Sunday 8 January 2012

Dorset Miles, Bear Cross "Hardriders" Sunday Ride,

Fourteen riders left the bus stop at Bear Cross and just for a change, headed east. Parley Cross, Hurn Airport (the wind sock confirming the tailwind) across the Avon Causeway, then thankfully into the lanes. Through Sopley, Crow & Hightown, the bright sun and lack of wind kept morale high. On past Mockbeggar, South& North Gorley, a loop around Bickton then briefly on the A338 to Fordingbridge. The lanes were dry and the pace was good as we quickly crossed Whitsbury down to Rockbourne. The fun of the fast descent to Coombe Bisset has to be earned and the long drag up to the A354 always catches a few out. The valley road is very familiar and Stratford Tony, Bishopstone, Stoke Farthing, and Broadchalke are soon behind us. Turning left at Fifield Bavant the steep climb that takes us across to Bowerchalke is less familiar. The hill out of the village is always hard and the poor surface on the descent broke a wheel, the unlucky rider was left in 6D Handley to await a lift home. Lots of stones across the road to Wimborne St Giles frustrated us with two punctures, but the enforced stops do allow for nutrition. On to Gussage St Michael and most legs were still lively on the climb up to the top road and the drop to Moor Crichel. Past Colehill and the group starts to thin, as people go their separate ways. The benign weather certainly helped but the speed of the Gruppetto asked some questions, all of which were answered. 3hrs 48

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