Eleven of us at Bear Cross on a cold, frosty, morning, reliable faces, dependable legs, essential for some classic winter miles. Those with ambitions to ride the road need to ride the road, no doubt some stayed in bed, "Hands off Cocks, On Socks" the best career advice i ever got. A young Daniel Lloyd laid the foundations for a professional career riding these local monuments. That first uncomfortable introduction to "the man with hammer" as valuable as any structured, watt-based, e-mailed from afar, coaching plan, inexperience inevitably becomes experience. Gingerly out to Longham & Canford Bottom but still the envy of commuter traffic. Holt was clear, Chalbury Common was treacherous, unclipping on the drop down to Horton. The more ice we saw, the more nervous we got, Woodlands was sketchy, a stop to let air out of tyres and the main road calmed us all down. Through Cranborne, Alderholt, Fordingbridge and across to Whitsbury, slushy through the lanes but by Rockbourne we were clear. Fast and bright down to Coombe Bissett and the Ebble valley road, always a slog in the best sort of way. A broken gear cable made it more of a slog for one but he will talk about it all his cycling life. Up towards Shaftesbury then down to Cann Common and Zig Zag hill, that hammer man was tapping a couple on the shoulder but all regrouped at Winn Green for the fast descent homewards. Lined out on the Wimborne road those dependable legs working for all of the group. What did Lloyd do after his hunger-knock kicking? He came back the following week, that's what!