Blackmore Vale Cycling Club


Ride Report – Shillingstone to Corfe Castle


Saturday 29 June 2019

Woke up to another glorious summers day, in fact it turned out to be the hottest day so far this year.
I decided that I would combine my BVCC planned ride to Corfe Castle with a few extra miles to make it a 125mile (200K) ride to boost my Audax Stats for this year. Therefore, started out from Stalbridge at 6:30am on a long detour to Shillingstone Station Café hoping to meet up with Charlie and Allen back in Stalbridge at 9:00am. All went to plan my extra miles were really enjoyable in the early morning sunshine whilst the temperature was not too silly.
Arrived in plenty of time for the planned 10:30am start at the station Café and counted 8 enthusiastic BVCC riders(Alan, Charlie, Ben, the 2 David’s, Ron, Ed and Richard). As is usually the case there was a shorter alternative ride that Richard N. had planned. Following some serious persuading I only managed to get Alan & Charlie to follow me on my planned ride. My route took us down the trailway to Durweston , then on through Bryanston School over the weir at Blandford and on towards Sturminster Marshall. I was beginning to get quite warm as we headed on to Lychett Matravers and Hamworthy where my team mates and I had a welcome brief pause at the Twin Sail Bridges opening in front of us. Traffic through Poole & the Sandbanks road was very busy, Charlie commented that it was really good to cycle past so many stationary cars  rather than being caught up in it in your own car. We just kept to the cycle way lane and managed to catch the Sandbanks Chain Ferry after about 10 minutes of arriving. We paid our one pound fare and enjoyed a pleasant crossing to Shell Bay where we continued our ride through Studland and on to Corfe.
Alan, Charlie and myself enjoyed an excellent lunch at the Greyhound Inn overlooking the Castle, where I had previously booked a table. The food was good and was served in a very few minutes.
Our return home was via Hartland Moor Nature Reserve, Wareham, Bere Regis & the Winterborne’s, it was a little less hard work as we enjoyed a following breeze on occasions. However, there was a sting in the tail due to encountering  Okeford Hill towards the end. At this point I must apologise to my small Peloton as I realized for the Audax part of my ride to be validated I needed to complete the ride by 6:30pm at the latest and as I now only had about 1 hour left I needed to up my pace a bit.
Many thanks to Charlie and Allen for accompanying me and completing the ride.

Mike Pain

Shillingstone Station to Bere Regis

For a shorter and easier paced ride on a hot day from Shillingstone Station to Bere Regis I was joined by Ron Cheeseman, Ed Highnam, Ben Garside and David Wynn-Mackenzie. Durweston bridge is totally closed so I got in some new road, the A357 to Durweston, then up the steep lane and down into the Winterbournes. The short section of the A31 into Bere Regis was very busy with holiday traffic. The Drax Arms efficiently provided lunch and cake.In the heat of the afternoon it was Milborne St. Andrew, Milton Abbas and under the shade of the trees to the top of Bulbarrow Hill. At Okeford Fitzpaine we paused and then parted for our rides home. No melted tar, loose chippings or mechanical problems to report.

Richard Nicholl


Ride Report – Child Okeford to Cranborne

Saturday 23 July 2019

Summer Solstice Sunny Saunter!

High pressure!  Not just the first time this month that we had seen this welcome meteorological phenomenon giving us a glorious day, but also what an unprepared ride leader puts on herself the day before, not having sorted the route!  So having forgotten to speak to Gold Hill café about the possibility of an early influx, we got there promptly to brief them and ward off any folks’ attempts to encourage them to open early….she doesn’t like that!

11 people arrived and set out to the pealing of bells from the church and soon Jenny also peeled off to play tennis!  I think that was wise as she avoided the hill up behind Iwerne Minster, but as promised this was the worst of the day – so no apologies to fixed gear Mike P!  Down through Tarrant Gunville we turned left for our short off-road section linking across to the pretty village of Chettle. On Friday we had done a recce of the path fearing that the week’s rain may have turned it into a Matten-type track i.e. muddy! but it was entertainingly narrow with some herbage, roots, gates and electric fencing to keep people on their toes!  We even cleared the grasping bramble shoots for Mary’s sake! Don’t expect this treatment every time!! We also chanced upon the owners of Chettle House…..m’lud!

