Sunday 14 December 2014

Dorset Miles, A Fight Worth Winning!

Leaving home in the rain is always a bit of a battle, mostly with oneself. The “spring is only ten weeks away” optimism of Saturday’s crisp & clean Chaingang has, overnight, returned to cold, grey, wet reality. It’s always a fight worth winning though, by the time we reach Bear Cross the sun is peeking through, the rain cape is backpocketed and spirits are rising. Ice along the Cowgrove has us gingerly climbing Vine Hill to the Badbury Rings road, resurfaced, this is a great piece of tarmac, sadly blighted by fast traffic. Seven of us drop down to Tarrant Keynston, the valley is like a winter wonderland, it could be a Christmas card, not deep but certainly crisp and even, ice near the ford at Tarrant Monkton but we are alert and already unclipped. Across the A354, the residents of Tarrant Gunville have slept well, a couple of cheery "Good Mornings" always makes the world go around. An official piss stop signals the start of the two mile drag up Stubhampton Down, it is never steep, and ridden well-behaved is no problem. Single file along the Shaftesbury road, still closed at Melbury Abbas we turn right to Compton Abbas airfield and across to Win Green. The view over the Cranborne Chase is epic and free, well almost, approximately two hours of Long, Steady Distance was all we paid. The temperature and us plummeted down to Tollard Royal, the duck pond still frozen. STOP WHEN RED LIGHTS SHOW! we did, for apparently no reason, it was though and opportunity for nourishment . Across to Sixpenny Handley, sadly the village is not as pretty as it sounds, the shops have closed and only one of three pubs remain. Fear not, close by the Sixpenny Handley brewery knocks out pints of proper bitter from an old farm building for a couple of hours every Saturday lunchtime, they do a roaring trade, trust me, I know. Along the muddy lane to Wimborne St Giles, Moor Crichel, Witchampton and across to Holt Football club, an away fixture today it seems. Pig Oak, Furzehill, Deans Grove then left at the Horns Inn to Colehill. Wimborne is busy as we part company with three of us relaying back along Ham Lane, Parley Cross and around Hurn Airport, the rain starts to fall but I am already washing the bike! 3HRS 45

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