rides that start from Dikes Supermarket, meaning that I can enjoy my dog walk, read the papers and still have time for a leisurely breakfast. I met Roger on arriving at Dikes and we both agreed that the day’s ride could be quite challenging as a gusting south westerly wind and afternoon showers were forecast.
On Thursday I had completed a recce of the ride in similar conditions to check the route for road closures and to book our lunch stop in Dorchester. The only concern was that I needed to make our lunch stop for 12:30pm, that gave us a 2 hour window to complete the ride which was a bit tight if head winds and punctures were an issue.
On the day there were 10 possible intrepid riders up for the challenge : Roger, Jill, Mary, Richard, Paul, Ron, Ben, Keith, Charlie and myself. Disappointingly, by the time we had passed Stock Gaylard Deer Park and passed through Kings Stag there were only 3 riders willing to follow me Mary, Ben & Charlie! Our pace slowed somewhat at this point as we were heading directly into the prevailing wind. I was beginning to think that allowing only 2 hours to Dorchester was a bit optimistic in these conditions when one of Charlie’s famed 700×32 size tyres decided to go flat on him meaning we had even less time to our stop. Next concern was the ROAD CLOSED sign in the centre of Buckland Newton, we continued with fingers crossed only to be greeted by roadmen working on clearing a large fallen tree just before Piddlehinton. We managed to clear this obstacle after practically bribing one of the workmen. Still all was not lost, the wind seemed to be more in our favour at last, so I stepped on the gas a bit! We made good time on to Puddletown where we made a right through the Puddletown Forest, we crossed a former Roman Road and passed quite close to Thomas Hardy’s cottage.
After turning right at the next junction the route became distinctly more undulating heading towards Stinsford, we now had the head wind back again to contend with. We crossed the roundabout just outside Stinsford and battled onto the Sun Inn at Lower Burton on the Old Sherborne road. We arrived at 12:50pm only 20 minutes late, not bad considering everything.
The Sun Inn is an old 17th century pub which has an excellent carvery and always seems to have an open log fire burning away to greet you. The Inn looked very festive with all its Xmas decorations. We all enjoyed a good meal and were counting our selves lucky as we could hear the rain hammering away on the windows. During our meal (as he usually does) Charlie kept ribbing me that I was going to be in serious trouble because I had set too high a pace and had dropped Paul early on in the ride and that as he is the Club Chairman it did not look good for me! Anyway, Charlie insisted that I ring him (we all knew that he had turned off in Kings Stag) to ask what his ETA was likely to be at the Pub, as we were all waiting for him before we order. I still don’t know why I agreed. In the event I’m glad Paul saw the funny side.
The return route was a lot easier going with a very acceptable tail wind at times, yet we still had a few heavy showers to contend with. Ben turned left to pick up the Cerne Abbas road for his route back to Yeovil, whilst the 3 of us turned left at the top of the Charlton Down towards Piddle Hinton and picked up our original outward bound route towards home.
Our thoughts and best wishes go out to Mike A. following his sad news.
Saturday 22 December 2018
A dry Saturday at last!! Unfortunately, Mike Anyan the advertised ride leader had to bow out due to bereavement.
Highlights of the day:-
- Caroline was decked out in a Santa’s hat over her ski helmet – super.
- Mary’s bike was adorned with fairy lights – will look super on darker days!
- Richard Page made a guest appearance after a 6 month absence.
- Mike Pain planned on taking it steady after his mammoth 188 miles last Monday to the Welsh interior and back – set off at 4am, back at 9pm.
- I was almost the victim of a lynching party when I suggested that we might climb up Bullbarrow hill via Stoke Wake (a 1 in 4 gradient). Instead, we elected to go through Ansty, Milton Abbey and Winterborne Stickland. Some riders must have forgotten the severity of these alternative hills. A couple of riders who had not ridden for a few weeks were finding it a trifle difficult. Even Mike Pain was reduced to walking up the 1 in 6 section out of the ‘Chocolate Box Village’ at Milton Abbey – to be fair, he was riding a 90 inch fixed gear!!
- Café 65 – the lunch venue – came out trumps again with excellent service, prices and varied menu.
- Ken now joined Caroline at shift changeover. His timing was spot on – 12.30
The route home was via the Trailway to Shillingstone. Mary and Ken turned off at Child Okeford heading for Fontmell Magna. Martin, David and I returned through Manston and Todber.
