Cycling Report 8th July 2021

10 of us met at Woodford Lodge by Chew Valley Lake, 4 having cycled there from home. We had had continuous heavy rain less than 24 hours earlier, but it was dry all day and with the clouds gradually breaking up it was ideal weather.

We set off along a (mostly) quiet lane to Nempnett Thrubwell with occasional views over Chew and Blagdon lakes. Avoiding the steepest hills, we continued to Winford Manor and returned mainly downhill to Chew Stoke, although we had to retrace our steps once due to a navigation error (sorry). We crossed the dam for a welcome coffee break overlooking the lake at the “Salt and Malt” café.

Time was getting on so we missed out a planned loop to Chew Magna and Stanton Drew. However, on our way to the main road through Bishops Sutton, we had to haul ourselves back up a 1/2 mile descent down a narrow lane, having wrongly assumed the Road Closed signs wouldn't apply to us! We arrived only a few minutes late for our lunch stop at New Manor Farm shop where we met Jim and Jan who are compiling a promotional video for Wells U3A.

We were filmed leaving the café and then headed off in the sunshine down lanes towards Litton, and then along a back road to East Harptree while 3 left the group to tackle the north side of the Mendips on their way back home. The rest continued through West Harptree and back to The Woodford making use of the cycle path beside the road: a total of 26.5 miles.


Cycling Report 22 July 2021

Even on one of the warmest days of the summer, 10 keen cyclists met at Castle Cary for the first of the group’s rides since the relaxation of Covid restrictions. The 10 included 2 who joined the list of riders just the day before and a new member who came along on the day.

The first leg was fairly level on the lanes through North Barrow to Sparkford, where coffee and nibbles were taken in the café at Haynes Motor Museum just outside the village. A visit to the museum itself would wait for another day, but at least there was a Williams Grand Prix car on display in the foyer to admire.

The ride continued back into Sparkford and then out in the lanes via Weston Bampfylde and round to Queen Camel. After a few yards on the A359 we turned off towards Bridgehampton. The left turn back towards Mudford split the group with 4 going on towards Yeovilton, but after a head count the group soon reconnected. We continued, still on the level, to the edge of Mudford and crossed the A359 again. A mile or so further on at the start of the hillier second half of the day, the climbing temporarily split the ‘peloton’. Descending into Sandford Orcas in Dorset, we turned to go back into Somerset and north through Corton Denham. The hills again slowed some more than others and lunchtime refreshment was calling, so some riders pushed on ahead. The last of the group arrived at the pub at South Cadbury just as the first were starting their beers and a very pleasant lunch was taken in the sunny garden under awnings. But all good things must come to an end, so water bottles were refilled and we mounted our bikes. The last push into Castle Cary was through the lanes from North Cadbury passing to the east of Galhampton. All 10 were counted back into the car park and several expressed enjoyment of the route and the ride.

John Sea.