2nd December 2012  to Sanders Garden World by Debbie Warren

Looking up the road on Sunday morning I was greeted with wedges of frozen manure and frosty leaves and sheet ice. I had already slid into our usual field on an early dog walk and was wondering if I would make it to the main road.  However, it looked drier further up – go for it !
Super clean shiny bike, new boots and heated gloves and off to TOT for 9.45. Ice at Hardys, frozen at Winterbourne but OK from there to Dorchester.
It was cold, but sunny and looking good on the ride to the Highwayman Pub at Shepton Mallet for a bacon butty and a quick warm up.  At this point Roy Fox had to leave us here for a prior engagement in Wareham.
Despite reassurances from Geoff Brazier, our leader, and Jim Hill that they had checked the ride and modified it in order to avoid the most difficult roads, the  ride still felt, for me, fairly challenging.  Not a fan of slimy roads, a slower than normal pace until the leaders could fully assess the conditions, and quality riding up in front, helped me with my confidence.
En route we passed a sign for a Water Buffalo Farm, nothing in sight as the fields were under water!  Then to Cheddar and road signs stating "closed" greeted us, but, when we realized that it was open we carried on. Swathes of gravel, grit, and broken curbs took us into Cheddar with what seemed like a glacier sized ice patch on the tightest of downhill bends!  However, I survived !
We eventually arrived at the garden centre - very nice, thank you Geoff – well worth the ride.  Boys did food , Girls did shopping.

A brisk ride home in the gloom. Light rain set in and followed us home – not a drop got through my gear and my fingers still had colour on arriving home !
Dave Luke, Neil Fuller and Jude Brooks made up the rest of The Magnificent Seven.  What more could you ask, jovial company, a pleasant ride, a bit of shopping and the icing on the cake was hubby Tony who cooked my  supper AND cleaned my bike.


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