Saturday 23 December 2017
We cannot blame some of our regular members not turning up today – even though the weather was 7 degrees warmer than our last few rides and no rain to boot!
The festive season obviously forced Chairman Paul, Ron, David, Robin, Nicky and Pete, Martin and Jackie and Ben to entertain relatives and friends or to motor further afield in order to avoid expensive and time consuming catering over Christmas.
At Dikes Café we were blessed with attracting riders in the form of Steve Way, who shows his face every 6 weeks or so, Richard Nicholl who has finally returned from the Pacific Islands and God knows how many hospital appointments - and finally Roger H who was actually planning to ride the full distance after suffering some energy sapping affliction for the last 6 months! ‘Cling ons’ who returned home immediately were Caroline, Ken and Martin.
Outside Dikes at 10.30, it was noted with pleasure that our Hon Treasurer Mary had entered into the seasonal spirit and adorned her pink steed with coloured Christmas fairy lights – why can’t we all do this next year?
Anyway, back to the ride itself – 10 of us set off up Barrow Hill then turned right before Stourton Caundle, encountering what was to be the norm for the day – very muddy lanes on the way to Goathill and Milborne Port. My intention now was to use some lanes seldom covered on a regular basis, so I took the gang on a route bypassing Charlton Hawthorne, Corton Denham and Sutton Montis. What a mistake! - Dreadful muddy surfaces, copious amounts of hedge cuttings to cushion any falls (luckily none) and the ever entertaining Jill, shrieking every time she spied a hill in front of us!
On the way, Richard Nicholl, due to his limited cycling miles over the last 3 months, insisted that we leave him – he would make his own way to the lunch stop. Ed Highnam also had to leave us before lunch to put some finishing touches to the ever increasing size of his Marnhull mansion!
However, we made it to Sparkford Motor Museum without incident at 12.15 with mud splattered bikes and leggings. Inside the café to greet us was Arthur, another member we see only sparingly – more the pity. Lorraine and Phil soon turned up in their Vauxhall Zafira – now sporting some extensive bodywork damage due to being clobbered in an unlit car park! Richard Nicholl brought the number up to 12, who fasted on soup, panninis - plus a full blown hot meal for Roger.
The route home was via Blackford, North and South Cheriton, the Lonesome Pine and Buckhorn Weston – punctuated with Mike Anyan stretching his legs at last in a Ben Garside impression of a yoyo. In an effort to please Jill, we did not attempt the climb of Hartmoor Hill but sped on to Kingston Magna and Henstridge Airfield – pointing out the venue for the Sunday rides meet in 2018, the Golf and Leisure Centre in Marsh Lane.
Near Stalbridge, the group fragmented. We all wished each other a Happy Christmas – we would however, be meeting up on Wednesday the 27th on Jills Jaunt to Spire Hill – see this cycle clips issue!
Thanks to the riders Steve, Ed, Jill and Roger, Mike A, Mike P, Mary, Tony and Richard N.
A short 36 miles for me and the 2 Mikes, but thankfully trouble free with all this blasted MUD.
Was it good for you – it was for me!
A very happy Christmas to all our members and to our non cycling partners.
Only one ride before next year - must clean the bike now……………….