A trouble free ride for all, mild with only a slight wind. Ideal cycling conditions.
Sorry about the hilly terrain folks – I might have indicated that the ride was flattish. Which just goes to show that my memory is fading fast!
Thanks to all the riders – Mary, Caroline, Ken, Mike P, Martin, David and Richard.
Merry Christmas to all BVCC members and a happy but most of all a HEALTHY new year to all our readers.
Saturday 8 December 2018
Texts and calls had started to arrive at 8am; strong winds, heavy rain and poor visibility forecast, apologies for absence received. A very good day for the Turbo Trainer.
The Wednesday route check had been in total contrast, blue skies as we climbed The Combe to rendezvous with Ron and his team at Chapel Cross. Coffee and cake taken, Christmas list sorted; slippers size 9 and please no more green socks.
Onto Stoney Stoke where the joint leader decided to take a tumble having failed to unclip before stopping on the adverse camber junction with the B 3081. The only damage was his pride and handle bar tapes. Dusted down and wheels back in motion it was a good day.
The roads around Stowell remarkably were clear and dry. The Milborne Wick ducks, all on the correct side of the road waddling in the right direction, were in good voice and pleased to see us (better to be a Milborne duck than a Coker goose at Christmas). Things were looking good for Saturday.
Truth to tell the Wincanton Sage had sown the seeds of doubt when he announced, at the Tuesday social evening, that he intended to travel by car on Saturday as the temperature forecast was 4 degrees. No mention of wind, rain or visibility.
You cannot win them all perhaps we will try again next year.
Seasons Greetings to you all
Peter and Nicky Vaughan
Saturday I December 2018
The early rain had eased to a steady drizzle by the time five of us met at the Poets Corner Café. There was some sort of Christmas market going on with several Father Christmases in attendance. Ed, Mary, Charlie and newcomer David W-M and I set off through Hazelbury Bryan to Holwell where we turned off towards Boys Hill. Unfortunately our route was blocked by what seemed to be an extensive flood. After a brief discussion as to whether to send the new member to test the depth, discretion prevailed and we retraced our steps. The shortened route meant that we reached The White Hart at noon, much earlier than planned, but we were made very welcome. Richard arrived shortly afterwards having made his way independently. The food was good and promptly served so that we were on the road again before one o’clock. Patches of blue sky and glimpses of sunshine welcomed us on our return route via Stourton Caundle and Spire Hill, where Charlie and Richard pealed off towards Stalbridge. Ed sprinted for home to watch a horse race while Mary and I escorted David back to Sturminster through Hinton St Mary.
The planned short 30 miles turned out to be an even shorter 25 miles – perhaps the shortest ride of the year? However it was good to get home in the dry.
Saturday 24 November 2018
Would you ‘Adam and Eve’ it – I managed to walk the dogs from 8.00 to 9.30 this morning without a drop of rain falling, but after a swift change of clothes and setting off to Thyme after Time Café at 9.45, a lightish rain raised its ugly head – proving the forecast of a constant drizzle for the day.
Members present at the start were Chairman Paul, Keith, Jackie and Martin, Ron, Ben, Mary and Ed. Severe pruning at 10.30 left only 5 of us setting off – Paul, Keith, Jackie and Martin electing to return home and miss all the excitement of the ride. Martin and Jackie had just returned from a holiday in Vietnam and Cambodia, so understandably had some ‘jet lag’ sleep to catch up on. Paul and Keith just disliked miserable conditions.
The hardy 5 pedalled through Stourton and Bishops Caundle, heading for Leigh where Ben decided to return to Yeovil.
The rest of the ride was very damp, very miserable and decidedly worth forgetting. The only highlights were:-
- Pete and Nicky joined us at Frome St Quentin
- Ed (bless him) punctured 2 miles before reaching the lunch stop
- Lucy at the Cattistock Cafe was very welcoming with home made soup, quiches and baguettes stuffed with brie and bacon
- The steep hill up towards Cerne Abbas had Ed walking the last short section due to a fluffed gear change
The last of the soaking journey had us plodding on through Middlemarsh, Glanvilles Wotton, Holwell, Stock House, Lydlinch and Bagber crossroads.
