Blackmore Vale Cycling Club


Weekend Ride – Mystery Tour from Sparkford

Saturday 17 August 2019

Mike Anyan was struck down with a mystery bug and in consequence was unable to lead the mystery ride. I had offered to lead an easier paced mystery ride, Somerton being my mystery destination. It was a mystery to me why everyone considered this to be a bad idea and a greater mystery why members suggested lunch at Hamish’s, Ryme Intrinseca. It was even more of a mystery how I became ride leader to Hamish’s when I did not have O.S. map 194 with me and so the route was yet another mystery. Perhaps this explains the mystery of why I took a wrong route between Mudford and Over Compton.
Nicky telephoned the café so they could prepare for arrival of mystery customers. My pudding was no mystery, Spotted Dick and Custard.
After lunch we retraced to Yetminster and then went to our homes via mystery routes.

Richard Nicholl


For those of you not familiar with this proposed ride – Mike should have been the leader today for his Mystery Tour. Let me explain……………….

  • On Thursday, Mike rang to say that he wouldn’t be out on Saturday due to a  ‘stinking cold’ on returning from his solo 1500 mile French Connection cycling trip.
  • He asked me to sort it out – so here goes.
  • At such short notice, I (in my limited wisdom), decided to do absolutely nothing, preferring to ride to Sparkford, see who turns up, then do some decision making.
  • Now –  Richard Nichol had previously volunteered to lead a second, possibly shorter ride – once again depending on who turns up!
  • 13 bikes arrived at the Motor Museum
  • David, Jackie, Martin and Arthur Civil planned to return home after coffee and cake, due to some more important commitments than cycling – cheek!
  • Richard wanted to lead his ride to Somerton
  • Ron, Nicky, Pete, Jill, Mary, Roger, Ken, Ben and myself all preferred Hamish’s at Ryme Intrinseca.
  • Richard was over ruled – so with his arm twisted up his back, he agreed to our option – and was also reluctantly forced to lead the ride – problem solved!
  • Ben set off on his own to Hamish’s as he needed the extra miles before his Spanish hols.
  • The 8 of us finally left in sunshine with Richard, despite muttering that he had been kidnapped, played a blinder, finding some new roads and eventually depositing us at the lunch spot at 12.15
  • Excellent quisine from the huge menu was demolished in high spirits
  • Ron, Ben, Pete and Nicky disappeared homewards.
  • Richard and Ken turned north at Yetminster as Richard was escorting Ken back to Sparkford cos he had parked his 4 wheeled transport there – we won’t comment anymore about Ken’s homing instincts will we!!
  • That left the survivors – Jill, Mary, Roger and myself en route for Stalbridge, stopping at Dikes as Jill had generously offered to buy us all Smoothies  –  see photo.

So, all in all a very enjoyable days Mystery Tour – must do this sort of thing again – and thanks to you Richard the Cake for being such a good sport under pressure!!

Charlie  Porter


Ride Report – Child Okeford to Moreton-issh

Saturday 10 August 2019

In view of the weather forecast for high winds and rain I was surprised to  find anyone at the Gold Hill Tea Room in Child Okeford. However Roger, Jill,  Martin and Jackie were waiting patiently outside for the it to open. Soon after  Charlie arrived, shortly followed by Ken and Caroline in civvies (grounded due  to high winds) and then Mary. As we were preparing to leave a large group of  cyclists turned up from Bruton. Martin and Jackie had to return home and in view  of the weather the remaining five decided to do a short loop to Hazelbury Bryan  and back via Sturminster. After fighting the strong headwind to HB it was a  relief to enjoy it on our backs as we headed north. As we passed through  Sturminster Roger announced that he would stand everyone a drink at the White  Horse in Hinton St Mary. Hastily amending my plan to go straight home, we all  sat in the pub garden hungrily watching Charlie demolish his meal . (He did  share his chips). The wind seemed to pick up again on the way home, and shortly  after I arrived the heavens opened.