A brief navigation fart on exiting Chettle was cleared by a glance at Dave’s phone. There was no choice with only one road leading from Chettle!

Down the Gussage valley, disappointing Ron that the ford was dry and on to lunch at the Cranborne Garden Centre. Mary left immediately having seen a sign for Shaftesbury as she was being musical later on.  Ken departed in the prepositioned car to release the beasts.

The remaining number filled the 2 reserved tables outside and had a pleasant lunch.

Richard decided to leave us to go and sample the cakes at Compton Abbas airfield so the dwindling number set off in a southerly direction toward Wimborne. We grazed around the edge, through the cemetery and onto the 12 mile stretch to Blandford along the Stour on Cycle Route 25. Easy riding and scenic, we passed an enormous event of cyclists on anything from trikes to BMX and dressed in 1940s(?) gear. But then horror!  The stretch between White Mill and Blandford had been top dressed that morning leaving a horrid rough, dusty surface with numerous deep piles of gravel. Luckily we all stayed upright. To dampen the dust we stopped at Brasserie 65 in town, except Ron who hit the Trailway for home. Milkshakes and discussion about the flashpoint of various fuels left Charlie so confused that he managed to pay for nothing he had actually ordered! We think they owe him a Danish pastry!

Part C of the ride was up through Bryanston school…with permission of course, although it was the busiest road we encountered due to the closure of Durweston bridge. Onto the Trailway, although Mike P opted to head for home on the road as he needed some more miles, and off at Shillingstone. Just as I stopped in Child Okeford to bid my remaining riders farewell, Mickey Drippin’ hit the floor beside me… cleats?!  And just when I thought it had been an incident-free ride!

My mileage was 60 and well done Roger who also did his longest ride this year.  It was pretty amazing that after 3 rough sections no one had a puncture. Thanks to all who joined me on the (nearly) Longest Day ride and the best news is that I think I’m about to have a long relationship with my new saddle…..Bliss!

Caroline Rhodes

Ride Report – The Ride That Never Reached Weymouth

Saturday 15 June 2019

Eight riders and Caroline in a car met for coffee in the Poets’ Corner Cafe in Sturminster.  The steady drizzle (or was it light rain) deterred us from setting off immediately, but when the weather eased a bit seven stalwarts set off towards Weymouth (Jackie  decided to go home). Mikes A and P, Mary, Martin, Charlie and Ken followed me through Hazelbury Bryan towards the Piddle valley.  Just before Plush the drizzle turned to steady rain and the suggestion to stop at the Thimble in Piddlehinton met with general approval (apart from Mike P who wanted to go to Portland).  We were given a warm welcome in the pub despite our bedraggled appearance.  Shortly after settling at the table Mary asked Charlie if he realised that his cap was steaming.  It turned out that he had put it over a lighted candle.  Fortunately it was so wet that no harm was done.  The pub had no snack menu so we all settled for the soup from the list of starters.  Our hostess said she would get the chef to give us extra bread, but her message did not appear to have got through.  As we left the pub the sun emerged, but as everyone was still feeling damp we turned left past Waterston Manor towards Puddletown and then followed the road up through Cheselbourne to Ansty.  By now the sun was shining and there were several pauses to take off layers of clothing.  At Ansty the two Mikes, Charlie and Mary turned off towards Hazelbury Bryan, while Ken and Martin followed me up over Bulbarrow.  Cycling through Child Okeford we met Jill and Roger who joined us for a cup of tea at Vale House.  37 miles with 750 metres of climbing.  Another ride with no punctures though Martin did lose most of his gears.

Paul Nicholson

Ride Report – Stalbridge to Goose Slade Farm (East Coker)

Saturday 8 June 2019

I had planned a shorter ride than usual today as the club’s annual holiday would be starting tomorrow, with a good number of our active membership taking part in Pembrokeshire, Wales.

