Blackmore Vale Cycling Club


Ride Report – Wincanton to Wells???

Saturday 20 October 2018

The omens were not good for Saturday’s ride!!

  1. Richard N rang me on Friday evening – he couldn’t lead the ride due to a stinking cold – he would also miss Sunday’s AGM.He had decided to convalesce this weekend as he is going on holiday to India on Tuesday and hoped that the extra 3 days confined to barracks would improve his contagious state!
  2. Weatherwise, Saturday started off badly. Leaving Stalbridge at 09.00, the 2 Mikes and Myself faced a cold miserable fog that numbed the fingers and fogged up the spectacles
  3. Just south of the Lonesome Pine, Mike A punctured, but with cold digits and unwanted interference from ‘back seat drivers’, it took him 20 long minutes to rectify this setback. Ed caught us just as Mike was tidying up!

We arrived at Cale Park Café at 10.15 to find Ron and Ben already there – warming up. As we waited and waited for the food and drink, which seems to be the only fault with this newly discovered watering hole, a discussion indicated that Wells was out of the question – the new destinations being either Sparkford Museum or Rose’s at Chapel Cross.   Rose’s won!

Ron was press ganged into leading the 6 of us as he was in familiar territory, but delegated the report writing to me as we set off into the cold foggy conditions.  By 11.30 the fog had lifted, producing a beautiful sunny sky and uplifting our spirits at last.

Ron led the way from the front using his vast knowledge of the countryside, taking us on a round about route to Sparkford then to South Cadbury. Rose’s was open and she welcomed us with open arms as she took the order for 6 soups complete with Focaccia bread impregnated with her special embellishments – plus 6 teas. With a distinct prod from Ron after our extended stay, we bid Rose a fond farewell, Ben turning right at Blackford and the rest of us climbing the hill to Charlton Horethorne.

With a modification to the normal route home, Ron took us back through Milborne Port, Goats Hill and Stourton Caundle. At Thornhill, Ron and Ed left us for Marnhull, leaving the 3 m’s (Mikes Pain and Anyan and Me) to struggle the last one mile to Stalbridge.
Approx 40 miles covered today instead of the planned 65 miles to Wells.

In the end, an enjoyable ride with all participants being of similar fitness – except for Mike Pain of course, who plans on riding 450 miles in 30 hours to Stirling- yes Stirling in Scotland in November to attend the Audax annual gathering. Utterly bonkers!

Charlie Porter

Ride Report – Stalbridge to Wincanton

Saturday 13 October 2018

Sheltering in a Hawthorn hedge from a heavy rain shower, less than 4 miles from home, I wished fervently that no one would come to the start at Spire Hill. They always do…..Dave, Ron, Charlie, Mary, Paul and Richard all caught in the showers on the way, yet ready to go cycling. I had prepared the ride meticulously, even reconnoitering it on Tuesday, something I never do, but I planned to thwart those laughing at such a “short ride” by wriggling around less used lanes and showing autumn colours, distant views and some good swoops down. It began well, although Richard won’t mind me saying, he quickly became my unofficial back marker. I mention this as it is relevant later on the ride. Jackets off after the swoop down and up from Purse Caundle, even my “Baggy knickers over-trousers” modelled on Mike P’s, were removed.
In Milborne Port we passed the Gainsborough – an old 11’s haunt. The refurbished outside looked smart, it is a free house too – good to know it didn’t succumb to a building application. On through pretty Milborne Wick, where I often feel I am on a holiday tour, across to Stowell, then in Charlton Horethorne a new lane. We took the right turn half way through the village and wound round to a well surfaced lane which emerged a couple of miles later, in Maperton. Next down to Holton, right to Higher Holton and under the A303. A drag up the ridge rewarded us with a panoramic view, across to Glastonbury Tor. After photos and chatting we set off down-hill fast. Now bear in mind Ron and Mary, well known fast descenders were present. At the bottom of the hill we reached the A371 Wincanton to Castle Cary road. I hesitated, no traffic, Richard next to me – my previously mentioned unofficial back marker. So I crossed diagonally to the Bratton Seymour lane. Thinking everyone was behind me. Only Dave was it seems. Big mistake – with hindsight – I did not look back but enjoyed a dramatic swoop down for 2 miles. Dave Richard and I waited at the Wincanton turning. We waited, and waited. I took out my phone in case there was a call for a puncture. A message from Charlie sprang out – which way did you go at the cross roads? Meanwhile kind hearted Richard had gone back up the hill to look. Dave phoned him – no his phone is not switched on. After last time I led a ride “make a decision you are the leader” reverberated back at me. So I did, Dave and I went to the Cale Park Café where Mary, Paul and Charlie were, Ron having gone home to see the last Cycle Race of the season. Eventually Richard arrived at the Café. I was absolutely mortified with embarrassment. How can you lose 4 riders on a down-hill?
After lunch we pedaled in warm sunny but excessively windy conditions. Not right up to Cucklington, but sneaked round Shanks to Marsh Lane, then on to Templecombe. The short cut round the end of the Gartell Railway was muddy but passable. By now only Mary, Charlie, Paul and me, so another decision – tea and beer at Henstridge Golf course seemed an excellent idea. After tea, back via Stalbridge and Cox Hill, where Mary suggested we should put lights on in the gloomy conditions – I was on my Van Nicolas – no lights, so that might be its last outing (plus how muddy it had become making me unpopular…).
So 49 miles after a sobering realisation that I am no longer reliable as a leader, and several more lessons – always look back at junctions, keep your phone switched on and give up leading rides. I loved the view of Glastonbury though……

