Blackmore Vale Cycling Club
Saturday 22 September 2018
I’m cursed! My first club run of the year cancelled due to the ‘beast from the East’, the second I was unable to lead due to illness and now, after 5 weeks off the bike with a broken foot, the heatwave in July/August was a distant memory and a truly awful forecast of incessant rain accompanied my third club run (and first proper ride in 5 weeks).
Four hardcore cyclists turned up at Oliver’s, Charlie, Mary, Lorraine and myself. After a coffee, Lorraine very sensibly decided to head for home and three of us continued on the planned route but decided under the circumstances (it was peeing down) that Wincanton was a more sensible lunch stop than North Brewham, and visited the café in the park as an alternative to the usually-crowded Morrison’s. Tea and coffee arrived quickly but the food didn’t, and wasn’t that great when it arrived but still it was a pleasure being in the warm and dry. ‘Lunch’ eaten, it was time to don sopping wet gear and head out into the cold drizzle. Summer had suddenly become winter. Better luck next week…….
Saturday 15 September 2018
Twelve riders assembled at the Gold Hill Farm Café, but we were already down to ten when we left as Martin and Jackie had to go and look after some llamas. Keith stayed with us to Hazelbury Bryan while we turned towards Ansty. The potholed stretch of road past Skinner’s Farm had been resurfaced so it was a pleasure cycling past. At Ansty Lorraine turned back leaving eight of us to enjoy the long downhill stretch to Milborne St Andrew. On reaching Bere Regis Richard left us in search of pensioner specials, while the rest of us took the long straight road past the gravel pits to Wareham. After rejecting the pub by the quay as it appeared to be very busy due to a market, we followed Charlie to one of his favourite cafes where we were made very welcome. “The Salt Pig” is to be recommended for friendly quick service – and it sells beer. After an excellent lamb sandwich and a bottle of Solar Power (brewed with Bavarian hops) we set off across the heath to Sturminster Marshall for cream teas in the village hall. Ron decided to carry on, but the rest of us enjoyed delicious cakes. Following the cycle route back to Blandford and then the trailway to Shillingstone Charlie, Dave, Ed, Mary and Mike led the way while the leader began to struggle a bit and assumed the role of back marker.
Perfect weather and no punctures made for a perfect ride. 54.5 miles and 860 m of climbing according to Garmin.
Saturday 8 September 2018
The weather forecast earlier in the week predicted a very wet Saturday so I was surprised to wake-up to a bright but breezy morning. On arrival at Dike’s some of the stalwart riders trickled in, but it was obvious that the blue rinse holiday season had started with a number of our regular riders missing.
Marin, Richard N, Charlie, Mike A, Lorraine and Ken decided to ride to Tolpuddle with Keith and Ron returning home for domestic duties and Caroline going shopping and dog walking before joining us for the return leg. A very uneventful ride took use via Stourton Caundle, Bishops Caundle, Pulham and the Piddle Valley to Tolpuddle. We arrived at the Martyr’s Inn on the crack of 12:30 to an almost empty pub with a waitress ready to take our orders. The only thing missing was Caroline, with Ken having a little clout having in the past been subjected to some comments by his dear wife regarding his map reading skills. Anyway after a hearty lunch and Caroline’s eventual arrival we decided to return home via Cheselbourne, Ansty and over Bulbarrow the easy way, followed by a fast decent to Okeford Fitzpaine and on to Manston. After which the peloton split up to find their individual way home.
Not an easy ride to write a report on as no one got lost, no one fell off and there were no punctures and even Leaky Mike managed to ride on the right (English) side of the road most of the time. The only significant thing was that Ken was a little bit premature in his clouting, as apparently Caroline was not lost in the wilds of Dorset, but was held up by Sturminster Newton Cheese Fair traffic and had tried to ring Ken, but apparently his phone was switched off once AGAIN.
Saturday 1 September 2018
Just to make Shaftesbury is about my limit but to see Alex, Mike P and Charlie cycle up Gold Hill was amazing-well done guys.
So the above, Ron, Lorraine, Jackie, Martin, Mike A, Richard, Dave, Robin and Jim started from The Salt Cellar. Jim and Ron melted away at some stage but we took the mega rough Zig Zag then down to Tollard Royal. About two miles on we turned for Dean where we joined the Jubilee Way which has a concrete road to the A354. This is where the ride somewhat disintegrated as there were three options from here. A. Keep on the Jubilee Trail or B. go down the main road and up the Roman Road (where were you Ron?) or C. stick to the road to Monkton up Wimborne which soon became ******!! Up Ed.