  • 9 souls turned up at Dikes on a blustery and bright but rain threatening day.
  • Lorraine, Ed and Roger only lasted a few miles with the group before turning homewards – they obviously needed more time to fill their suitcases before tomorrow’s start!
  • So Ron, Jill, Richard N, Paul, Alex (without the company of sidekick Phil who failed to rise from his comfy bed!) plus yours truly of course, set off at 10.30 after the compulsory photo shoot.
  • Ron and Alex very kindly pushed the wind most of the way – Alex being by far the youngest member and Ron being electrified!
  • In my ‘wisdom’, I decided to change the venue to Hamish’s as it would be a massive 2 miles longer to Goose Slade Farm, plus I needed to get home earlier – to pack of course.
  • Ron’s route took us via Kings Stag, Holwell and Yetminster to Ryme Intrinseca.
  • I was taking a back seat today, playing tail end ‘Charlie’, but failed miserably – not observing Chairman Paul taking a natural break – therefore persuading the very fit Alex to turn around and escort him back to the speeding peloton.
  • The meal at Hamish’s was great as usual, with scrambled egg on toast, cooked breakfasts and chicken noodle soup being the excellent choices.
  • Slight detour on the return journey found us branching off after 2 miles – through Chetnole, Leigh, Hermitage, Glanvilles Wootton, Hollwell and then home.

All in all, a pleasant ride without mishaps, punctures or mechanical gremlins.  My low mileage was about 40, but with a 30 mph headwind on the way out, I’ll call it 50.

Eight of today’s riders will be partaking in the Welsh holiday – unfortunately, the weather forecast is dire – rain every day – ah well, we’ll just have the pleasure of good food and company, not to forget of course, a drop of the hard stuff!
Short but not sweet report  — thanks to all riders for your company.

Charlie Porter

Ride Report – Sparkford to Cheddar

Saturday 1 June 2019

Saturday – the First of June, this year —and it was a beautiful day. Which was good, cos the days before had been a little “iffy”; dark and dreary and sometimes rainy. I for one didnt wanna pedal all that way with the rainwater dribbling off the peak of my cap!
A number of members of Stalbridge Crumblies Cycling Club, including 3 more youthful ones, a visitor and the patriarch – Namely Richard Nichol, Mary, Charlie, Phitphill, Alex, Dave Matten, Alan, Martin, Ben, Paul Baker, Ron, Me (Think that’s all — Apologies if I missed anyone out). — All converged on the café at Haynes Motor Museum
That was a big turn-out for me, I don’t usually get many, but I believe Charlie had done some recruiting – – Richard didn’t want to do the trip, but do his own thing and meet us all back at Haynes at about 4pm.
So all, but Richard, set off on time (more or less) out of Haynes, up to Sparkford, right and right again; on for over 4 miles before our next turn. It was really lovely and I tried to set a comfortable pace, so that it was possible to enjoy the countryside now it’s all fat and green and full of wild flowers; the perfume of which was a bit overpowered by Somerset & Dorset’s most abundant blossom – The Dorset Stinkwort. Through South and North Barrow, Lovington, and Hornblotton (named after that that famous fictitious  sea  captain  of Napoleonic times – Horatio Hornblotton!). Left, down towards the river at Baltonsburgh and across the levels, via Coxbridge and out onto the busy A361, for a mile, towards Glastonbury. Right at Wicks Lane, so we could skirt the Tor ( or “tower” if you believe Phil) north easterly. It is a spectacular site, whether Arthur Pendragon is buried there or not! – out onto the Wells road for a mile or so, then left for a big loop of lanes, taking us through Wookey til it brought us out on the main road just before Westbury sub Mendip: There were some really pretty lanes in this section, with sunshine dappled through the trees overhead and a stream/ little river running beside. —AND we had had no incidents during all of this, not even someone falling into the river, from gawping at the view. The last few miles, unfortunately, were on the busy main road and the drivers were their normal selves. But it did afford fuel for discussion for certain members of the crew.
Boobed over lunch in Cheddar, one little café was prepared to find room for us all, but folk decided they wanted to eat in the open, beside the river. Retraced our steps to the shopping area, for sandwich bars etc, and then foolishly finished up in a café: except Charlie and Alan who had the cheek to park their bikes in the café carpark and then saunter over the road to the pub for their lunch. The rest of us waited and waited and waited and waited for our food —So long that about 10 minutes after the last person had finished their food Charlie walked in, ready to go, and telling us what a good meal he and Alan had had; all served within around 10 mins. Grrrrr! Our meals weren’t that impressive.
Suffered a mutiny here, I’d planned to “ride to Cheddar”; return by the same route. Let the nutcases who wanted to climb the Gorge do it and return to we more sapient mortals as we sat having a second coffee. Everyone wanted to do it!!! Nobody wanted to whimp, except me. So we did it and it was as bad as I’d expected! The cognoccenti told me that it was only steep at the bottom. Liars; it was steep forever. Even when the worst was over, it carried on rising steadily, til you could “count the rivets on passing aircraft”! Best thing was the breeze, up at the top, because it had been very hot inside the gorge.
Anyway we rode our loop through Priddy and then set course for Glastonbury. Paul Baker left us here to make his own way back to Stoke. We picked up our outward route just north of the Tor (Tower???), back through Baltonsburgh and back to Haynes just after 5pm. Most people were suitably tired and not particularly sparkling about the remainder of the journeys they had to do to their various homes. But it was a lovely ride, in beautiful weather and mostly lots of chatter and banter.
I enjoyed it and I hope the rest of you did: thankyou for coming
By the way, if anyone is passing on that top road to Priddy, could they keep an eye out for my teddy; I seem to have lost it —— Mickeydrippin


