Wednesday, 5 August 2020

Dorset Miles: The 100 in Summer!


Cancelled back in February due to Storm Ciara, the intention was to run the Bournemouth Jubilee Wheelers 100 Mile Reliability Trial at a later date, COVID-19 put paid to that. The will is there and it yet may happen, in the mean time 6 of us decided to go and check the course out, we can confirm it is still there. The “100” is about winter miles, mud guards, bib tights, gloves and over shoes. The “100” is about, wet, dirty roads, grovelling up and down dull, grey Dorset, hanging on in quiet desperation, to sample Pink Floyd. Four of us left Hurn Post Office in shorts, short sleeves and sunglasses, picking up the other two on the edge of Bransgore. Breezy, sunny, warm and tourists on the roads, the 100 was never like this. Across Slap Bottom to Burley and on to Crow, Ringwood, Moyles Court, children paddling in the stream by the Ford, then on over to Harbridge and Alderholt. The course is so familiar but never in dappled sunlight viewed through sunglasses free from spattered mud. Cripplestyle, Verwood, Woodlands, Haythorne, Chalbury Common, Hinton Martell, Witchampton and Hogstock, the conversation full of optimism. Langton Long and the underpass to Blandford, the closed gates of Bryanstone School forcing a detour up the hill next door (our only deviation), the climb is better than the descent, the gravel strewn drop to Durweston with its central reservation of grass demands attention. Briefly on the A357 to Shillingstone and the always hard to remember White Pit Lane to Okeford Fitzpaine before Knackers Hole. The road was closed at Fifehead St Quentin but the lads working on the drains showed us a way round via a field, a little “rough stuff” and we were very quickly back on route, shouting thanks over the hedge to our detour mates! Into the wind after Droop & Hazelbury Bryan, the slog from Mappowder through Folly and Plush to Piddletrenthide is always a bit of a slog, Summer or Winter..... Fast now, down to Puddletown, 70 miles in and the breeze is starting to push us along, Tincleton, Pallington Heath, Waddock Cross, Clouds Hill, Worgret Heath and the edge of Wareham. The road through Sandford to the Bakers Arms is never fun but it was fast, Post Green, Limber Lost and a final blast along Merley Park Lane, Wimborne, Parley and back to Hurn. A good day out but actually only about 25 minutes or so quicker than a fully mudgaurded up day in February , which, of course, is where the 100 belongs.

108 miles, 5hrs 47

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