Well being a stout and trusting group all elected to “follow the leader”, big mistake as it is a challenging ride and some could just not cycle it. Four of us went ahead and thought that the rest had turned back so decided to go down the Roman Road to the tarmac road and hope to meet them, expecting them to have turned back. So the four of us went to the Cranborne café only to be contacted by Charlie to say that the main body had done the rough route and were in the woods so they took the same route as us and arrived for an excellent lunch a little later. Now my back is broad but dear reader the ‘stick’ I received was—well deserved.
Our home ride was via the Gussages, Long Critchel, Chettle then to the top road where Charlie , both Mikes and Alex wisely left us as I managed to take the wrong direction in Farnham and came back to the top road so we decided to ‘take tea’ at Compton Abbas before making our way home.
About 42 miles on a lovely day, a few sore posteriors but we all made it. Thanks.
Saturday 25 August 2018
It was a dry day but probably the coldest morning for 3 months, just warm enough for shorts. The only mechanical problems were ‘chain off’.
With me on the ride to Imber were Dave, Robin, Martin, Jackie, Jill, Alan, Charlie, Phil, Alex, Ed and Mike. Also at the start were Keith, Jim, Roger and Ron. In addition there was the usual lunch time change over of car and dogs between Caroline and Ken. This did not go smoothly, partly because there is no mobile phone signal at Imber. In consequence Ken left Imber without having had his lunch.
On the same weekend last year we also went to the deserted village of Imber. Then old red London buses took crowds of people from Warminster rail station to Imber. This year the buses were not operating so we did not have to queue for the portaloos or the cups of tea and we were able to enjoy the ringing of the 6 bells in the church tower.
Our route to Imber was Maiden Bradley, Shear Water embankment and Warminster. The return route was on the partly gravel road to Heytesbury, then Tytherington, Kingston Deverill (with history lesson about the area in AD 878) and Maiden Bradley. In the morning we noted cream teas were being served that afternoon in Maiden Bradley village hall. We could not resist.
Saturday 18 August 2018
After last week’s soggy ride, the weather today was perfect for those who have an aversion to ‘tarmac melting’ temperatures or prolonged precipitation.
A few of our regulars were not expected however – Jackie and Martin were having a ‘relatively’ good time in Cornwall, Caroline and Ken had disappeared abroad with their 3 hounds to bonnie Scotland, Mike (mile eater) Pain had taken his family plus surf boards to Newquay, Mike Anyan had again been called out for an emergency plumbing job and Tony was still AWOL!
So only 10 of us met at Time after Time café where large Marquees had been erected – preparing for a large extravaganza in the evening. After our coffee/tea cups and plates were emptied at 10.30, Keith returned home – his heart problem will hopefully soon improve, enabling him to attend full rides. But good to have Alex with us again after an enforced absence.
A tried and tested route was followed, passing through Kings Stag and Hazelbury Bryan – Paul and Roger left us just as Pete and Nicky joined us after riding over from Ash. That now left 9 of us finding our way to Milborne St Andrew. Here, Ed went on ahead in search of a gateway for obvious reasons. When Ron and I caught up with him – the rest of the group being 200 yards behind – he had been ‘stung’ into action. The nettles were higher than he estimated, so he received a shock in a sensitive area – Ron and I said we wouldn’t tell anyone, so we didn’t!
After the unavoidable section of busy main road to Wool via the Bovington Camp Training area and Monkey World, we cycled the last 4 miles on a quiet lane to the Walled Garden at Moreton. A wedding party taking place meant that the only hot food was Baked potatoes with various fillings of course – which proved to be excellent – plus the sandwiches and Ploughman’s.
The exciting part of lunch however was dominated by the squadrons of WASPS which took a liking to our food and drink. At our end of the table, Major Matten took great delight in trapping as many critters as possible in an upturned glass tumbler – I counted al least 7 – Jill meanwhile, deserved an Academy Award for imitating a ‘pop up’ toaster as she tried in vain to avoid any contact with the hovering pests. She must have spent more time standing than sitting.
The return journey had no unpleasant surprises and after a long slog up the Piddle Valley, someone remembered that the small farm shop at Buckland Newton sold ice cream and lollies. So stop we did – it saved the day, so suitably refreshed we set off on the last leg, Pete and Nicky leaving us at Duntish and the rest of us splitting up at Bagber crossroads.