Jill Halton

Ride Report – Stourhead Mystery Tour

Saturday 6 October 2018

Driving rain and a strong headwind all the way to Stourhead did not bode well for the rest of the day’s ride. I arrived at Stourhead just after Ron and Charlie who quickly disappeared into the gents to dry their hands (and gloves and hats!)
No queue in the restaurant but plenty of staff kicking their heels as it was supposed to be a busy day with free entry and “The Big Draw” (not a raffle -something to do with art).  The decision had already been made -the Mystery Ride would remain a mystery….. We all cycled home.

Mystery Ride -Take 2

Sunday was a beautiful day for cycling so a group of us met at Henstridge. For some reason it was assumed that I would lead a ride, so Charlie, Paul, Lorraine and Richard followed me to Bailey Ridge where a café hides in a poly-tunnel behind the plant nursery.  The limited menu made the choice of bacon sandwiches all round an easy one, and they arrived promptly as we were the only customers. Very pleasant surroundings, warm enough with the sun shining on the roof, and a strange selection of war-time classics emanating from a speaker in the corner.
The gentle pace continued after lunch through Hermitage and Glanvilles Wooton and on to King’s Stag where the group split to ride home.

Mary Emerson Reed



Third Annual Meeting of

Blackmore Vale Cycling Club

(Sociable Leisure Cycling)

Sunday October 21st 2018 at Marnhull Methodist Hall

Hall open from 12.15 – Annual Meeting 1.00pm

We suggest you bring a picnic. Tea, coffee available



  1. Welcome and Apologies
  2. Minutes of 2017 Annual Meeting any matters arising
  3. Secretary’s Report
  4. Treasurer’s Report
  5. Rides Review
  6. Website and Membership
  7. Confirmation of Committee: Ride Organiser, Webmaster, Treasurer, Secretary, Chairman and any other roles as necessary, to join the Committee.
  8. Plans for a holiday and social events.
  9. Anything else?


Blackmore Vale Cycling Club

Annual Meeting Minutes

Saturday 14 October 2017

East Stour Village Hall


  1. Paul welcomed 18 members. There were apologies from Richard N, Martin, Jackie, Caroline, Ken, Norman H, John S, Ben, Mike A, and Lorraine.
  2. Minutes of the last meeting were agreed and no matters arising.
  3. Jill read the Secretary’s Report.
  4. Mary handed out the Treasurers Report and explained the finance position.
  5. Weekend Cycle Ride Day. Charlie outlined his reasoned view for changing the riding day to Saturday. Following a discussion, including a suggestion that if Saturday rides were approved there would be an informal Sunday Ride available with a nominated starting place. A vote was taken which was inconclusive. Paul as Chairman suggested opening the decision to other members not present. Jill to prepare a message for all members to help decide on the way forward.
  6. Dave reported on the Website which was operating well and had encouraged new members. He explained the process to register on the website as members, so all records were kept in one place. Jill asked for confirmation of the list of contact details and phone numbers to be available for printed versions, to be carried by Leaders.
  7. The Committee were confirmed as previously: Chairman – Paul, Treasurer – Mary, Secretary – Jill, Ride Organiser – Charlie, Webmaster – Dave, plus Roger and Martin as Committee members. The suggestion was made that all in post would welcome other Club members to think about taking on a role next year, as new ideas are always welcome.
  8. Holiday 2018. Roger explained that finding good cycling areas with reasonable priced accommodation without travelling too far, was a challenge. He suggested perhaps revisiting one of our previous areas and was currently looking at the northern part of the Cotswolds. Mary was willing to look for a venue for a Club meal in the New Year.
  9. Ed and Alison kindly offered to have a Club morning at their home on Tuesday 5th December. We may have other social events in the future.
  10. Mary thought it would be a good idea to have some business cards printed to give to prospective members. Club Logo – Dave to forward Nigel the logo to see if he can “tidy it up”. Charlie brought the meetings notice to an excellent back light – originally found by Jenny, and now used by other Club members. 
  11. Jill Kieran, Secretary
  12. Thanks were given to Paula and Sally for opening the hall, organising the delicious refreshments and generally looking after us all so well.

