Blackmore Vale Cycling Club
Saturday 31 March 2018
Having watched the weather forecast the night before, I was fairly confident that I would not be called upon to lead Saturday’s ride to Moreton. Imagine my disappointment when at 9.40 there was a knock on the door and outside were a bedraggled Charlie and Mike complaining that the café was not yet open. After cups of tea while drying their gloves on the Aga. we went over to the Gold Hill café to find Mary, Ben and Ed dressed to ride, and Martin, Jackie, Robin and Lorraine who had sensibly come by car.
As the rain seemed to have eased we set off through increasingly wet and muddy lanes towards Ansty. Perhaps discouraged by his encounter with a deep water-filled pothole Ed decided to peel off at this point and go home, leaving the rest of us to continue down the valley to Cheselbourne. Leaving the village we passed the recently re-opened Rivers Arms and tempted by the roaring wood burning stove, decided to make an early lunch stop there. We were made very welcome and it was with some reluctance that we set out to return by a revised route. The road from Cheselbourne to Piddletrenthide is remarkably hilly, but the group were very kind in waiting for the leader to catch up at the top of the many hills. We made our way back via Plush (more hills) to Hazelbury Bryan, where Ben left for home, and then to Sturminster Newton where the river level was ominously close to the tops of the arches of the bridge. Charlie and Mike continued on towards Marnhull, while Mary came as far as Manston before turning home towards Shaftesbury to get ready for her holiday.
Moreton will have to wait for another day.
Saturday 24 March 2018
With drizzle and cloud forecast we were surprised to find anyone at Castle Gardens. Yet, Charlie and Phil were already installed when we arrived, soon to be joined by Mary, Dave, Tony, Ben and Ron. Ed like us was using the Park and Ride.
Refreshments taken, including vegetarian Easter Bunny biscuits made by Liz, it is time to go .No dissenters in this congregation, no one going home, 10 travelling to Cerne Abbas to join Jill and Roger riding direct from home.
Photo taken off we go, Thornford, Yetminster, Chetnole.This is going too well! Short of Red Ford the call goes up, “Puncture”! How many does it take to replace a tube? A chance for the Ride Leader to gain some distance!! With instruction to wait at the next junction wait he did, time passed, horses passed, a text arrived “We are on the second tube”.
You start opposite the valve and finish at the valve. Or is it the other way around? Anyhow try not to pinch the tube especially if it is one of the two that you have managed to scrounge, having left yours at home. (Care of the elderly). Maybe a cunning plan to save even more weight than the 1/11 chain set!
Back together up and over Batcombe Down to a log fire and agreeable lunch at The Giants Head Inn. It was noted that The Giant had lost a considerable amount of weight since viewed on Tuesday wearing his coat of snow.
Lunch over, decisions to be made; up to Giants Head or retrace our steps along the very quiet A352. Phil being a fit young man with afternoon commitments left right up the climb, the rest left left to Minterne Magna. At Dogberry Gate a further split ensued, social engagements taking precedence, Tony was off to dance the night away, Happy Anniversary. This left five on the planned route to enjoy the wonderful freewheel down to Totnel Corner. Rounding Telegraph Hill Ed announced that he had left his rucksack in the pub (care of the elderly) Phone call to be made number not available, at least not from the shoulder of the aptly named Telegraph Hill. Not to worry we can try again from the milk stand on Bailey Ridge where Nicky used to collect car numbers. Success Ed’s bag is safe.
Onto Holnest, Boy’s Hill and Sandhills where Mary and Charlie turned to Holwell, for us it was onto Hunters Bridge, Folke and the Park and Ride facilities in Sherborne.
Back in Sherborne Garmin had clocked 37.75 miles, a significant distance equal to one lap of the Isle Of Man Mountain Circuit. Nicky and Peter would like to dedicate this ride to the happy memory of Phil Williams, a man of wheels, 2, 3 or 4, always with a smile,
Nicky and Peter Vaughan
Saturday 17 March 2018
Phil Williams 1942-2018
THE RIDE THAT NEVER WAS
Mike Anyan and I arrived at The Udder Shop punctually at 10.00 on a very cold and windy morning. Something was wrong – no bikes could be seen parked outside the building, so alarm bells already started to ring. I knew Richard Nicholl would not be present as his body refuses to function on the bike below 5 degrees, Jill and Roger would probably find patches of ice on their lane at Marnhull, even though Mike and I had passed within a whisker of their pad 15 minures before, Mary would be riding with the Gillingham Wheelers offshoot club (the 3C mob), Ron was entertaining family, another 3 members ie Robin, Jackie and Martin were living it up in the warmer climes of South Africa and new member Mike Pain was getting very wet and wind blown in Normandy, covering 400 miles in 4 days.
We knew that Ed should be there as the ride leader, but where were the rest?? We hurried inside to the warmth of the café whereupon the leader was indeed already there – but dressed in his civvies! Sitting with him supping very weak tea was the aforementioned Richard N – also in his town outfit! It transpired that Ed was indeed going cycling, but surprisingly – mounted on a static bicycle in one of Gillingham’s gymnasiums – he never intended to lead the ride cos it was far too cold, the forecast was for light snow flurries and – he never thought anyone would be daft enough to turn out. Ten minutes later, the Yeovil mile eater Ben arrived after braving 25 miles into a fierce headwind. After chewing the fat for half an hour giving ‘Ed the wimp’ quite a fair bit of stick and now realizing it had started to snow with intent, the 3 cyclists decided to head west towards South Cadbury for lunch, giving Ben some shelter on his way home.
