Dorset Miles, Weather or Not? That is the Question.
Winter weather, winter colds, better things to do even? Whatever the reason, two was a poor turnout and we are only together a short while before going our separate ways, different gear ratios, different agendas.Always on the front now,first and last wheel, along Cowgrove, Langton Long and the underpass to Blandford Forum, the Georgian town, "Sunday quiet". Over to Winterborne Stickland and up Bulbarrow from Hedge End, threee miles up but big-ring easy. Down to Higher Ansty and a quick stop to take off the redundant rain jacket, smug validation for making the effort. The fact was it had been unemployed since i left home, allowing a weather forcaster to decide whether we "do or dont" is, like a nation turning inwards, a bad policy. Stoke Wake, Hazelbury Bryan, Droop, Wooland, Ibberton & Belchalwell all in the shadow of Bulbarrow and all virtually traffic free, only the constant up and down demanding attention. The relative brightlights of Okeford Fitzpaine point the way to Shillingstone then briefly on the main road and across the River Stour to Child Okeford and Handford, Stourpaine and back across the river again to Durweston. Milton Lane is more like a bridleway, the narrow climb covered with grit, the central reservation of grass bigger everytime i ride up it. Stretching the lower back on the drop down to Bryanstone is a sure sign that the miles are taking their toll. Back to Blandford Forum, the town more awake this time and up to Ashley Wood, down to Tarrant Rawston and up the cliff at Hogstock, always hard, i try not to look the walkers, going the same speed, in the eye. Witchampton and the main road, a detour looking for a way through to Pamphill that gave me a few extra miles but found me back where i started, the legs now starting to protest. Wimborne Minster, under the A31, Old Ham Lane cuts out Canford Bottom and rejoins "New" Ham Lane, always makes a change. Feeling Saturdays effort the tail wind is welcome and makes me think i am stronger than i am, I'll take that!