Where I covered the last mile to Stalbridge, Ed and Ron rode 3 miles to Marnhull and Mary as usual (bless her as well) had to deal with the last 12 miles to Shaftsbury.
As I said before, the ride was worth forgetting, but as one of a ride leaders duties is to compile a report on the days events, this issue will be forgotten and consigned to history in the BVCC archives!!
Many thanks to the other brave (or dumb) riders who completed – Mary, Ed, Ron, Pete and Nicky.
Great to get into warm, dry clothing.
Damp Charlie Porter
Saturday 17 November 2018
On an overcast and chilly morning I arrived at Orchard Park to find Richard already sat drinking his tea. He immediately quizzed me on which route I was taking and on the mention of Longleat decided that he would make his own way to lunch. For a short while it was looking if I would be riding on my own, but I was them joined by Ron, Roger, Lorraine and finally by Mike P and Charlie.
Lorraine said she was going to visit Robin and Sally so the remaining five of us set off via the backways of Gillingham to Milton and on towards Wolverton only to hear the cry puncture from Charlie. Apparently his new big 35mm tyres are not immune to punctures, so the three of us stood and watched as Charlie changed his own inner tube for once and Ron assisted by extracting a large thorn from the tyre.
By the time we reached Kilmington the sky stated to clear and the sun came out although there was still a biting edge to the wind. After the long run down Gare Hill we turned right and headed for Longleat where we passed giant mushrooms and dinosaurs among many other strange figures. Apparently this was all part of the Festival of Lights but I must say it loses most of it appeal in daylight. We left Longleat by the front drive and on through Horningsham, Shearwater and on to our lunch venue at Crockerton Garden Centre where we found Richard waiting.
After a good lunch and as Charlie had to get back to walk his dogs before dark, I decided we would take the shortest route back to Gillingham over Mere Down. Richard decided to make his own way home via Maiden Bradley, while we set off via the Deverill’s and the very long climb over Mere Down. After a speedy decent into Mere we them maintained fast pace to Gillingham and home.
A 61Km (37.9m) ride and I didn’t manage to loose anybody.
Saturday 10 November 2018
As usual I cheated and went by car to Hunters Lodge only to be rumbled by Ron who was cycling.
The wet weather has hardly come as a surprise and heavy showers were forecast so I was well pleased to see Nicky, Peter, Ron, Dave, Mary, Ben at Hillbrush plus the well curried Richard and Jim who were not intending doing the ride. At 10.25 the heavens opened so we waited a while but being so incredibly keen we started in the rain. Having decided to shorten the route we made for Zeals where Dave left to practice his marching for Sunday’s Memorial Service. Through Stourhead, Gasper with fab Autumn colours, Penselwood where I sent Ben the wrong way, Charlton Musgrove then up to Knole Rock where the downhill into Shepton Montague is diabolical. More rain started so we decided to go into the Montague Arms for soup by a much needed log burner. Quite correctly Ron knew that Margaret’s fare would be better so left for home.
The remaining trio came home via Wincanton after a damp but enjoyable ride. Oh, and I was home in time to see the big race from Wincanton. Result!!
There were 10 riders at Orchard Park for the ride to Tisbury. Martin and Jackie, Jill and Roger, Dave M, Lorraine, Mike A,Jim, Ron and Mary.
After coffee and the customary group photo we set off into Gillingham, Jim decided he was doing his own thing and Lorraine was going to call on Sally and Robin. So 8 of us headed down Gillingham High Street then up Bay road towards West Knoyle where Roger turned back for home just before we started the steep climb up to the A303 turn off. Then a nice down hill on smooth tarmac to cross the A350 and into Hindon. We followed the “undulating” road via Berwick St Leonard, Fonthill Bishop, Chilmark and Teffont Magna before turning back towards Upper and Lower Chicksgrove and into Tisbury.We arrived at the Boot Inn on schedule at 12.45. We were served Real Ale straight from the barrel and an array of soup and Ciabatta rolls on a big table by a roaring open fire. The staff were very accomodating and there was much lively conversation and laughter. Suitably refreshed we headed down the High Street and right onto the climb up to Tuckingmill and Newtown which was hard going straight after lunch. After that it was a straightforward run via Pythouse and Semley to the top of Motcombe where we split up and Mary, Mike and Dave headed back to Gillingham and Jackie, myself, Jill and Ron went through Motcombe out past the Showground and across to the A30 via Lox Lane. At the Kings Arms Jill and Ron turned towards Stour Row and Marnhull while Jackie and I carried on to East Stour. A shortish ride of about 35 miles but the weather was kind to us with no rain and a pleasant riding temperature. No punctures just one gear selection problem which didn’t hold us up. A nice day out thanks to everyone for coming.