However, 2 minutes after departing, the snow came down in earnest, cutting visibility to not much more than nil – which led to a swift change of plan. We would go straight back to Stalbridge where Ben would continue west to Yeovile.
So, that’s what happened to today’s ride. Mike and yours truly rode back to my pad for another drink and stickybread in the comfort of a centrally heated abode, while Ben chose to carry on home. The snow was still falling, albeit a trifle less intense – there was one plus however, he would have a stiff tailwind for the last 15 miles.
The moral of this story is:-
· Never assume the ride leader does what is expected of him/her
· Never trust British weather entirely – although today, the met office got it spot on
· Unless it’s perfect weather, always expect some wimp to turn up in non cycling attire
· Always enjoy your rides – the next one may be cancelled!
Mike and I covered a massive 17 miles today while Ben did quite a bit more. My hands were frozen as usual, but it wasn’t for too long. Mike is setting off for Egypt tomorrow, partaking in his second love – deep sea diving – this time in the Red Sea. See you in April Mike.
Phil Williams 1942 to 2018
We regret to inform members that sadly Phil Williams passed away peacefully yesterday evening Tuesday 13 March 2018. Our condolences go to Lorraine and her family.
The funeral will be at Yeovil Crematorium on Monday 26 March 2018 at 08:45 and will be followed by a buffet at the Red House Pub, Dorchester Rd, Yeovil.
Saturday 9 March 2018
The weather people said we would have a wet morning and sorry to say they were right. Jill Halton, Charlie Porter, Dave Matten, Paul Nicholson and Ron Cheeseman had all cycled from home to Wincanton Morrison’s and in consequence were somewhat damp but all joined me for the ride to Rose’s cafe. We climbed up to the Racecourse, passed both churches in the small parish of Charlton Musgrove, passed where the lady who is allergic to the 20th (and 21st) century lives in a hut in a field, through Shepton Montague and Woolston to our lunch at South Cadbury. Norman Hodghton had ridden from home and was having his lunch when we arrived at 12.20 hours.
After lunch the rain had ceased but as we were all damp we went directly home, some of us to see the rugby on TV.
24 February 2018
When Charlie told me that Paul Martin was unable to lead this ride I was happy to take it over as I know the roads well. With the route planned in my mind to take advantage of the promised sunny day, the east wind and the spectacular snowdrops around Pythouse, I phoned the Boot at Tisbury on Friday Lunchtime just to complete the plan. Bad news -no food on Saturday as all his staff were away on a skiing holiday! A frantic bit of internet searching and unanswered phone calls led me to the conclusion that Tisbury was not going to make a good lunch stop. From previous experience I knew that the lunches served other pubs in that area were not suited to a cyclist’s budget or calorific requirement, there had to be a plan B. I chose Blandford! Not the most exciting destination, but we hadn’t been there for a long time and I knew there were plenty of places to find lunch.
When I arrived at the Udder Farm shop the group had already filled the table for 12 that I had reserved, but the latecomers were easily accommodated. Breaking the news of our change of destination did not go down well, especially with Jim who (once he realised it was not a wind-up) threatened not to come. Joan, (Jim’s wife) put her foot down and told him that he had to ride with us -I think she wanted a few hours of peace!!
So 12 cyclists eventually set off on a meandering route through Margaret Marsh, Hinton St Mary, Sturminster Newton and on the Okeford Fitzpaine on familiar lanes made spectacular by the amazing weather. At Okeford Fitzpaine we took the “new” section of trailway towards Child Okeford. Apparently a grant of £60,000 had been obtained to establish this route, unfortunately this only stretched to a covering of very loose scalping’s, not ideal for road tyres, I’ll use the road route next time. We continued along the trailway, leaving it at Durweston to enjoy the climb up through the grounds of Bryanston School.
Café 65 proved to be an excellent choice with a table for 10 ready and waiting for us as if I’d booked it in advance! (we’d lost Jim and Ron somewhere back on the route) There was an extensive menu of sensibly priced food and it was served reasonably quickly.
For the ride home we split into two groups, with some using “back in time for the rugby” as an excuse to take the flat route back along the trailway. The rest of us headed up and over to Winterborne Stickland and on to Bullbarrow with wind assisted climbs. At the top, 4 went straight on heading for home via Hazelbury Bryan whilst I turned left to ride down the ridge back to Okeford Fitzpaine with fantastic views over the Blackmore Vale.
Thanks to all who followed me -it couldn’t have been a better ride if I’d planned it!
19 November @ 10:30 am - 11:30 am
20 November @ 9:30 am - 2:00 pm
23 November @ 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
24 November @ 10:00 am - 2:00 pm
26 November @ 10:30 am - 11:30 am
27 November @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
30 November @ 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
1 December @ 10:00 am - 2:00 pm
7 December @ 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
8 December @ 10:00 am - 2:00 pm