Blackmore Vale Cycling Club


Ride Report – Stalbridge to Moreton

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

Charlie Porter

Ride Report – Sparkford to Westhay


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


Ride Report – Wincanton to Bitton

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.


Richard Nicholl

Ride Report – Shillingstone to Corfe Castle

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!).

Mike Pain

Ride Report – Mere to Boyton

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.

Mary Emerson-Reed

Ride Report – Hartgrove Farm to Horton

Saturday 14 July 2018

As we were house sitting at Hartgrove Farm and the projected weather forecast was good I thought it would be a good idea to start my ride from there. So on another lovely sunny day 18 riders turned up at the farm for tea and cakes on the patio. The riders were myself, Ron, Charlie, Alan, Jim, Richard N, Tony, Mike P, Ken, Dave M, Ben, Peter, Nicky, Mike A, Roger, Ed, Robin and Lorraine. 10.45 and I still hadn’t managed to get everyone away from the cakes! Roger, Ed and Lorraine were all going straight back so 15 of us eventually set off down the hill towards Bedchester where we turned left and made our way through the quiet lanes to Melbury where there were a few moans about the steep inclines (there were more to come). Across the A350 and up to Melbury Abbas (the worst hill) and just Zig Zag hill to come! which is not as bad as it at first seems apart from the rough surface. The views at the top across Charlton Downs are spectacular especially on a clear sunny day which it was. More rumblings about the hills but then a lovely slight downhill run from Ashmore (where we lost Ben off the front, hope you got back ok Ben) to Farnham and all was forgotten. A meander through Minchington and Gussage St Andrew to the A354 which had a constant stream of traffic heading for the coast and made for a difficult crossing. All safely across and onto more nice quiet lanes through Gussage St Michael and Gussage All Saints and we were there at the Horton Inn a mere 18 miles but spot on time at 12.45. Caroline had arrived by car and was putting the front wheel in her bike ready for the second leg after lunch. We all ordered our food and drinks and sat outside in the lovely weather. Those who ordered sandwiches got them quickly but anything cooked took some time to arrive so consequently we didn’t get going again till 14.20. With Ken leaving us to find his way back for the Tennis and dogs we retraced our steps for about a mile before turning left. Jim decided he’d had enough and left for home and unbeknownst to me Robin followed instead of turning with the rest of the group. So Mike A chased after him to bring him back into the fold. Together again we carried on through Moor Critchel and Witchampton and some lovely lanes to Tarrant Rawston where we lost Robin again going left instead of right despite my shouting! Again Mike A had to give chase and bring him back. After that it was a straight run up the Tarrant Valley via the Tarrant villages Monkton, Hinton and Gunville a long hard climb but with the reward of a fast downhill into Iwerne Minster. From here Caroline headed home and the rest of us headed back to Hartgrove via Bedchester (another hill). 8 of us stopped at the farm to finish off the remains of the cake while the rest left for their various abodes. A round trip of 40 miles with great weather and no major incidents, thanks to all who came.


