I spent some time hunched over a map trying to select a route to Horton over country that did not offer many alternatives. I eventually selected a route that would avoid some of the busier roads, but decided that a recce was called for, as the ride two weeks earlier in the same area had discovered flooded roads. So off I went on my recce to find that the road through Gussage St Andrew and St Michael was under water and the ford was impassable to bikers. Also an alternative route via Tarrant Gunville was still a river so I was forced to select the single viable route to Horton and back with a few diversions to avoid as much of the busier roads as possible. Saturday dawned as a bright day with light winds that were forecast to strengthen later with the possibility of the odd shower.
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Considering the weather we have had the trailway proved to be in a lot better condition than anticipated with only the odd muddy patch. Ron left us at Stourpaine as he said he did not want to ride the potentially muddier part of the trailway. Charlie left us there while Jackie, Martin and I pressed on towards Gillingham and home. A day on which the weather was kind to us as the rain did not appear and the winds remained relatively light.
Although the traffic was heavy at times with one or two exceptions most drivers showed a degree of patience when stuck behind the peloton. A ride of 84km 52miles with m ft climbed and no punctures.
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Massive warnings!! Storm Jorge on the way, man the Ark, batten the hatches then tell Mary the ride is canceled.
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We tried Fifehead but the tide was well in so went via East Stour, through floods to Ecliffe and Milton to meet the Boys. After a cuppa it was decided to ride back for an early lunch at The Udder Restaurant proper posh now.
On turning under the Viaduct for Ecliffe the road was totally flooded so back we went via Gillingham and Hunger Hill.
Although the ride was listed for lunch at Tilshead I actually intended going to the closer Chitterne pub but found it to have closed so had reverted to Tilshead. About 22miles, too much climbing and 5.
Better luck next time. I was greeted by 8 intrepid but soaked cyclists and Ken and Caroline in civilian clothes, who had sensibly come by car.
Another bedraggled group arrived from Bruton just as we were preparing to leave. Jackie decided not to risk the weather and Mary had an afternoon pantomime performance so also left for home. Okeford Hill sorted the men from the boys or rather the e-bikes from the rest as Ron and Alan powered their way to the top. The chairman decided to conserve some energy by walking the last section but commendably everyone else rode the distance.
Looping round by Morden we turned north and reached The Red Lion 10 minutes early. The pub had a large round table where the seven of could comfortably sit to enjoy our meal, several of us enjoying the something and chips in a basket option.
Let Blackmore Vale Consulting support you with an assurance review. The earlier in the project life-cycle, the better. [email protected] My Business Name / Previous Next. The official Blackmore Vale Magazine App gives you access to the full Blackmore Vale Magazine on your tablet or phone for the very first time. Read all of your favourite articles and features in high quality, delivered direct to you every Friday!/5(20). The Blackmore Vale (/ ? b l ? k m ??r /; less commonly spelt Blackmoor) is a vale, or wide valley, in north Dorset, and to a lesser extent south Somerset and southwest Wiltshire in southern England. External links. Media related to Blackmore Vale at Wikimedia Commons.
Fortified we continued back following the Stour before turning up the Tarrant valley. Ron left at this point because he was worried about possible flooding - justified as it turned out. All went well until we reached Stubhampton where we were greeted by a road closed sign and water completely covering the road.
Bravely we sent Ed ahead to test the depth and decided to risk it. Cycling up a river is an unusual experience which resulted in several wet feet but we reached dry land as we started the climb up to the top road. The wind picked up again as we descended to Iwerne Minster and the sunshine we had enjoyed disappeared. I arrived home before any serious rain and hope the others did too.
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Well, Storm Dennis lived up to expectations. Mary made a valiant ride from Shaftesbury to the start looking very windswept.
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Charlie and I had the easy short ride to the start with an excellent tail wind, he said he was getting a bit concerned for Ron as he had set off some time ago and should now have arrived. In the event it turned out that Ron had come unstuck against strong cross winds and decided to call it a day.
It was good to see Richard in fine spirits following his overseas adventures, although our current weather has come as a contrast after being used to 30 deg C temperatures. I plan to have another attempt at my Podimore ride on 9 May Was this a club run? At Haynes I was joined by Arthur, but only for coffee as he headed home afterwards. Keith and his wife arrived just after No-one else turned up! Fine sunny weather with a tailwind.
Arriving at Sweets tea room at Food was good value and filling. Peter and Nicky left about half an hour before I did, eventually I headed back into an increasingly strong headwind via Shapwick, Pedwell and High Ham, eventually catching them near Muchelney.
After riding together for a while I headed home via Martock and Stoke-sub-Hambdon.
A nice day for a ride considering the gales on Sunday, pity no-one else agreed!! Only three bikes at Stourhead when I arrived -I must have been early. Sure enough, by the time we were ready to leave there were 15 of us and only two Jackie and Keith were not coming on the ride.
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With the wind behind us and frequent patches of sunshine we sailed along through Maiden Bradley and on to the junction to Crockerton, where I waited to make sure everyone knew we were turning left. I waited with Nicky for ages the rest of the group ploughed on! We regrouped at the now closed Bath Arms, then rode a short distance on the rather busy A before turning right onto a quiet road through the woods to Sutton Veny. A wind assisted ride along the beautiful Wylye Valley soon got us to the Ginger Piggery, luckily they were very quiet before we arrived as I had been unable to get a phone signal to warn them that our numbers were 13 and not the 8 that I had guessed when I called them in the week.
The wind had not abated for our return journey, so we put the two E bikes on the front and sheltered on their back wheels -well that was the plan! In fact we had plenty of volunteers to take a turn at the front so all arrived more or less together at the start of the climb up Mere Down.
In Mere the group started to split up into there various routes home, the wind was still strong but the skies were clear, a great end to the best ride of the year so far! Paul, Dave M, Mike A.
By After the group photo we set off down Cole Street Lane and past my old house to Eccliffe Mill under the Viaduct and up the first of many climbs. Along the ridge down Fifehead hill to factory farm where we seemed to have got strung out so we waited and waited then turned back to check if anyone had a problem.
It turned out to be just a comfort break so we carried on to Stalbridge more climbs then down the hill and left towards Stourton Caundle.
At the crossroads we turned right and after a short while should have turned left but unfortunately I missed the turning and we ended up in Purse Caundle so we turned left to get back to the road we should have been on.
This turned out to be quite exciting as the road was covered in thick mud and there was a pheasant shoot going on either side of us.
We all came through it safely without being peppered with lead and made it to Alweston where Ron left us to go back home. We then had to brave the main road into Sherborne to get to our lunch stop the White Hart pub. The majority of human settlements are built on the drier strips of limestone, whereas the more poorly draining clays which comprise the greater bulk of the area are more sparsely populated,  supporting mostly small farms, dotted across the vale.
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Due to the clay soils, land use is predominantly dairy farming. Until it was closed inSturminster Newton livestock market was the busiest weekly livestock market in Britain. The vale, in particular the village of Marnhull "Marlott"is the opening backdrop for Thomas Hardy 's Tess of the D'Urbervilles ;  he also lived and wrote in Sturminster Newton for a time.
Douglas Adams and Robert Boyle lived in Stalbridge for part of their lives. However, it currently carries the more unusual spelling "Blackmoor Vale", as it did when newly built.
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The locomotive is currently based at the Bluebell Railway in Sussexwhere it is stored at Sheffield Park awaiting a boiler overhaul sincewhen cracks were found in the firebox causing it to be withdrawn from service. Media related to Blackmore Vale at Wikimedia Commons. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Natural England.
Retrieved 20 October Portrait of DorsetHale,pp.