Ride Report – Stalbridge to Cerne Abbas

Saturday 25 May 2019

Despite fantastic weather (finally Summer??) only 7 riders met at Thyme after Time; Ron, Paul, Mike, Ed, Charlie, Richard and myself.  After the usual coffee and cake we headed north towards Marnhull and picked up the B road to Sturminster Newton, then back lanes to Fifehead St Quinton, Ansty Cross, Melcombe Bingham and Cheselbourne.

Despite the low starting numbers, the rate of attrition resembled Theresa May’s cabinet: Ed left us near Hazelbury and Ron and Paul apparently turned off somewhere near Ansty, unknown to me, while Charlie and Mike had gone ahead while I stopped for an, ahem, ‘comfort’ break just before Ansty Cross.    Riding through Melcombe Bingham and Cheselbourne reminded me of my last ride to Cerne as I was again riding alone, finally catching the old-timers at the top of the long sweaty struggle out of Piddletrenthide.

Part of the previously appalling steep descent into Cerne had been resurfaced making for a faster and smoother ride to lunch at the Royal Oak, where Richard had already eaten after following an flatter route.  A nice (Ploughman’s) lunch and much heated political debate was had in the beer garden.

The ride back was via Upcerne, where Charlie appreciated the scenery, then towards Lyons Gate where I parted company with the others to head home via Leigh and Yetminster.  Not a long ride, but good company and great weather.

Ben Garside


Air Ambulance ‘Coast to Coast’ Fundraising Event

Sunday 12th May 2019

The first thing to remember is that we were all blessed with wonderful weather. It just couldn’t have been any better. Clear skies, warm and a gentle breeze.
Team,  Heli riders , from the Blackmore Vale Cycling Club met up at just before 11am on Watchet Quay ready to begin our journey South.    Our team consisted of John P, Chris, Mike A, Nicky ,Ed, Dave M and myself.   The journey promised to be ‘lumpy’ and we were all prepared for this!

The route took us due south. We skipped the first food stop, opting for the next break which was at Taunton Rugby Club.   Free nosh was available in the form of bananas, biscuits and cake.
We were soon off again and the next stop was Ilminster. We were obviously nearer the end of the riders as there was no food left there.  Nicky had unfortunately just fallen off her bike after slipping on some diesel at the bottom of the previous hill. No lasting damage to her or her bike , thank goodness.

After that, we were into Dorset and hills loomed ahead.    Nicky had said ‘ there’s a hill coming up Jenny, I’ll wait at the top!’.  However, my concentration lapsed at that point and I missed one of the direction arrows. The team had a long wait at the top of the hill. Sorry folks

The last 10 miles was magic. The end was in sight and we were joined by the eleven milers, the shorter route cyclists, including lots of youngsters.   Our welcome into West Bay was wonderful with lots of encouraging cheering and clapping and Martin and Jackie had motor biked over to welcome us in. Thank you so much!
We were also rewarded with medals, bottled water and Kit Kats!