The highlight of the ride for me (and for those who have had to endure it  on recent rides) was that the creak in my bike seems to have disappeared. One  day I will lead a ride that actually reaches its planned destination!
Paul Nicholson


Ride Report – Fontmell Magna to Buckland Newton

Saturday 3 August 2019

Technology is great when it works….Grrrr!  But let’s concentrate on the positives of the ride!  12 people  arrived at the tea room in Fontmell Magna and all agreed that it made for a welcoming venue.  Cake choice was a bit thin but the carrot cake was reportedly very fine indeed and the drinks were bladder-testingly large!  Paul left to try to sort his squeaking  bike….expect to see a new shiny one soon?!  Jill and Roger returned for guests.  So we set off to meet Jenny at Shillingstone and continued on along some cunningly chosen lanes and keep everyone guessing as to which way I was going to turn next.  I was a  happy bunny ‘cos my Garmin was working really well!  Biggest disappointment was that not one but both fords were dry…..Bah!  I had to put my camera away before Soggy Ron got to them!  21 miles to The Gaggle of Geese pub at Buckland Newton where the ‘Gagglefest’  had got underway and we enjoyed pizzas and barbecue fare outside whilst listening to some good folk music. It was fun! As an added bonus we met up with Peter, Nicky and Mike. So having lost 3 at the start we were back up to numbers.  But then it started falling  apart and several folk decided to make their own shorter routes home – Well done, good decision!  Could I get my trusty Garmin to load up the afternoon ride?  You guess!  7 of us continued north on a bit of a wing and a prayer (on my behalf!) and Peter, Nicky  and Mike peeled off at Boys Hill which until I got home didn’t realise was the route which I had planned.  Never mind – I had Mary and Charlie who made helpful suggestions and Ed who was ever the optimist!  We arrived at the Sweet Pea for a cup of tea in Stur  and in fact had only done about 13 miles.  Sorry Jenny and Lorraine, you could have stayed with us!  We disbanded after tea and I lost most of my fillings along the Trailway to Hammoon and then made a big mistake by taking the track which cuts out Child Okeford.   Sandy, rocky and horror of horrors for my immaculately clean bike – muddy puddles! I got nettle rash trying to dodge around the sides and my gears sounded terrible afterwards.  When I arrived home Ken asked why my front wheel was hanging on by a thread.  I  think I was lucky not to lose it!

Anyway, the weather was pleasantly cool, the company was good and thanks to all who came along.  12 to 4 was quite a high attrition rate – I’m trying not to take it personally!

Caroline Rhodes


Ride Report – Stalbridge (Spire Hill) to Dorchester

Saturday 27 July 2019

Where To?  Dorchester   Start?  Thyme after Time Cafe
Full Time Players?  Ben, David, Martin, Paul,  Richard, me
Also Rans?  Roger and Ron
Unfortunately, no members of the fairer sex cycling today, but Jackie F came along with a black Labrador and offered support.
Notable absentees?  Mary was cruising on the Danube with Jackie ER.
Mike Pain was completing a 400 mile round trip to Aberystwyth
Mike Anyan is on a 2000 mile cycle trip to the South of France and back – on his own!

  • Today’s initial route via the Piddle Valley was modified to Cheselbourne. But Richard had disappeared before we set off.
  • Roger threw in the towel at Hazelbury Bryan – duties at Marnhull fete.
  • Ron turned around after Puddletown Forest. Tour de France beckons!
  • 12.15 – Arrived at the Royal Oak pub in Dorchester (it has a Witherspoon franchise) – recommended by Richard of course who actually arrived half an hour later. He had taken the initial Piddle Valley route and couldn’t believe we had ridden via Cheselbourne!
  • Moral of this is – Always depart with the ride leader who usually knows where he\she is going. Richard loses brownie points!
  • Lunchtime banter during the meal – which was delivered within 5 minutes – gravitated to a “Boris” discussion. What else?
  • Setting off north down the hill, Paul took us on a half mile off road section, a far cry from the 9 mile cycleway forced upon us by Ed Hignham a couple of weeks ago!
  • We now joined the Piddle Valley road homewards
  • At Piddletrenthide, Paul and Richard (surprisingly as he lives in Wincanton and professes not to enjoy steep hills) turned right for Plush via the 1 in 4 mountain lump at the start!  Hope they got home safely.
  • That left 4 of us who sensibly called in at Buckland Newton shop for  well earned ice creams. A lovely rest in the sun.
  • Ben turned left shortly afterwards, heading for Sherborne.
  • We three returned via Spire Hill again, Martin heading up Cox Hill to Hartgrove Farm. (Jackie and Martin’s second home)

A short 45 mile trip for myself – significantly more for the others in ideal cycling conditions. Again, no punctures or problems. It’s great when bikes perform as they should!

