Blackmore Vale Cycling Club


Ride Report – Stourhead to Boyton, no, Tisbury, no, Motcombe

Saturday 19 January 2019

Mary has had a lousy start to 2019.  With a bad crash on New Years Day and a very disappointing weeks skiing holiday (or not skiing as was the case), she was unable to lead her ride today as sitting on the saddle was a no-no. I volunteered to step in.

Having been confined to barracks since last Saturday, she must be ‘climbing the wall’ with frustration – she tells me that her new cycling year will hopefully start in February!   I’m sure we all wish her the best for a good recovery.

  • 4 of us drips – literally – turned up at Stourhead at 10.00, Mike A, David, Ron and me
  • It was raining heavily and cold to boot!
  • A consensus indicated that the Ginger Piggery – the original lunch venue – was not on the agenda.
  • As we were thinking of a lunch stop with a roaring fire, David suggested the Boot Inn at Tisbury – unanimous agreement.
  • Reluctantly setting off at 10.45, we splashed off through Mere heading for East Stour.
  • Ron headed for home soon afterwards so I asked David if he could suggest a lunch stop somewhere closer, as the 3 of us were still freezing!
  • Coppleridge Inn was the reply – he received a sitting ovation.
  • 15 minutes later our hero led us into the courtyard.
  • Roaring Hot radiators surrounded us in the bar area, proving ideal objects for draping our sodden coats and gloves on.
  • We were made very welcome by the staff/owners – we were the only patrons in the place.
  • Coffee and hot soup was ordered, delivered by 2 chefs after 10 minutes.
  • During the meal, we discussed the dreaded BREXIT followed by the Falklands – David and Mike have been there in a past life – I however, melted into the background!
  • Reluctantly, we departed at 1.30 – still pouring down – and headed for Gillingham, dropping off David at his front door.

So Mike and yours truly completed the last 12 miles in the dry – at last!

All in all, a ride worth forgetting due to the inclement conditions. The clubs other 40 members elected not to ride – how sensible!!

Looking forward to summer………………Charlie Porter

Ride Report – Marnhull to Bruton

Saturday 12 January 2019

Nineteen members and partners came for a rather chaotic start to the meet but order was restored and hopefully all were fed and watered. So good to see Lorraine and Robin who have both had medical problems. Dave M, Mike A, Charlie Woz iz Name, Ben, Ron, Keith, Mike P and me left at 10.35 going via Fifehead, Sandley where Keith left us, Charlton Musgrove, South Brewham then across to Bruton where we went to a new (to us) café The Mill on the Stream. The few customers there left as we sat down so was it envy, a café with no food, our sweaty smell or just coincidence?? The food was a bit slow, fairly pricey but tasty, especially Ron’s eggy, mushroomy, sweet onion toast-y followed by a free sample of the French owner’s quince juice.

Leaving there we peddled through town and do you know, aghh, I have yet to lead a ride without apologising and as we turned left for Pitcombe Charlie, Dave M and Mike A failed to see us turn and went on to Castle Cary cursing me, mobile phone reception and all those bloody muddy roads I insisted they enjoy. Sorry Boys. The three of us went to Shepton Montague then up a really rough lane and steep hill to Knowle Rock before coming home along the Sandley road again. No computer but I guess it was around 40 miles .

Thanks to all, get back on that bike soon Mary.