Martin Fortis

Ride Report – Sparkford to The Blackdown Hills

Saturday 7 July 2018

This is a two beer composition, a ride with no military association at all — no lost pilots carrying the fate of the world underneath their wings or logistical giants depositing tanks, barrels o’ beer, thermal underwear in unwanted and obscure locations (2000 pairs of  military puttees in Minsk) —— cos, as usual with my rides, nobody wanted to go. There was only Charlie (barmy), Mary (she felt sorry for me) and Ben (who seemed to be off in front looking for something —- Key of Life? 43 innit? Come on you lot you’re ALL old enough to remember that!). As usual numerous Club members were gathered in the shade of a gazebo in the forecourt of Haynes Museum (Sparkford — for the benefit of Ken). There woz:-         me ‘n Charlie
Nicky n Pete
Richard       (Have to consult my bit of paper! Actually the menu of the pub that I had driven over to, to arrange “lunch for between 5 and 17 hungry cyclists”)
Phitt Phill — always so quiet and reserved. It’s a job to get a word out of him!
Alex — Noisy devil!
To give him his due, Richard had already said that the Blackdowns were a bit much for him. He was going to Barrington (modified to Kingsbury Episcopi —- that means anything to do with bishops – for the ignorant and uninformed peons). He, poor soul, set off  alone and unaccompanied. Lorraine was straight back to Stalbridge, Ron had the Toor Der Frarnse to watch, Arthur disappeared, Nicky and Peter left cos they had a chicken “bad” (in serious need of medical attention and intensive nursing I’ve been told). That only left Me (I had to be there cos ov ritin’ this!), Mary, Ben, Phitt Phil n Alex.
I wanted to show you Dorset folk some of Western Somerset, but it’s difficult to get from about Ilchester to Ash/Tintinhull without riding the 303 or performing a big, mile-adding loop. So I took us via the top (eastern) end of Yeovilton and onto the dreaded Podimore Roundabout; it was “Air Day” with carparks everywhere and tetchy cars, who’s pilots had driven miles through sweaty traffic jams to get to the event — and didn’t want any trukk with a string of bloody cyclists. Ben tried to communicate with a number of them, using ancient signs and symbols, but they didn’t seem to understand (Perhaps it was a dialectic thing?). Anyway  Phil and Alex left us here (cos we were too fast for them), so that it was only 4 diehards who made it around Podimore undamaged. Then, boringly (sorry) via the Langport road to the lefthand turn to Knowle. Through that pretty village (really pretty) and on, back of Long Sutton and Long Load (I believe that’s to do with old canals – now gone). Right by the church and over bum-breaker road to Muchelney (Big Island — as in Arthur’s day, pre drainage of levels). Back of Kingsbury Epis (the pub has  the escutcheon of the ol’ Winged Wheels above its door). By-pass Kingsbury and Shepton Beauchamps on backroads (and they REALLY were).
This is really the start of the hills: everyone else said that the hills were nothing, but my little ol’ septuagenarian legs didn’t subscribe to that! Ilton and across the Taunton/Ilminster road to Broadway and Horton (don’t ask me which is which).  Left at Five Dials and “up the back of Chard” to Coombe St Nicholas. I was dreading this climb, it seemed horrific when I pioneered it in the van. Anyway, not so bad! And then downhill (blessing!) to the edge of Coombe St Nick, left up a couple more knapps and then a pub, The Haymaker — What a wonderful sight. Several gallons of lemonade n lime (Ben drank beer, ok, but water too — yukk! ‘S for washing n making tea!) Sat in the garden, smashin’! Lunch was good too, except Ben’s which apparently had a dearth of “the staff of life” (easily sorted)
At this point you’re surprisingly close to Chard and we turned, after a short distance through Cuttiford Gap, across the Donyatt/Chard road and on to Knowle St Giles, Dinnington, Dowlish Wake (no stops for cider)Lopen (Snap Ant! —where does a name like that come from? I have asked around, nobody knows!). Overstratton and via BT Fibre developments to Norton (where Neil lived), Stoke, Montacute. We were gonna stop at The House for refreshments, but decided to brave the climb into Odcombe and head for Gooselade Farm Emporium.
Mary had had enough of the geriatrics at this point (I think it’s cos we dribble!) and took off for that hilly place where she lives, completing,I believe, 106 miles (Stickbubbly! — as they say in Scotland). We remaining 3 took on vast amounts of fluids and, after some time, pedalled off through Yetminster to Stalbridge; Ben left us at Yetminster. Charlie n I dragged our way home. I have to say that I was  sooooo pleased to see my battered old plumber’s van!
I was a bit concerned that I’d bitten off more than I could chew with this ride, but I did want folk to see somewhere new. Riding from homes (various) it probably  was a bit ambitious for we “Crumblies”, but to start from Sparkford or Langport such trips  are definitely within range: we don’t ride “westerly” enough.
Thankyou to my three companions  for your company, I hope it was worth it. Thanks to Charlie for getting we last two back to start —— Mickeydrippin

Mike Anyan

Ride Report – Stalbridge to Tolpuddle (Cheselbourne)

Saturday 30 June 2018

10 riders set off from Dikes car park in brilliant sunshine. Our route took us through Bagber and Lydlinch then on to Kings Stag and Hazelbury Bryan. Jill turned for home at this point. From here we took the road south via Ansty where Ron disappeared homeward. As the weather was so hot we decided to stop for lunch at the Rivers View pub in Cheselbourne a few miles short of our original destination. Paul chose this venue specifically, because we had stopped here on a very wet and cold day in March instead of carrying on to Moreton.

Today we all sat outside under a splendid seating area. While we were waiting for our food, Robin’s rear inner tube was changed – he had punctured in sight of the lunch spot.  The route home was via Bullbarrow Hill, Okeford Fitzpaine, then 7 of us had a further CTC stop at Paul Nicholson’s pad at 3.30 – a welcome rest as the sun was still beating down. After this, we split up east of Marnhull, 2 turning left to Stalbridge and 4 towards Gillingham.