Thanks to everyone

Charlie Porter


Ride Report – Hartgrove to Spietesbury

Saturday 20 July 2019

16 people turned up at Hartgrove Farm where Jackie and I are house sitting. The forecast all week had been for wet weather but although it was dry we didn’t think it was quite warm enough to sit outside. So we all piled into the conservatory and tucked into Jackie’s home made cakes tea and coffee. 11 riders set off at 10.45 down the hill towards Bedchester where we turned right and made our way onto the A350 for a short distance before turning into Iwerne Minster and the long drag up the hill to the top road. Lorraine turned back half way up the hill and arranged to meet us at the lunch stop. So we were down to 10 at the top. Straight across and a fast descent to Tarrant Gunville. By now the weather was beautiful and made for a lovely ride through the Tarrant Valley as far as Tarrant Keyneston where we turned onto the busy B3082 towards Badbury Rings and then right onto the nice straight Roman road to Shapwick. Then right and left to the main A350 Blandford road. Straight across and onto the trailway, that runs parallel to the main road, as far as Spetisbury school and drop off back to the main road and straight across to Clapcotts Farm and Marcia’s Café which was our lunch stop. Caroline, who was taking over from Ken, and Lorraine were already there so we all ordered and sat outside on the picnic benches as the weather was so good. The food took a while to come but was all made to order with generous portions and very reasonable prices. Suitably refreshed we went back to the trailway and turned towards Blandford. The trailway ends about 100 yards from the roundabout on the A350 where we went straight across towards Blandford and then left opposite the brewery and up through Bryanston School grounds and out to the A357. Instead of going on the trailway we went down the main A357 as it was virtually traffic free due to the Durweston bridge closure. At Shillingstone we turned right to Child Okeford where Paul left us for home and the rest of us, minus Caroline who had an appointment with some plants and Mary who had to go and pack as she was leaving on holiday in a couple of hours, headed back to Hartgrove farm for more tea and cakes.  A shortish ride at 38 miles with no incidents apart from being shouted at by an irate woman that there were too many of us even though she was going in the opposite direction!!! Unexpected good weather and beautiful scenery. Thanks to everyone who came

Martin Fortis


Ride Report – Shillingstone to Upton House

Saturday 13 July 2019

When Charlie put me down for this ride little did I know that a gentle ride to Upton House would cause enough hot air to power a hot air balloon!!

We met at Shillingstone Station for a 10.30 depart on the still-blocked Durweston Road. “We” being Charlie, Chairman Paul, Mary, Ron, Ken, Ben, Mike P with Caroline, Jill, Roger and Lorraine leaving for bell ringing and other reasons.

Whilst the leader(??) thought it best to join the trailway to Blandford it was decided to go via that cheap Bryanston School then following Caroline’s route to the Langford Long road which took us to Wimborne. Ron knew the Sustrans route through the town so far but as the direction pointers are no longer there I made the first of many wrong turns which gave us all a quite new view of the town.

We joined the Castleman Trail by the Willett Arms. It has a decent surface and completely level but as I had only ridden it from the other direction a left hand turn was missed and we came across a stream which I had never encountered afore so stopped and asked a couple of walkers the way. It happened that one of them was of Asian decent and (insult no.1) Ron spouts “not only got us lost but had to ask a foreigner directions!” So we crossed the busy roads and entered Upton House where a tasty, reasonably priced lunch awaited. During lunch there were more aspersions cast on my character when guess who, Ron threatened to tell all at church about me but even worse our (once) esteemed Chairman suggested I needed to join Ron for holy guidance That’s insult 2&3.

I had intended treating all to a ride back across the gravel tracks of  ,Tarrant Valley and Church Lane (cart track) up to Hartgrove but Mike sensibly suggested a less rural route so we set off through Upton only to become involved in their carnival. We of course won the cup for the best comedy group and had to weave our way with the procession through town then on to the two Lychetts’ before crossing the road at Stur Marshall and back to Blandford where Ken had disappeared like a Phantom and Ron kept going whilst five of us went to the M & S café for a reviver. Ben left here and the four of us took the Trail to Durweston before joining the main road to Hammoon where Charlie suffered a chain problem (note, must give him maintenance coaching sometime). I both was unaware of this and running out of puff so kept going for home.

Thanks all for a most enjoyable day. 60 miles for me, more for some.

Ed Highnam

Ride Report – Stourhead to Dilton Marsh

Saturday 6 July 2019

Joining me (Richard the cake) were Chairman Paul, 90 inch fixed Mike, electric Ron, sawed off bars Charlie and Roger in the shade. Jackie and Martin came to Stourhead only. We went via Maiden Bradley and Warminster to Fairfield Farm College where we had reserved tables at the café. Sawed off bars Charlie had to wait for his meal but everyone else was served quickly, the food was good and reasonably priced.

The afternoon route was via Rudge, the traffic free cycle path by the river in Frome and Gare Hill, our great climb of the day. The group, including 90 inch fixed Mike, went up Gare Hill leaving me miles behind as I struggled in my 22 inch bottom gear. At the top they waited for me and then we returned to Stourhead for tea and cake.

Richard Nicholl

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

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