On Tuesday, Jill and Roger kindly hosted a coffee morning to raise further funds. A great morning with £150 raised.   Caroline and Ken have also organised an on going raffle to help funds, the prize being a flight in their, as yet, unfinished plane.  We will continue to collect money until such a time as the flight can be taken!

Right, that’s enough for now!   I thoroughly enjoyed the ride and it was an absolute pleasure to ride in the team.   The ‘egg and ketchup’ gear showed up very well and was easy to follow!

Jenny Lucas

Ride Report – Sherborne to Pitney Farm Cafe


Saturday 18 May 2019

Saturday morning saw 14 members and friends gather for coffee at Castle Gardens. This was way above the expected number, several apologies for absence received, including Charlie who like Jagger was said to be, “Walking the dog”.

Suitably refreshed, photo taken, last week’s man of the moment Dave M rescuer of “Woman tangled in bicycle” headed east. When Ed was ready the rest of the party rode into Sherborne accompanied by the sound of the Abbey bells, hopefully the Tinnitus will not last beyond Sunday.

Travelling west crossing the A30 to Over Compton, Mudford and Chilton Cantello, where, after far too short a guest appearance, Arthur left us. The cyclists were out this morning in twos and threes, just short of Yeovilton we met Wincanton Wheelers. Judging by the size of their group there would be no point in us stopping for cake at The Heron Café! Our destination lay further to the west.

Podimore Roundabout. Note to Richard, not the best place to “Swing the Compass” or fold the map.

Entering the Ancient Capital of Wessex it was noted that the inhabitants had done their best to preserve their Anglo Saxon language. At least, that’s how it sounded, by the advice given to Ron concerning cycling on the pavement. The pavement in question was apparently preserved for certain rites, probably celebrated on Saturday nights after leaving the chip shop.

Clear of Somerton it was time to take to the countryside. Someone suggested the sign indicated “No Through Road”. We knew it was just a “Cul de Sac” leading to Pitney’s pave tribute to The Paris Roubaix. Surely this will need a “Gravel bike”!! No, a bunch of pensioners equipped with 531 would manage.

Safe arrival at lunch saw John B, Ad and Gavin leave us for other engagements. It appeared having stress tested the tables that an agreeable lunch was had by all.

Now all that remained was a turn around Pitney Park and the familiar route through the Charlton’s to Haynes for afternoon tea. It was actually 14 miles between cafes!! By this time Garmin had had enough “low battery”. Will have to cycle faster if we are going to make it to Wales or go back to “Kellogg’s Tour Technology”!!

Time for the group to divide, Ron, Mary, Richard, Ben, and Martin B headed home, Ed, Lorraine and ride leaders to Sherborne.

In Sherborne we were welcomed by police dog handlers in the car park and a helicopter circling overhead! Was this really Sherborne?? “Crikey” Did you remember to pay at Castle Gardens?!!

Thank you all for your company, another “Grand day out”.

Peter and Nicky Vaughan

Ride Report – Stalbridge to Cattistock

Saturday 11 May 2019

Twelve  riders turned up at Dikes on this glorious sunny morning :- Jackie and Martin, Jill and Roger, Mary, Richard N, Ron, David WM, Ben, Caroline and Jenny – plus the scribe of course.

All but Jenny intended going to the lunch spot – she had already swum 1000 lengths of Port Regis’s pool and had just taken part in the 10 mile Park Run at Henstridge, so she was just stopping by for a quick snack before playing 36 holes of golf and finishing off the day with a 3 hour session of Basketball. Will this girl ever stop

  • Great to have 4 ladies out today!
  • Caroline was testing a new purple saddle lent to her by Off Camber Bike Shop
  • The tried and tested morning route was taken – Bishops Caundle, Leigh, Chetnole and Frome St Quintin
  • With no delays and a following wind, we arrived in Cattistock at 12.15
  • The second half of the Rhodes ensemble (Ken) arrived 45 minutes late as usual – he received a standing ovation – Mr Predictable
  • A shortage of main courses for the 11 riders was eventually sorted out by Lucy.
  • A big split occurred after lunch with 4 riders returning by the outgoing route – Roger, Jill, Jackie and Richard.
  • There were 6 takers for the hilly ride home – with Ben planning to ride straight back to Yeovil – prior commitments.
  • The 3 steep hills lived up to their reputation, the 6 of us fragmenting on each climb then regrouping at the summits.
  • Ken had dearly wanted to ride this hilly section – while Caroline drove the car home to meet her lonely 3 pooches!

