Sunday 15 January 2012

Dorset Miles: Bournemouth Jubilee Wheelers 75 Mile Reliability Trial

The “75” is regarded as the toughest of the four Jubilee Tourist Trials but despite its reputation 87 riders signed on. This year’s clockwise direction is, perhaps the easiest way round, with all the big climbs coming in the first 30 odd miles. A roll call of local “names,” assisted by a stiff easterly wind drove the 09:30 group to Blandford. “Evens” was easy as we headed towards the first big climb. Tackled from the Turnworth side, Okeford Hill is a big ring grovel, in a nice kind of way. It was a clear day, the whole of North Dorset seemed to be set before us and the far distant hills had Somerset written on them. The pace did not slacken, talk in the wheels was of conserving energy, while those on the front seemed to have too much of this precious commodity. St John’s Hill took us up to Shaftesbury, it is relentless and the left hander by the church is a heartbreaker. We regrouped, a few had gone but there was time for recovery as we dropped all the way down to Coombe Bissett. The main road climb briefly halted conversation, yet still the pace demanded attention. Across to Cranborne, the wind was now from the side but the 11 miles back to Merley are flat and fast. Like bike rides all across the country today, those that struggle early on come good later, our group was no exception. The 100 in 8, on February 12th is the last of the four trials in the series and provides a fitting end to the winter. The Bournemouth Jubilee Wheelers award medals to those that complete all four rides, on the face of it, not much of a challenge. In reality, ice, punctures, illness, can all make it harder to complete the series. It’s a small achievement perhaps but it may be the only medal some ever get but there is still the small matter of the 100! The ride out and home gives me another hour, 4hr 51.

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