Thanks to David, Robin, Jackie, Martin, Mike A, Paul and Caroline/Ken for company on an enjoyable but very hot ride.

A distance of 42 miles for me and only Robin’s puncture worth mentioning.

PS, Lets Start Again

PS   Let’s start again – On Friday, Ben (the planned ride leader) sent me an email stating that he would not be fit to lead cos he had been ill all week – he would however turn up at Dikes and show us his intended route to Tolpuddle.

So on Saturday morning in the brilliant sunshine – for the 10th consecutive day – 13 members arrived at Dikes café in Stalbridge. Mary was not present as she was fiddling at the Shaftesbury Fringe event. We forgave her as she managed to cover over 100 miles on Wednesday in the scorching heat. Mike P did not show up – he was probably riding 1500 miles up in Scotland or Ireland or Madagascar!

Indeed Ben was there with his map, Jackie, Martin, David, Mike A, Paul, one half of the Caroline/Ken act (see later), Robin, Jill, Roger, Ron and Ed. In the following 20 minutes, I had delegated David and Paul as joint leaders with Robin riding shotgun. The ride might have to be modified due to the heat of the day and the calibre of the remaining riders as :-  the poorly Ben was going straight home as was Roger (too hot for skin exposure) as was Ed who had plenty to do as he is the big boss organising the Shaftesbury and Gillingham Show this year.

Off we go then, 10 of us riding into the hot sun with a following wind. A fast pace was set by David and Jill at the front, whizzing along via Bagber, Lydlinch, Kings Stag and Hazelbury Bryan. Jill decided to turn left for home as she tends to collapse at elevated temperatures – even though there was no shortage of volunteers in the group willing to administer the kiss of life if required. As we carried on, I realised that Robin was not sporting his many layers of upper attire. The only garment under his club jersey was his skin! He is obviously not afraid of the heat being a native of South Africa. I should have taken a photo.

We then carried on through Higher Anstey where Ron abandoned us, family commitments et al.  That left 8 of us going up and down the hills through Melcombe Bingham, ending up just outside Cheselbourne where Robin decided to puncture. This must have been the first puncture since the last one – way back in February when Lorraine’s tyre went flat in Blandford.

We elected to stop at The Rivers Arms in Cheselbourne, a grand affair with split level seating and a large outdoor eating area complete with plastic roof, but open at four sides for ventilation. As we waited for our food, Robin’s inner tube was replaced. Now, a few words about the Caroline/Ken ride arrangement. Caroline rides the first leg to lunch while Ken drives the car to lunch and does the afternoon shift while Caroline drives home. This means that their dogs are not left at home for long periods.   Ken however has a predilection of not being able to find the lunch stop. Last week in Weymouth he had to stop at Asda and ask the way to Morrisons!  Today he was told to meet us at Rivers Arms at 12.30 but failed to show until after 1.00. But to be fair, he was smiling when he appeared – he is ALWAYS smiling. It’s great to have happy people in our club.  But can I make a suggestion – Ken does the morning shift then Caroline drives to lunch and cycles home. Problem solved.

The only negative part of the lunch was that Robin, who is fairly slim at the best of times – became completely invisible to the young bar person. It took him a good 5 minutes to attract her attention. He really needs to raise his voice above a whisper from time to time besides yelling  ‘Car Up’.

After waving Caroline goodbye, David led us back up to Bullbarrow Hill where Martin eventually took the obligatory group photo. Just outside Manston, Paul insisted we visit Chez Nicholson for further CTC (coffee, tea, cake) which we did. Plus an added extra of toasted teacakes!  We look forward to being invited again.

Still homeward in unrelenting hot sunshine, we split up east of Marnhull to return to Stalbridge and the Gillingham area.

Here endeth the second report.

Charlie Porter

Ride Report from The Little Old Man

A Cycling Holiday Ride Report from the Lost Soul’s Perspective

Following on from Dave’s  ride report of our holiday in Warwickshire, I thought it might be appropriate to present my side of the “Lost Soul Saga”.

First of all, I should say that I have had quite a lot of experience of dealing with the Army during my 30 odd years in the Royal Air Force and I was, therefore, not altogether surprised that things turned out as they did.

The ride began pleasantly enough and we were all looking forward to our first tea stop, it being a very warm day, and we were thus a little fractious when we couldn’t find it.   Dave had evidently arranged to have it heavily camouflaged and moved to the other side of the road.   Strike One to the Army!

