At 0930 on Sunday 1st February thirteen hardy souls on twelve bikes assembled at Top of Town to join Geoff Brazier’s ride to Compton Abbas Airfield, a ride that replaced the “Thirty Dorset Villages” planned ride, due to the state of the roads. The 13th person was Neil’s pillion who was testing out new heated gloves - we all missed his faithful dog who was left at home on this occasion. Jim Williams was also testing out a new heated jacket. Just as well as thermometers were reading just five degrees Celsius.
The route took us on main roads to Blandford via Milborne St Andrew with it’s road much improved by resurfacing recently. The road to Compton Abbas across the top of Cranborne Chase is still closed at Melbury Abbas so we headed to Shaftesbury on the twisty A350. Traffic was light but such is the nature of the road that overtaking was rarely possible for the odd vehicles we encountered.
Doubling back at Shaftesbury we made for Compton Abbas up Zig Zag Hill with the pre-ride briefing warning that car drivers will fumble between gears on the bends ringing in our ears (thanks Martin Eldridge), only to find a small hatch back doing exactly that in the middle of the group.
We arrived at the airfield just before eleven on a clear, bright but very cold morning a replay of our ride in 2013 complete with frozen puddles. No matter, a warm welcome awaited us in the café and not having realised we should have booked as we exceeded their preferred number of under ten as a group, we split into smaller groups to drink, warm up and eat various amounts of very welcome food.
The proprietor of the café did approach Geoff and explained that the reason for the Group booking request is not because they don’t want to see groups but because they did not want to keep people waiting too long as all food is cooked to order. We were able to reassure her that the longer we stayed in the café the better given the temperature outside!
A straight forward ride back at 1145 with riders peeling off as their preferred road home came up and all home in time for Sunday lunch.
Well done and thanks to Geoff for organising and leading and Dave Luke for shepherding us as the back marker and particularly for both of them checking the original route on Saturday. You’ll be pleased to note that Geoff will now be leading the “Thirty Dorset Villages” ride in August, when the weather should be ideal !!??
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