Ed Highnam

Ride Report – Stalbridge to Cheselbourne

Saturday 29 December 2018

Oh! —- BIG blank screen! No time & no inspiration. —- Last ride of the year too. Should be full of interests and adventures. Perhaps I need some Christmas Chivas Regal assistance ——- Ergo —– Bravely gathered at Dikes Auberge, Bistro & Cafe (haunt of bons viveurs, gastronomes, gourmets, gourmands and enthusiasts of “the big breakfast”)  at very close to 10 o’clock (as if they didn’t have any homes) were:-
Richard Nicholl
Mickey Biggnikkers Payne
Jenny —- Fresh from her Park Run (50km I believe)
Electric Ron — Fully charged
Mary — On the Pink Clone
Ed Higham
Me, Mickeydrippin (quality plumber)
——————–All bound for lunch at The River Arms at Cheselbourne. I was inefficient, so Charlie had checked online that they were open — but it was a bit bothersome that I couldn’t get an answer when I phoned to give them numbers: twice. Richard apparently wasn’t coming to the lunchstop, only as far as Mappowder (whence that name??? Something to do with The Gunpowder Plot, or maybe Yardley, Chanel?) I believe. Then he was going to return to Dikes for his lunch. Unfortunately he got his wish earlier than he intended since owing to “zipper problems” in the Gentlemen’s’ WC, he was left behind. We, meanwhile, oblivious of his fate (and possibly pain) pedalled orff towards Kings Stag, past that beautiful dairy (I think) building: not much mad traffic and nobody killed or maimed (not even a bit). Everyone seemed somewhat subdued in general, there wasn’t the usual banter and there was definitely some walrus puffing and panting up the first few hills. Result of turkey/Christmas pudding/mince pies/whisky or whiskey/ wine??? On to Hazelbury Bryan, Mappowder (Richard didnt leave us here cos he was already back at Dikes —— Sorry Richard! Rotten Ride-Leader) Plush, Piddletrenthide and over the moors to Cheselbourne and lunch.

It was rather an uneventful ride, under grey skies, but, fortunately no rain.

The only adventure as far as I was concerned was getting left behind for a phone call  not far from the lunch stop. I thought it was the River Alms ringing me to confirm our lunch stop, but no, just someone wanting their “pipes fixed” (I told them I was entirely the wrong person to ask to fix a leak. I was the one who usually created them). Anyway, then I had to catch up; going flat-out on a wet, greasy and muddy road: downhill fast to a Y junction and starting to take the wrong fork. Instead of going on, stopping sensibly and retracing my steps to the correct turn, Joe Soap tightened the turn whilst braking hard and attempted the road.  Wheels skidding all over the place, backwards and forwards across the road, while road barriers and large (enough to be painful, even terminal) flashed past my eyes. Made it, just! Made me think, though, that perhaps I should “put my affairs in order”

Mary had waited for me, or Jenny, at the bottom of a turning and very unexpected hill, so I/we were in entirely the wrong gear.

And then, apart from taking the left turn instead of the right (called back by The Executive Officer/Officer Of The Watch) we arrived for lunch. Up the steep drive to the car park. Doors locked, serious concerns regarding sustenance and bodily comforts, frowns and hurtful comments from the distaff fraternity, till some bright spark suggested that we go down to the main entrance.
Yeah !!! They were open and willing to feed us, even to the point of providing beetroot and tomato soup of a pleasing bluish-red hue. And to please the rest of us too! Naturally the sun came out while we were in the pub, just to make us feel suitably wistful as we hit the road again under grey skies.

Back home through Ansty and Hazelbury Bryan to Sturminster Newton, where Mary and Jenny peeled off, out towards Marnhull. Ed peeled off at some point there and Ron too, leaving only Charlie, Mickey Biggnikkers and Mickeydrippin to “return to base”: Richard had not hung on!

That’s it! There’s no time to check the punctuation! Gotta get this in to The Press Office

Happy New Year to everyone: good rides, lotsa sun, no crashes or sore bottoms
Mike Anyan

Ride Report – Stalbridge to Dorchester

Saturday 8 December 2018

I always look forward to those Saturday rides that start from Dikes Supermarket, meaning that I can enjoy my dog walk, read the papers and still have time for a leisurely breakfast. I met Roger on arriving at Dikes and we both agreed that the day’s ride could be quite challenging as a gusting south westerly wind and afternoon showers were forecast.
On Thursday I had completed a recce of the ride in similar conditions to check the route for road closures and to book our lunch stop in Dorchester. The only concern was that I needed to make our lunch stop for 12:30pm, that gave us a 2 hour window to complete the ride which was a bit tight if head winds and punctures were an issue.