The ten riders who met at Time After Thyme included the original ride leader but unfortunately Roger was still suffering from a cold and did not feel able to led. I had been primed that this might happen so I had come armed with a map. We set off under blue skies through Staunton Caundle and on to Bishops Caundle where we came across the hunt gathering for their ride, horses everywhere! Onwards through Glanvilles Wootton and Mapowder (where Ed left us) then down the beautiful plush valley -does anyone know what the “chimney” in the middle of the field is? Unfortunately this road leads down to Piddletrenthide and Cheseslbourne is in the next valley across, so we had a long hill to climb, helped by the strong tailwind, fantastic views and knowing that lunch was getting closer.
A warm welcome awaited us in the River Arms and we ate our lunch in the warm and sunny conservatory but by the time we left the skies had clouded over and the cold wind was now in our faces. A right turn in Cheselbourne took the edge of the wind and following the narrowest of lanes we emerged at Ansty. Here I had thought of going up over Bullbarrow where we could have enjoyed the views and the fantastic descent, but bearing in mind the change in the weather I decided to stick to the lower roads with high hedges to give us some shelter from the wind. Hazelbury Bryan, Sturminster Newton, and Bagber Common; Jill turned right to Marnhull and the rest of us continued straight on back to Stalbridge.
Thanks to Charlie, Dave, Ben, Mike A, Peter, Nicky and Jill for following me.
Saturday 20 October 2018
The omens were not good for Saturday’s ride!!
- Richard N rang me on Friday evening – he couldn’t lead the ride due to a stinking cold – he would also miss Sunday’s AGM.He had decided to convalesce this weekend as he is going on holiday to India on Tuesday and hoped that the extra 3 days confined to barracks would improve his contagious state!
- Weatherwise, Saturday started off badly. Leaving Stalbridge at 09.00, the 2 Mikes and Myself faced a cold miserable fog that numbed the fingers and fogged up the spectacles
- Just south of the Lonesome Pine, Mike A punctured, but with cold digits and unwanted interference from ‘back seat drivers’, it took him 20 long minutes to rectify this setback. Ed caught us just as Mike was tidying up!
We arrived at Cale Park Café at 10.15 to find Ron and Ben already there – warming up. As we waited and waited for the food and drink, which seems to be the only fault with this newly discovered watering hole, a discussion indicated that Wells was out of the question – the new destinations being either Sparkford Museum or Rose’s at Chapel Cross. Rose’s won!
Ron was press ganged into leading the 6 of us as he was in familiar territory, but delegated the report writing to me as we set off into the cold foggy conditions. By 11.30 the fog had lifted, producing a beautiful sunny sky and uplifting our spirits at last.
Ron led the way from the front using his vast knowledge of the countryside, taking us on a round about route to Sparkford then to South Cadbury. Rose’s was open and she welcomed us with open arms as she took the order for 6 soups complete with Focaccia bread impregnated with her special embellishments – plus 6 teas. With a distinct prod from Ron after our extended stay, we bid Rose a fond farewell, Ben turning right at Blackford and the rest of us climbing the hill to Charlton Horethorne.
With a modification to the normal route home, Ron took us back through Milborne Port, Goats Hill and Stourton Caundle. At Thornhill, Ron and Ed left us for Marnhull, leaving the 3 m’s (Mikes Pain and Anyan and Me) to struggle the last one mile to Stalbridge.
Approx 40 miles covered today instead of the planned 65 miles to Wells.
In the end, an enjoyable ride with all participants being of similar fitness – except for Mike Pain of course, who plans on riding 450 miles in 30 hours to Stirling- yes Stirling in Scotland in November to attend the Audax annual gathering. Utterly bonkers!
20 March @ 9:30 am - 3:00 pm
23 March @ 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
26 March @ 10:30 am - 11:30 am
27 March @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
30 March @ 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
31 March @ 10:00 am - 3:00 pm