Blackmore Vale Cycling Club
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
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.
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!
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
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
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!!
Saturday 27 April 2019
It was depressing midweek to look at the weather forecast and see that Storm Hannah with high winds and rain was due to arrive during the ride on Saturday. So it was of some relief to see the forecast on Friday evening was predicting winds up to 47mph but little or no rain. On leaving the house on Saturday morning and initially tuning west on my ride to Shillingstone the strength of the wind foretold a very hard ride to come. I was therefore quite surprised to follow Roger into Shillingstone Station and find Ron, Ben, Charlie, Ed and Paul already there, although it was obvious that Paul would not be partaking, as he was dressed in his country wear with a dog in tow. Once we were sat down for coffee we were joined by Jill and Jenny on her way back from a park run in Blandford.
We set off from Shillingstone with Roger, Jill and Jenny finding a variety of excuses for not joining the ride, so Ron, Ben. Charlie, Ed and I headed to Child Okeford and on to Iwerne Minster. We then climbed Tower Hill to the top of the ridge and down into the Tarrants taking advantage of the wind on our backs. As we turned west towards Tarrant Rawston we almost came to full stop as we felt the full force of the 45mph wind which only abated when we turned up the hill to Tarrant Rushton.
As this was not my first time leading a ride to Pamphill I decided to save myself from being berated for taking the cross country route along some flint covered tracks, so we took the longer route via Witchampton and Wimborne.
We arrived at a busy Pamphill café to luckily find the only 5 seater table in the place free (you can’t book on Saturdays) and ordered a selection of somewhat pricey food and drinks. The service was quick and the food was excellent setting us up for what we knew was going to be a hard ride home.
We set off towards Shapwick with little protection from the hedges and riding into the full force of the wind. This continued with little respite all the way to Blandford where we picked up the trailway which initially gave us some protection from the wind. We then had to negotiate the exposed part of the trailway towards Durweston which proved very hard going but partly alleviated but putting Electric Ron in front as a wind break. We finally arrived back a Shillingstone where Ron left us and the remainder of us stopped for a well-earned drink.
Ben departed for what must have been a very tough ride straight into the west wind all the way back to Yeovil, while Charlie. Ed and I decided to stay on the trailway to get some protection from the wind as far as Hammoon. Then on to Manston where we experienced a quick rain shower and turning north for home with the wind on our side at last.
I rode 100.1km (62.2miles) and it was very hard work.
Saturday 20 April 2019
Jackie and I were the first to arrive at Orchard Park on a bright sunny morning. The temperature was predicted to be in the 20s so it was the first ride out in shorts! Slowly riders started arriving and by the time we were ready to go there were 12 of us. Myself and Jackie, Richard N, Lorraine, Ken, Charlie, Mike P, Mike A, Alan, Ben, Doctor Dave and newcomer Keith Clements. We set off down Cole Street Lane and then Eccliffe and made our way up to the Ridge and out to the B3081. Under the A303 and continuing on the B3081 to Charlton Musgrove where we turned right and made our way up to South Brewham and North Brewham where Keith left us to go home to Wincanton and look after his dogs. The rest of us made our way to Upton Noble then down to Witham Friary and then the climb up through Trudoxhill to Nunney Catch where the riders who hadn’t brought a packed lunch bought Sandwiches and cold drinks from the Service Station on the main road. We then went down the hill to Nunney Castle where we ate our lunches by the river. As it turned out the café wasn’t very busy and we could have eaten there but it was such a lovely day a picnic by the river was ideal.
After our lunch and take away coffees from the café we went back a short way up the hill before turning off onto Ridgeway lane and up Berry hill to the main road. Straight across and along a lovely lane before we started the long climb up Gare Hill where we regrouped then made our way to Stourhead for tea and cake (or Ice cream for some of us). From here we split up and went our separate ways home.
As you can tell it was quite an uneventful ride with no incidents or mechanicals and no-one got lost. Nonetheless it was very enjoyable and some of the views of the beautiful English countryside were fantastic. Thanks to all who came on such a lovely day. From East Stour it was a 46 mile round trip for others a lot more.
Saturday 13 April 2019
Ok, I know it is a Cycling Club, however anyone lucky enough to lead a ride in April will be blessed with a botanical bonanza which must not be ignored. I will describe the specimens as we relive the ride.
