Saturday 7 October 2017
At 09.30 there was a heavy drizzle in Stalbridge – but luckily, 11 cyclists and one motorist turned up at the Thyme after Time Cafe 15 minutes after it stopped.
The motorist was Martin who then returned to sentry duty at his second home – Hartgrove Farm. Roger and Jill stayed a little while longer and then returned home, both feeling a little under par.
As we were about to get our legs over, Tony was having problems getting his shoes in the pedals. A 10 minute investigation found that his shoe cleats had worked loose – amazing how they magically function when the bolts are tight.
After this first delay, the mob set off. Approaching Stourton Caundle after only 10 minutes, Lorraine decided to play David Bailey for a change. When the camera was finished with, she decided to escort Alison and Robin homewards – good Samaritan.
Carrying on via Bishops Caundle and Boys Hill, we (David, Ed, Mary, Tony, Ron and TC) met Nicky and Peter approaching the A352.
2 minutes later, the second delay raised its ugly head with Major David announcing the dreaded word – puncture! The route then took us through Leigh, Chetnole, up the hill at Woolcombe, across the A37 then through Frome St Quintin and on to Cattistock.
Instead of stopping at the regular Fox and Hounds, we decided to try the local café attached to the rear of Cattistock Stores. What a delightful place this is. A very helpful ‘Lucy’ was in total charge, providing us with rapid service, a good selection of food at very reasonable prices and even some free chocolate cake. (The café is closed on Sundays, so the excess food cannot be wasted.) With steep hills looming, we had a very relaxing longer stay, allowing time for the food to digest, discussing a multitude of topics including pig farming, the common market, fiscal considerations, Jenny’s tennis holiday in Portugal, Donald Trump and much, much more!
Ron bless him, set off home 15 minutes before the rest of us – yes, you guessed it – Cycle Racing on the telly. The last main event of the road race season.
Eventually the rest of us had to leave the café (we will certainly visit again) in high spirits. Nicky and Peter soon turned left heading for Rampisham, Halstock and East Coker.
The remaining 5 of us climbed the 2 hills to Sydling St Nicholas and Cerne Abbas, but a democratic vote forced me to revise the plan and return home via the flatter route of Lyons Gate, Middlemarsh, Glanvilles Wootton, Holwell and Kings Stag – ah well, you can’t win them all…..
Notable absentees were Chairman Paul who did not have our permission, Richard Nicholl who was living it up in Suffolk, Mike Anyan who was diving in Cuba – yes he does have a holiday now and again in between jobs and Yoyo Ben who deserted us for a 10 day cycling holiday in Majorca – lucky devil!
Only 40 miles for me today as I live in Stalbridge, but at least 60 miles for most riders. The rain stayed away, only 2 delays with Tony and David, a couple of good climbs and a new lunch stop - can’t be bad.
Thanks for your good company – think I’ll stay with the BVCC……….