My thanks to Mary, Jill, Nicky, Ed, David, Alex, Ron and Pete for putting up with me all day. No problems with bikes and no unplanned stoppages.
Only a measly 53 miles for me today. Everyone else will have done significantly more.
And now to the other 3 big mile eaters in our club – Mary, Nicky and Pete – Someone told me that they said “ it really isn’t worth going out for less than 100 miles nowadays” – CHEEK
Saturday 11 August 2018
The weatherman said “A weakening ridge of high pressure would travel from west to east across Somerset”, ideal conditions for a ride to The Haynes Motor Museum.
Twelve for coffee, ten to join us on the ride to Westhay and that Mecca of cycling which is Sweets Tea Room and Museum.
Usually preoccupied with coffee and cake, we wonder if anyone has taken the time to visit both Museums? The exhibits at Sweets maybe less valuable. No red Italian cars here, but an eclectic mix. We did see a red humming top!
The ridge of high pressure was well to the east by the time the riders left Haynes under gathering gloom for Glastonbury on Route 26. Apparently Richard N’s collection of O S maps do not show cycle routes!! Suitable exhibits for a museum; a great asset to anyone researching the S&D branch line, maybe the reason Richard and Robin were seen walking on the railway.
Caravan and camping enthusiasts along the north bank of The Brue seemed oblivious to our cycling by. One suspects they were oblivious to much else going on.
Passing through a gap in the hedge countryside became town, we were soon amongst tourists doing the rounds of gift and coffee shops that make up Glastonbury town centre, but our destination was further west.
Turning north from the Wedmore road through the Godneys making good time we were too early for lunch at Double Gates so pressed on to Sweets arriving with the rain. A clue to the wait for lunch should have been signalled by the number of exotic machines hanging by their saddles, triathlon style, from the scaffold pipe rack, Mary’s pink machine was soon among them. One member was disinclined to hang his bike by the saddle having previously suffered a separation of saddle and seat post resulting in damage to already stressed parts!
Time past contemplating the array of frames hanging from the rafters, all now redundant though considerably newer than the collection of 531 tubes that had provided this mornings transport. The best things in life are worth waiting for when the food arrived it was well up to standard. Ron and Arthur had plans for the afternoon so made their own way back. Rested and restored the group left at 2pm, the rain having slowed.
Turning south just short of Glastonbury the rain was replaced by a strong headwind, onto Street and Baltonsborough where Richard left us for home. Drizzle had become sharp showers by the time we crossed West Lydford Bridge. We were as wet as the children we had seen swimming in the river on a previous visit. Climbing up from the river we were surprised to hear the sound of leather on willow or at least the appeal from the slips, the Lydford Cricketers were still out in the middle, well it was a warm wet southerly. The rain became harder by the time we were back at Haynes. A 43 mile ride with a group of good friends, no mechanicals no one lost, thank you for your company; Roger, Jill, Mary, Charlie, Robin, Ron, Arthur, Richard, and to Alan and Melonie at the start.
Now just the ride home, but that’s another story. As forecast the evening sun was shining in Hambridge. Just like this morning Kingsbury church clock was approaching 7.30 had time stood still, the Winged Wheel above the pub door still says CTC. Happy Birthday to the CTC.
Peter and Nicky Vaughan
Saturday 4 August 2018
Only the ride leader (Steve Way) and Mike Pain rode the whole distance, they were joined at Wellow by Dave, Jackie and Martin and met up with Richard’s alternative ride at Bitton Station
Lorraine joined me for a shorter version of the club ride. We parked in the free car park at Wellow, went to the café, then onto the Colliers Way cycle path. We stopped at the entrance to Combe Down tunnel (to switch on lights of course) where there was a blast of cold air coming out of the tunnel. After the 2 tunnels it was back to the heat but there was plenty of shade on the Bristol and Bath cycle route. At the Bristol end of the route we went down 2 quiet streets to picnic in the shade by the river Avon. Taking a picnic was a good choice as the only place we saw with food in the 9 km after Warmley was Morrison’s at Fishponds. At Bitton station café we met the club having lunch and we had our afternoon tea. Or return was the route in reverse.