On the day there were 10 possible intrepid riders up for the challenge : Roger, Jill,  Mary, Richard,  Paul, Ron, Ben, Keith, Charlie and myself. Disappointingly, by the time we had passed Stock Gaylard Deer Park and passed through Kings Stag there were only 3 riders willing to follow me Mary, Ben & Charlie! Our pace slowed somewhat at this point as we were heading directly into the prevailing wind. I was beginning to think that allowing only 2 hours to Dorchester was a bit optimistic in these conditions when one of Charlie’s famed 700×32 size tyres decided to go flat on him meaning we had even less time to our stop. Next concern was the ROAD CLOSED sign  in the centre of  Buckland Newton, we continued with fingers crossed only to be greeted by roadmen working on clearing a large fallen tree just before Piddlehinton. We managed to clear this obstacle after practically bribing one of the workmen. Still all was not lost, the wind seemed to be more in our favour at last, so I stepped on the gas a bit! We made good time on to Puddletown where we made a right through the Puddletown Forest, we crossed a former Roman Road and passed quite close to Thomas Hardy’s cottage.

After turning right at the next junction the route became distinctly more undulating heading towards Stinsford, we now had the head wind back again to contend with. We crossed the roundabout just outside Stinsford and battled onto the Sun Inn at Lower Burton on the Old Sherborne road. We arrived at 12:50pm only 20 minutes late, not bad considering everything.
The Sun Inn is an old 17th century pub which has an excellent carvery and always seems to have an open log fire burning away to greet you. The Inn looked very festive with all its Xmas decorations. We all enjoyed a good meal and were counting our selves lucky as we could hear the rain hammering away on the windows. During our meal (as he usually does) Charlie kept ribbing me that I was going to be in serious trouble because I had set too high a pace and had dropped Paul early on in the ride and that as he is the Club Chairman it did not look good for me! Anyway, Charlie insisted that I ring him (we all knew that he had turned off in Kings Stag) to ask what his ETA was likely to be at the Pub, as we were all waiting for him before we order. I still don’t know why I agreed. In the event I’m glad Paul saw the funny side.

The return route was a lot easier going with a very acceptable tail wind at times, yet we still had a few heavy showers to contend with. Ben turned left to pick up the Cerne Abbas road for his route back to Yeovil, whilst  the 3 of us turned left at the top of the Charlton Down towards Piddle Hinton and  picked up our original outward bound route towards home.

Our thoughts and best wishes go out to Mike A. following his sad news.

Mike Pain

Ride Report – Stalbridge to Blandford

Saturday 22 December 2018

A dry Saturday at last!!  Unfortunately, Mike Anyan the advertised ride leader had to bow out due to bereavement.

Highlights of the day:-

  • Caroline was decked out in a Santa’s hat over her ski helmet – super.
  • Mary’s bike was adorned with fairy lights – will look super on darker days!
  • Richard Page made a guest appearance after a 6 month absence.
  • Mike Pain planned on taking it steady after his mammoth 188 miles last Monday to the Welsh interior and back – set off at 4am, back at 9pm.
  • I was almost the victim of a lynching party when I suggested that we might climb up Bullbarrow hill via Stoke Wake (a 1 in 4 gradient). Instead, we elected to go through Ansty, Milton Abbey and Winterborne Stickland. Some riders must have forgotten the severity of these alternative hills. A couple of riders who had not ridden for a few weeks were finding it a trifle difficult. Even Mike Pain was reduced to walking up the 1 in 6 section out of the ‘Chocolate Box Village’ at Milton Abbey – to be fair, he was riding a 90 inch fixed gear!!
  • Café 65 – the lunch venue – came out trumps again with excellent service, prices and varied menu.
  • Ken now joined Caroline at shift changeover. His timing was spot on – 12.30

The route home was via the Trailway to Shillingstone.  Mary and Ken turned off at Child Okeford heading for Fontmell Magna. Martin, David and I returned through Manston and Todber.