No punctures or ‘interesting’ mishaps occurred today, but the following points are worth a mention.

  • So good to see Roger back in action – the first time he has made it to a lunch spot this year – long may the improvement continue.
  • Once again – 4 lovely lady riders with us – long may this also continue.
  • For David WM and Ken, the 3 climbs on the return journey were their maiden attempts and will be remembered with respect. (heavy breathing confirms this)
  • David WM proved he was human – suffering towards the end of the ride at Stalbridge – and he still had to make his way home to Shaftesbury. Along with Mary, he would surely have completed about 70 hard miles today!!
  • Ron did an excellent job as a sheep dog – rounding up the stragglers at the back and pointing them in the right direction.
  • Jill kept a lower profile today – it was quieter!
  • Our newest ride leader Caroline gave the purple saddle the thumbs up – but only completed half the ride – is this enough?
  • Martin was having a better day up the hills in spite of his Saturdays away with house sitting and helping out at the London Marathon!
  • Mary once again got the ‘Queen of the Mountain’ award.
  • A grand total of 4 Van Nicholas titanium bikes were in evidence today – is this a record?

It was sunny but cool today – we’re still looking forward to some more EASTER type weather!
Only one month to go to the Club Holiday – yippee!

That’s enough……..Charlie Porter

Ride Report – Gillingham to Longleat/Frome

Saturday 4 May 2019

The Horse & Doom/Groom Ride

Mistake number one-left home in shorts. Boy that wind was lazy. Yep, rather go through you than round you. Made it to Orchard Park far too early but soon joined by Chairman Paul with a cold. Much more of that weather and he will have a double one. Also Charles, Mike A, Richard N, Jill & Roger, Lorraine, Ben and Mary. Paul returned home and Roger left us at Stourhead leaving eight brave/silly folk.
We went through Gill, Up Hardings Lane past the Riversmeet sport centre then took a footpath to Bay then on to Milton-on-Stour, Wolverton then into a mighty headwind across Zeals Airfield. The (only slightly) faster ones pressed ahead for a longer route whilst Richard took the two ladies on a shorter route. He’s got a way with the girls that Richard, bet he offered them out of date Mars Bars!
So whilst they went via Horningsham I think, ‘tothers went past Shearwater, turned left for Potters Hill, through the woods to the Longleat road then on to the main road for a mile before turning left for the Safari Park. Charlie became worried about becoming tonight’s lion’s supper but we assured him he was really far too tough for them. On to tiny villages before turning down possibly the narrowest, pot holiest, posterior numbingest lane in Wiltsh-no-the world! This brought us past some lovely woods before arriving at our lunch pub. Here it all fell apart when Jill warned that food would be ages coming as only the landlady was there and quite a few customers. We waited for at least 30 minutes before deciding that Sainsburys, Frome was the best option. Of course Richard knew a short cut and the food was excellent. Again Richard knew the best way home so we cycled almost to Trudoxhill before turning for Gare Hill. Of course the wind was with us now and the top section was soon climbed. Apologies here to Lorraine and Richard for not waiting for them at the top and congratulations Lorraine for undertaking what was quite a hard ride.

About 40 miles for us, thanks for the company and oh, maybe the Horse & Doom was a blessing as I had a ride from Alfred’s Tower to Penselwood had there been time- so next time!!

Ed Highnam

Upcoming Events

  1. Coffee Stop – Stourhead

    17 September @ 10:30 am - 11:30 am
  2. Jill’s Jaunt

    18 September @ 9:30 am - 2:00 pm
  3. Weekend Ride – Sturminster Newton to Wareham

    21 September @ 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
  4. Sunday Saunter

    22 September @ 10:00 am - 2:00 pm
  5. Coffee Stop – Spire Hill

    24 September @ 10:30 am - 11:30 am
  6. Ron’s Reprise

    25 September @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
  7. Weekend Ride – Stalbridge to Tolpuddle

    28 September @ 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
  8. Sunday Saunter

    29 September @ 10:00 am - 2:00 pm