The next part of our assault course came when the innocently entitled “unmade road” turned out to be a quagmire that only a Chieftain tank could have successfully negotiated.
Strike Two to the Army!

A further blow to team morale came when it was discovered that the much anticipated luncheon venue was in fact extinct.   Dave’s dastardly plan was, however, thwarted by enterprising team members who led us to a most excellent pub for a slap-up lunch.   Ball One to the Army!

As you will all know, Dave is a firm believer in paper maps for en route navigation that require the rider to stop every 5 minutes to turn over the page and are, in any case, covered in Napoleonic measurements that nobody but Dave can understand.   As a result of having fallen off the map, we found ourselves being led down a lane, at the beginning of which was a large T sign intimating that it didn’t go anywhere.   Much milling ensued and I volunteered to our leader to investigate.   I should have realised that, as usual, Army comms were not up to much and my message had not been received.   Ball One to me!

Anyway, I cycled about 200 yards  (182.88 meters in eurogabble) down the lane and realised quite quickly that it led nowhere.   Arriving back at the T-junction a few moments later to find no one in sight initially caused me to think it was an Army jape and that they would all be hiding round the corner,   Not so!   I then realised that it was actually an Army initiative test, a variation on the many Escape and Evasion Exercises I had undergone in the RAF.   Put the victim in an enclosed truck, drive him for hours without food or water and then throw him out in some benighted spot with no money, no phone, no map, no water, and worst of all no specs, and leave him to find his own way home.   Having very little idea of where I was  and knowing that I wanted to go to a village whose name I was unsure  how to pronounce, I began to think that maybe the Army had won.   But no, I made it back and 10 minutes before the main team to boot!   Ball Two to the Army!

Well, what I really wanted to do was to say that I have thoroughly hoisted aboard all the lessons to be learned here and that I know I am getting a barbag for my birthday in which to store all the things I should have had with me on this ride.   I also wanted to apologise to my leader and to all the other members of the peleton for the delays and inconvenience my getting lost caused.   It will not happen again.   And finally, I wanted to record my thanks to the lovely young lass behind the bar in the pub who went to great lengths to find me a way home without using A roads.   Pity she had to spoil it by calling me a LOM.   Little maybe, but old – NO WAY!!

Ken Rhodes


Ride Report – Child Okeford to Weymouth

Saturday 23 June 2018

10 riders assembled in the sunshine at the Gold Hill café in Child Okeford. After CTC (coffee, tea and cakes) we set off to Hazelbury Bryan where Jill, Roger and Robin turned off for home. The remaining magnificent seven continued down the Piddle valley to Dorchester and then faced the long climb up to the ridge, before swooping down the cycle way to Weymouth. After a democratic vote it was decided to eat at Morrisons rather than battle with the day trippers on the sea front. At this point Caroline tried to make contact with Ken, who was to take over for the ride back. As ground controller she tried to talk him in, but his phone ran out of credit, and he had to land in Asda to seek directions to Morrisons (which went down well with the Asda staff). Reunited we set off down to the front where Ed, deprived of his swim, changed out of his trunks in front of an admiring audience for something more comfortable for cycling. Heading through Preston we successfully tackled the steep climb back up to the ridge and then headed for the Blue Vinney in Puddletown for liquid refreshment. Ron decided his battery didn’t need topping up and left us here. We then headed back up the valley to Ansty at which point Charlie, Mike P, Alan S and Ed pealed off towards Hazelbury Bryan, leaving Ken and myself to return home via Bulbarrow, dodging low flying para-gliders on the way. Perfect weather, no-one dropped and no punctures. A good ride.

60 miles and 1243 metres of ascent. Max temp 31 o according to my Garmin.

Paul Nicholson

Upcoming Events

  1. Coffee Stop – Spire Hill, Stalbridge

    22 October @ 10:30 am - 11:30 am
  2. Ron’s Reprise

    23 October @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
  3. Weekend Ride – East Stour to Tisbury

    26 October @ 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
  4. Sunday Jaunt

    27 October @ 10:00 am - 2:00 pm
  5. Coffee Stop – Henstridge Golf Club

    29 October @ 10:30 am - 11:30 am
  6. Jill’s Jaunt

    30 October @ 9:30 am - 2:00 pm
  7. Weekend Ride – Stalbridge to Dorchester

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

    3 November @ 10:00 am - 2:00 pm
  9. Coffee Stop = Wincanton

    5 November @ 10:30 am - 11:30 am
  10. Coffee Stop – Wincanton

    5 November @ 10:30 am - 11:30 am