A trouble free ride for all, mild with only a slight wind. Ideal cycling conditions.

Sorry about the hilly terrain folks – I might have indicated that the ride was flattish. Which just goes to show that my memory is fading fast!
Thanks to all the riders – Mary, Caroline, Ken, Mike P, Martin, David and Richard.

Merry Christmas to all BVCC members and a happy but most of all a HEALTHY new year to all our readers.

Charlie Porter

Ride Report – Sherborne to Wincanton (Postponed)

Saturday 8 December 2018

Texts and calls had started to arrive at 8am; strong winds, heavy rain and poor visibility forecast, apologies for absence received. A very good day for the Turbo Trainer.

The Wednesday route check had been in total contrast, blue skies as we climbed The Combe to rendezvous with Ron and his team at Chapel Cross. Coffee and cake taken, Christmas list sorted; slippers size 9 and please no more green socks.

Onto Stoney Stoke where the joint leader decided to take a tumble having failed to unclip before stopping on the adverse camber junction with the B 3081. The only damage was his pride and handle bar tapes. Dusted down and wheels back in motion it was a good day.

The roads around Stowell remarkably were clear and dry. The Milborne Wick ducks, all on the correct side of the road waddling in the right direction, were in good voice and pleased to see us (better to be a Milborne duck than a Coker goose at Christmas). Things were looking good for Saturday.

Truth to tell the Wincanton Sage had sown the seeds of doubt when he announced, at the Tuesday social evening, that he intended to travel by car on Saturday as the temperature forecast was 4 degrees. No mention of wind, rain or visibility.

You cannot win them all perhaps we will try again next year.

Seasons Greetings to you all

Peter and Nicky Vaughan

Ride Report – Sturminster Newton to Bishops Caundle

Saturday I December 2018

The early rain had eased to a steady drizzle by the time five of us met at the Poets Corner Café. There was some sort of Christmas market going on with several Father Christmases in attendance. Ed, Mary, Charlie and newcomer David W-M and I set off through Hazelbury Bryan to Holwell where we turned off towards Boys Hill. Unfortunately our route was blocked by what seemed to be an extensive flood. After a brief discussion as to whether to send the new member to test the depth, discretion prevailed and we retraced our steps. The shortened route meant that we reached The White Hart at noon, much earlier than planned, but we were made very welcome. Richard arrived shortly afterwards having made his way independently. The food was good and promptly served so that we were on the road again before one o’clock. Patches of blue sky and glimpses of sunshine welcomed us on our return route via Stourton Caundle and Spire Hill, where Charlie and Richard pealed off towards Stalbridge. Ed sprinted for home to watch a horse race while Mary and I escorted David back to Sturminster through Hinton St Mary.

The planned short 30 miles turned out to be an even shorter 25 miles – perhaps the shortest ride of the year? However it was good to get home in the dry.

Paul Nicholson

Ride Report- Stalbridge to Cattistock

Saturday 24 November 2018

Would you ‘Adam and Eve’ it – I managed to walk the dogs from 8.00 to 9.30 this morning without a drop of rain falling, but after a swift change of clothes and setting off to Thyme after Time Café at 9.45, a lightish rain raised its ugly head – proving the forecast of a constant drizzle for the day.

Members present at the start were Chairman Paul, Keith, Jackie and Martin, Ron, Ben, Mary and Ed.  Severe pruning at 10.30 left only 5 of us setting off – Paul, Keith, Jackie and Martin electing to return home and miss all the excitement of the ride. Martin and Jackie had just returned from a holiday in Vietnam and Cambodia, so understandably had some ‘jet lag’ sleep to catch up on. Paul and Keith just disliked miserable conditions.

