Cycling Report 10th December 2020

Team 1

Problems were encountered by me within the first five minutes of leaving home. On turning in to the Ashcott road it was evident it was being closed for road works. My immediate thought was "how are the guys going to get to the car park? ". I managed to get through on my bike and arrived there approx 9.20. Graham and Pete from Glastonbury turned up shortly after on their bikes as did Denise and Roger who mistakenly went to the opposite car park. A quick phone call sorted this out. We were now five. Arthur and Linda were deemed not to be coming. This left two teams of 4. Team one lead by myself was due to meet Steve and Ron on the Shapwick Road, but still no sign of John Whe. Graham and I left Team 2 waiting for John in the car park in order to meet up with Steve and Ron. Halfway along the river path we met up with John who had parked in the Wetlands car park on the Shapwick Road. In his haste to get to the RSPB car park he had forgotten his helmet. I made a quick call to Denise to unite them and continued to the Shapwick road where we met up with Steve and Ron and started the ride.

It was a pleasant day with some sun and it wasn't long before Team 1 were sipping coffee and cake at Rich's Cider Farm who were very obliging. Team 2 turned up as we were about to leave!! We continued on via Brent Knoll, successfully negotiating the road works at Station Road, arriving at the lunch stop (Bay View cafe in Burnham) some 8 miles later. We commandeered several benches to eat our lunches which, with exception of John Wh. we had all brought with us. John had no trouble getting food in the cafe even though the menu was somewhat restricted.

The return journey was uneventful and we did have the luxury of the tide being in! As we crossed the levels we all peeied off towards our home destinations in Team 1 and I am assuming Team 2 did likewise. So after a bad start we had a good ride with good weather for the time of year. I was back home just after 14.00hrs after clocking up 33 miles so there was no worry about it getting dark before completion.

One thing that stands out for me with this ride is the need for mobile phones to contact one another should there be any problems.

Looking forward to meeting up again in the new year. Merry Christmas to all.
John Win.

Team 2

I was rather taken aback after driving to Meare and turning into Ashcott Road only to be confronted with a barrier right across the road with the information that the road was closed! So there was no easy way to get to the starting point at Ashcott Corner and It occurred to me that my team might have gone to the Avalon Marshes car park instead, particularly as this was on the route.

There was no sign of Teams 1 or 2 and foolishly I didn't have John's mobile number - all I had was the emergency numbers for my team. So I decided to cycle along the cycle track towards Ashcott corner in the hope of meeting Team 1, which I did eventually, and John was able to make telephone contact with Team 2 and tell them to meet me on the cycle track.

Then it was a pleasant ride via Burtle and East Huntspill to Watchfield for a coffee stop at Rich's and to meet the first group (at a social distance of course). From there we headed north along a charming and twisty little lane called Dutch Road. Along the way was Dutch Court Farm and at least one other property featuring the name 'Dutch'. It would be interesting to know if that had any historic connection with past Dutch expertise in draining the levels? Certainly today's ride was level - John said there were no hills but I have to point out that there were two up-and-overs across the motorway and another two over the railway line!

We passed through Brent Knoll to arrive by the seaside and our lunch stop at the 'Sea View Café, Burnham on Sea (again meeting the other group at a distance).
Once recharged we set off along the deserted esplanade and onto the attractive coastal cycle track which soon turned inland alongside the pretty little estuary of the River Brue. We then passed through Watchfield, Mark and Tadham Moor without much delay in view of the short daylight hours But we needn't have worried because it was still only 2.30 when we parted company at Westhay.

It was a good 30 mile ride and the weather was kind to us - much milder than the previous day's frosty conditions.
John Whe.