Ride Report – Stalbridge to Ryme Intrinseca

Saturday 29 September 2018

The Tale of the Reluctant Ride Leader’s journey to Ryme Intrinseca

4 degrees on the porch thermometer at 9.30, as Roger, coughing, spluttering and riding very slowly, left with me for Saturday’s ride start. 11 riders met for coffee in the sunny conservatory at Dikes, comfortably seated round a large table. Immediately Roger announced he was too poorly to lead the ride and he waved a demarcated copy of the OS map required for the ride. Silence. The sheet was passed to few people who didn’t know the lanes. Like a plague infected papyrus scroll the item passed further round the group. Cursory glances, as it was passed on. No one wanted to lead. So, as most of the riders well know, as I kept reminding them, I, who had not ridden a bike for 4 weeks, felt obliged to lead.

Roger was so poorly he couldn’t even manage Lorraine’s phone camera to take the customary photo, and he struggled off home.
The sun was out, warming up the few bare knees on show and I announced if anyone went beyond the leader, it was their own responsibility. By the time we reached Glanvilles Wooton several riders had erred, several times, and I just kept leading on Roger’s route, ignoring the misdemeanours.

Road Closed signs greeted us at the junction with the A352 and the Hermitage road. Ron said it was only at the end, so we pedalled on. By now the morning was beautiful, definitely time to remove layers, and distant views were opening up in the still green lanes. Some muck spreading fumes, with quite a lot on the road to chicane through, but generally a pleasant ride so far. Some gentlemen needed to stop, luckily at the top of the odd hill, giving the rest time to chat, take off more layers, or make jocular remarks. Ron went home somewhere, and the rest on to lunch at Hamish’s.

Good choice of food, pretty cloth on the table so a convivial lunch.

The return journey began minus Ben, who found my ride very slow and went off to “get the miles in”. Before leaving though he saw the route was via Lillington Hill, and mentioned “it is lumpy”. Well it was. We rode through Beer Hackett, very pretty, then up, up and down, then up some more. The view at the top was well worth the photos, especially to the distant blue ridge above the Piddle Valley and across to Cerne Abbas, with Batcombe Hill lurking in the nearer distance. By the time we crossed the A3030 above Sherborne, Mike had gone on ahead and some legs were tiring. A deviation from Roger’s final two hills was democratically offered – to retorts of “just make a decision”, so I did.

The last few rolling lanes brought back memories of the old days when we used to return from the now gone Milborne Port Garden Centre, via Goat Hill.
A last struggle up to Stalbridge, now bathed in sunshine, finished my duties.

Riders today were: Charlie, Mike A, Mike P, Mary, Lorraine, Ron, Ben, Jackie, Martin and me.

Just over 43 miles was ok for a lapsed cyclist, who has to lead again in a fortnight – I might be ill, coughing and spluttering by then……
Jill Halton


Ride Report Sherborne To North Brewham

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…….

Ben Garside

Ride Report – Child Okeford to Wareham

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.

Paul Nicholson

Ride Report – Stalbridge to Tolpuddle

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.

David Matten

Weekend Ride – Shaftesbury to Cranborne

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.
Ed Highnam

Ride Report – Stourhead to Imber

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.

Richard Nicholl

Upcoming Events

  1. Coffee Stop – Stourhead

    19 November @ 10:30 am - 11:30 am
  2. Jill’s Jaunt

    20 November @ 9:30 am - 2:00 pm
  3. Weekend Ride – Gillingham to Warminster

    23 November @ 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
  4. Sunday Saunter

    24 November @ 10:00 am - 2:00 pm
  5. Coffee Stop – Spire Hill

    26 November @ 10:30 am - 11:30 am
  6. Ron’s Reprise

    27 November @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
  7. Weekend Ride – Mere to Batcombe

    30 November @ 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
  8. Sunday Saunter

    1 December @ 10:00 am - 2:00 pm
  9. Weekend Ride – Sturminster Newton to Bishops Caundle

    7 December @ 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
  10. Sunday Saunter

    8 December @ 10:00 am - 2:00 pm