The hardy 5 pedalled through Stourton and Bishops Caundle, heading for Leigh where Ben decided to return to Yeovil.

The rest of the ride was very damp, very miserable and decidedly worth forgetting. The only highlights were:-

  • Pete and Nicky joined us at Frome St Quentin
  • Ed (bless him) punctured 2 miles before reaching the lunch stop
  • Lucy at the Cattistock Cafe was very welcoming with home made soup, quiches and baguettes stuffed with brie and bacon
  • The steep hill up towards Cerne Abbas had Ed walking the last short section due to a fluffed gear change

The last of the soaking journey had us plodding on through Middlemarsh, Glanvilles Wotton, Holwell, Stock House, Lydlinch and Bagber crossroads.
Where I covered the last mile to Stalbridge, Ed and Ron rode 3 miles to Marnhull and Mary as usual (bless her as well) had to deal with the last 12 miles to Shaftsbury.

As I said before, the ride was worth forgetting, but as one of a ride leaders duties is to compile a report on the days events, this issue will be forgotten and consigned to history in the BVCC archives!!

Many thanks to the other brave (or dumb) riders who completed – Mary, Ed, Ron, Pete and Nicky.
Great to get into warm, dry clothing.

Damp Charlie Porter


Ride Report – Gillingham to Crockerton

Saturday 17 November 2018

On an overcast and chilly morning I arrived at Orchard Park to find Richard already sat drinking his tea. He immediately quizzed me on which route I was taking and on the mention of Longleat decided that he would make his own way to lunch. For a short while it was looking if I would be riding on my own, but I was them joined by Ron, Roger, Lorraine and finally by Mike P and Charlie.

Lorraine said she was going to visit Robin and Sally so the remaining five of us set off via the backways of Gillingham to Milton and on towards Wolverton only to hear the cry puncture from Charlie.  Apparently his new big 35mm tyres are not immune to punctures, so the three of us stood and watched as Charlie changed his own inner tube for once and Ron assisted by extracting  a large thorn from the tyre.

By the time we reached Kilmington the sky stated to clear and the sun came out although there was still a biting edge to the wind. After the long run down Gare Hill we turned right and headed for Longleat where we passed giant mushrooms and dinosaurs among many other strange figures.    Apparently this was all part of the Festival of Lights but I must say it loses most of it appeal in daylight. We left Longleat by the front drive and on through Horningsham, Shearwater and on to our lunch venue at Crockerton Garden Centre where we found Richard waiting.

After a good lunch and as Charlie had to get back to walk his dogs before dark, I decided we would take the shortest route back to Gillingham over Mere Down.  Richard decided to make his own way home via Maiden Bradley, while we set off via the Deverill’s and the very long climb over Mere Down. After a speedy decent into Mere we them maintained fast pace to Gillingham and home.
A 61Km (37.9m) ride and I didn’t manage to loose anybody.

David Matten

Ride Report – Mere to Shepton Montague

Saturday 10 November 2018

As usual I cheated and went by car to Hunters Lodge only to be rumbled by Ron who was cycling.
The wet weather has hardly come as a surprise and heavy showers were forecast so I was well pleased to see Nicky, Peter, Ron, Dave, Mary, Ben at Hillbrush plus the well curried Richard and Jim who were not intending doing the ride. At 10.25 the heavens opened so we waited a while but being so incredibly keen we started in the rain. Having decided to shorten the route we made for Zeals where Dave left to practice his marching for Sunday’s Memorial Service. Through Stourhead, Gasper with fab Autumn colours, Penselwood where I sent Ben the wrong way, Charlton Musgrove then up to Knole Rock where the downhill into Shepton Montague is diabolical. More rain started so we decided to go into the Montague Arms for soup by a much needed log burner. Quite correctly Ron knew that Margaret’s fare would be better so left for home.
The remaining trio came home via Wincanton after a damp but enjoyable ride. Oh, and I was home in time to see the big race from Wincanton. Result!!
Ed Highnam

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