Saturday 29 July 2017

We don’t usually get 2 consecutive wet weekend rides – but yes, it happened!

11 of us sat outside the Gold Hill Café at 10.15 – the first time we had visited the place following a 2 year closure. Ron, David, Roger and Jill, Mike, Tony, Robin, Richard and yours truly, plus 2 visitors – Kevin and Kathy (friends of Jill and Roger who rode with us in 2015) -  they obviously enjoyed it so much, it’s taken them 2 years to repeat the process! 

To carry on - about 10.20 a slight precipitation dampened our spirits, so much so that 4 wimps – Jill, Roger, Robin and Richard decided to ride straight back home and miss the impending deluge that had been forecast. So bang on 10.30 (no photos, no cameras, no Mary bless her) , 7 waterproofed souls set off on wet roads via Shillingstone and Okeford Fitzpaine climbing the only stiff hill of the day – Bullbarrow.

As the rain increased in intensity, the ride took us thro Milborne St Andrew and Bere Regis – then on an unavoidable main road past famous Monkey World (we could hear them screeching as Kathy remarked) and the Bovington Tank training ground and Museum. At last, the rain stopped at Wool where we took a quieter road the last 4 miles to Moreton.

Instead of lunching at the T Rooms, Ron had recommended the Dovecote Café in the Walled Garden. They had reserved a table for ten of us. An excellent choice as it turned out, with whopping portions of sandwiches and Ploughmans at great prices. We will certainly visit again.

A text message from Nicky and Pete, who were planning to meet us here – riding directly from Ash – said SORRY, it’s raining so hard we’ve turned around after only 15 miles, see you on Tuesday! Half way through the great feast, the heavens opened up again, leaving us to depart at 2pm complete with wet saddles and soggy shoes.

The return journey took us via Puddletown – a very apt name today – Chesselbourne, Ansty then Hazelbury Bryan.Here, David pedalled away on his own to Gillingham, Kevin and Kathy turned left to the Camping/Caravan site where they were staying. That left Tony, Mike, Ron an myself to splash homewards via Kings Stag.

Altogether a miserable wet ride, but can’t complain too much cos it wasn’t cold, there were no holdups, no mud on the waterlogged roads, no mechanical problems, no punctures and I only stopped once for a comfort break!

Thanks to the brave souls who faced the music today and survived to tell the tale.

We’re bound to get a better day next week – aren’t we? Surely not 3 wet weekends on the trot – it’s Martin’s turn to ask him upstairs to take pity on us as we pedal from Mere to Bruton.

Charlie Porter


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