First, so many bikes outside Dikes I panicked – not enough lunch spaces booked. It was fine, most were only as Charlie names them “Clingons”. Caroline, Roger, Jenny, Mary and Keith were not lunching with us, off to do other exciting things….So for cycling company I had Richard, Dave M, Paul, Ron, David WM, Ben and Charlie with Peter and Nicky meeting us on the road.
Out through the Caundles my back marker Paul made a knowing comment – he told me the only rider behind him was the leader – I had made a premature left turn down a farm track, while discussing planning matters with Dave – reminder to self, if you are leading: concentrate!
Entertainment was provided as we travelled towards Glanvilles Wootton, with a succession of old MGs on a rally, roaring past us, the occupants all squashed into their tiny cockpits wearing fat leather and sheepskin hats and coats. They needed them, it was a cold east wind blowing us along, a tailwind we noted.
Just before Hermitage and the A352 junction, there outside the bus shelter two familiar bicycles, Peter and Nicky ready to join us. Once a cross the road the nature study lesson was about to begin. By now all the usual suspects for April had been spotted frequently: primroses in clumps, scattered celandines, bountiful bluebells as well as greening hedgerows and blackthorn blossom. As we approached Chetnole I was prepared, I knew from previous spring rides that the pyramidal purple orchids might be out on a bank near the village boundary, yes not disappointed, photographed and admired, I then had to catch up my group. Only to be distracted by wood anemones and even violets!
Once I found my cyclists we carried on through Hamlet, onto the outskirts of Ryme, thence to Hamish’s. Excellent all day breakfasts, soup and egg dishes consumed, Richard of course had pudding with custard…While we were there such a lovely surprise, Mike Phillips had ridden out to meet us, a delight to see him on his bike looking great. After lunch the depleted group set off east, into the headwind. I had thought of diverting through Leigh, in my unfit condition, to avoid the drag and sharp hill onto Bailey Ridge. No my friend Charlie said “It is only a hill, think of your fitness and the benefit…..” so I struggled up, hoping he will be right. Next my plan was to return via the lanes towards Folke to see swathes of bluebells in the woods, luckily not vetoed by fellow riders, however very few bluebells out yet, only banks of wild garlic leaves instead. Over through Alweston lanes, right up the hill towards Stourton Caundle, with more wood anemones and violets we arrived back at Stalbridge. When I reached home it was 45 miles, enough on a cold slightly sunny day. Thanks to those who came, and remember, look out for orchids on your next ride!
Saturday 6 April 2019
There were 11 of us at Stourhead for coffee, and to my surprise they all (apart from Ron) planned to cycle to lunch in Boyton. The usual BVCC regulars were joined by Sarah and Rodney from GDW etc.
Lorraine and Richard planned a cunning route to reduce the distance to lunch by ten miles -this involved a short stretch of the A303 and three miles of deserted but tarmacked farm track. The rest of us headed off to East Knoyle where we had arranged to meet Roger who was waiting at the shop with his friend Mike who also joined us.
At Tisbury Ron turned for home (Tour of Flanders on TV?) and Charlie, who wasn’t feeling 100% joined him.
We followed the Nadder Valley through to Teffont Evias and Magna then took on the climb over Wylye Down and a 40 mph descent into the Wylye Valley, not forgetting the “level” crossing at the bottom!
Eventually we arrived at the Ginger Piggery, 5 minutes before my ETA, Richard and Lorraine we sitting at our reserved table already half way through their lunch and it wasn’t long before we had all been served.
The route back to Stourhead was much flatter and shorter and benefited from a tail wind. Just past Kilmington we came across a cyclist sitting on the verge, she wasn’t hurt but had suffered a “funny turn” and her friend was attempting to find a phone signal to call for help. We stopped to see if we could be of assistance, Peter was able to find them a map for reassurance and (Ex GP) David was able to offer his expertise. In fact David offered to stay with the couple until help arrived as his car was at Stourhead, and ended up transporting her bike back to Frome. Well done David.
At Stourhead we went our separate ways, Ed rushing back to watch the Grand National, Nicky and Peter helping Lorraine put her bike in her car before cycling to their car in Wincanton and the final contingent aiming for Shaftesbury and places on route.
Thanks to all who joined me on a rather cold but dry ride.
4 April @ 10:00 - 17:00
5 April @ 10:00 - 14:00
7 April @ 10:30 - 11:30
8 April @ 08:00 - 17:00
11 April @ 10:00 - 17:00
12 April @ 10:00 - 14:00
14 April @ 10:30 - 11:30