Saturday 28 July 2018
No matter how early I arrive for a Saturday ride there always seems to be someone from BVCC there before me. This morning was no exception as Richard (odd socks) was sat on a platform bench seat outside the Station Cafe at an impressive hour of 9:40am with a huge smile to greet Charlie, Alan and myself. Following the bolt sliding back on the cafe door I counted 13 enthusiastic BVCC riders(Alan, Charlie, Mary, Ron, David, Jenny, Roger & Jill, Paul, Richard N. Richard P. & Robin) sat around the tables drinking mugs of tea and coffee ready for my planned ride to Corfe Castle. As is usually the case there was a shorter alternative ride that Richard N. had planned.
As we set off along the Trail way towards Durweston I had 4 other companions Mary, Charlie, David & Ron. Where was Alan? Ooops, I had not given Alan a briefing on the planned route, and he had set off in the wrong direction. Not a good start as a ride leader! Following a few minutes wait I managed to retrieve Alan and we set off again. The weather had certainly changed on the day compared to what we have grown used to over the last few months, avg. temp for the ride was only 16 deg. C and there was a strong south westerly breeze of 26 mph. We continued on our route over the footbridges following Stourpaine to Durweston , then on to Bryanston Shchool where David commented how good it was to cycle on some newly laid surfaces of tarmac! We continued over the weir at Blandford and on towards Sturminster Marshall. Soon afterwards I managed to loose 2 more of my companions Ron & Charlie, where they turned left at Keyneston Mill along NCN 253, towards Tarrant Keynestone & returned home (and then there were 4!). My route took us through Lychett Matravers and Hamworthy where my peloton had a brief pause due to the twin sail bridges opening in front of us. Traffic through Poole & the Sandbanks road was very busy, yet we just kept to the cycle way lane and managed to catch the Sandbanks Chain Ferry just as it arrived. We paid our one pound fare and enjoyed a very wind swept crossing to Shell Bay. As we made the crossing David pointed out the impressive Hotel on Brownsea Island , owned by John Lewis, where their staff get preferential holidays. We encountered what amounted to a sand storm on disembarking from the ferry into the south westerly head wind! On leaving Studland we enjoyed good views over Poole Harbour and surrounding National Nature Reserve. Oh no, not again, Alan decided to leave us at the Corfe Castle Junction with the A351 to make his own way back to Stalbridge, due to an evening commitment. Yet another member of my Peloton (and then there were 3!).
David, Mary and myself enjoyed lunch at the Greyhound Inn in Corfe 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 Winterbornes, 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 of the ride and also manging to catch several rain showers.
Just a few stats to finish my report. Distance from Stalbridge: 83.1miles; Max bike speed: 40mph (we did have Mary with us after all!).
Saturday 21 July 2018
A good turn out at Hillbrush saw the staff stretched to their limits but by 10:40 everyone had finished their drinks and cakes and were ready to leave (without Jill and Roger who were expecting a hot sunny day)
The group followed me through Mere and round Motcombe (where Robin left us), across the A350 and up towards Pithouse, where those who had gone ahead of the leader to get a head start on the climb were nearly caught out when we turned right after the tennis club.
Along the Nadder Valley through Tisbury (Bye Ron) and past the wartime railway station. At the steep descent near Teffont Manor we lost a few riders who didn’t wait to see that we were turning left at the top of the hill through the pretty village of Teffont Evias. Right and right again in Teffont Magna gave us an easier climb to the crossroads where I thought we might meet the others struggling up the 16% slope from Dinton.
A recount revealed that we had lost Steve, Alan and Jim (riding ahead of the leader!), and that Tony had sent himself off after being reprimanded for dangerous overtaking with oncoming cars near Chicksgrove.
Everyone took the long climb at their own pace and we regrouped at the top before the long fast descent to the Wyle Valley.
There was already a collection of bikes at the café including some of our friends from 3Cs, and Jim and Alan!! They had found a route avoiding the 16% climb but involving a mile of cycling on the A303!
After lunch, and swapping Caroline for Ken, we rode along the beautiful but very dry Wyle valley, through Sutton Veny, where the flags are always out, and up the long drag to Maiden Bradley. The group got quite spread out at times, but wisely waited for the leader at every junction so no-one else was lost until it was time to split for home.
Thanks to all who came with me and I think everyone who made it to the café will agree that the Ginger Piggery is an excellent lunch stop catering for the vegans and the Gluten-frees as well as the bacon lovers.
17 September @ 10:30 am - 11:30 am
18 September @ 9:30 am - 2:00 pm
21 September @ 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
22 September @ 10:00 am - 2:00 pm
24 September @ 10:30 am - 11:30 am
25 September @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
28 September @ 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
29 September @ 10:00 am - 2:00 pm