At 9.30am, thirteen members with their gleaming bikes plus one pillion were gathered at Top of Town car park, Dorchester, ready for the off at 10am. The weather forecast for the day was an encouraging, sunny intervals and light showerslater in the afternoon (which did not materialise).
The ride departed on time after the briefing when Brian jokingly remarked that the bikes would not retain their gleaming looks for long ! For first stage of the ride the Windy Corner Cafe at West Bay was the destination for a brunch breakfast at 11.15am. The route out of Dorchester took the ride out via the A352 through Charminster, Godmanstone, Cerne Abbas and then after Minterne Magna, the second left junction towards Leigh, Yetminster, Ryme Intrinseca and onto the A37. Whilst the road conditions along the A352 were generally dry albeit with some roadside debris such as leaves, shale and mud, the same can't be said the ride to the A37 via Yetminster. Good observation skills, road positioning for safety and general ride plans became even more important. Apart from the usual patches of surface water, mud, shale and leaves, horses were encountered as one would expect having passed an Equestrian Centre on the road to Leigh. A hazard rich area that's for sure.
Joining the A37 went without a hitch and the ride headed briefly for Yeovil before turning left for Halstock. At Bingham Reservoir, it had been prearranged to have a quick stop just to regroup. At this point everyone was present and off the ride went heading towards the Crewkerne A356 road via Halstock and Corscombe. The prevailing road conditions weren't any better especially given the narrower C class roads to navigate safely. On reaching the A356 and heading east towards the B3163 to Beaminster junction, Geoff Brazier appeared large in Brian’s mirror to inform him that one member had suffered a puncture and that two others, including Graham Pinney (back marker who had a puncture repair kit). Dave Luke took up the role as back marker role. The ride then continued towards Beaminster, picking up the A3066 towards Melpash, Bridport and West Bay where the remainder of the ride out group arrived at 11.20am.
The Windy Corner Cafe was all ready for us with tables reserved and everyone tucked into a brunch breakfast of their choice washed down with large amount of tea and or coffee. The unlucky rider with a puncture turned out to be Jim Williams on his Yamaha Tracer. Kim Sneddon and along with Graham were the good Samaritans. It is reported that Graham gave an excellent demonstration of how to carry out a roadside puncture repair on a motorcycle - perhaps something to consider for a Wednesday evening Group talk? Having repaired the puncture, all three aborted the ride and returned to Jim's house in Dorchester for a well earned cup of tea. Many thanks to Kim and Graham for stopping.
After an hour's stop at West Bay and with the 6 Nations Rubgy beckoning, some made their own way home independently whilst Brian and three others continued with the second stage of the ride back to Dorchester via the A35 to Raymond's Hill, the B3165 to Crewkerne via Marshwood and Clapton. Yet again, road conditions were poor in places but at least the rain stayed away. Once through Crewkerne, he ride back was via the A356 to Maiden Newton, Frampton and the A37 to Dorchester where the ride concluded at 2.30pm. All in all, a really enjoyable, over 80 miles for some, in testing conditions. Many thanks to everyone who turned out in support - a great effort. Perhaps not so enjoyable for Jim, Kim and Graham but there will be another opportunity for a puncture free ride out for them hopefully (at least it made a change from Geoff Brazier having a puncture !).
Test Pass - Dave Woodhouse
First @DWDAM Pass of 2018! Congratulations to Dave Woodhouse who passed his @IAMRoadSmart Advanced Riding Test today Thu 1 Feb. Well done also to Linda Ashmore, Dave's Observer.
Ride Out Report - Skittles at Frampton Arms
After a very enjoyable chilly ride through Dorset & Purbecks, the group enjoyed coffee at Clavell's restaurant followed by lunch & skittles at Frampton Arms
Test Pass - Debbie Warren
It's a Christmas BONANZA @IAMRoadSmart weekend! Test Pass 3 this week, making it 18 Test passes for 2017. Congratulations to Debbie Warren and @DWDAM_News Observer Brian Purnell. Our Observer Team are on a roll!