Tuesday, 21 February 2017

With the Old Gits, Reverse Route 22

Old Gits ride today, it is certainly a day for waterproof clothing, the cloud is very low and the forecast is for rain during the morning.  And they were right.  12 Old Gits met up at the northern end of the prom and cycled out to Caffle's Garden Centre via Sand Bay and Wick St Lawrence.

Puxton Lane Hewish

Nicely fed and watered at the garden centre, time to head back to Weston via Banwell.  After cycling down a short stretch of the A370, the group normally waits in Puxton Lane to make sure everybody got across the main road OK.  By this time the mist had turned to drizzle and the waterproof gear came into its own.

Summer Lane Banwell

Another place to regroup after cycling along Silver Moor Lane near Hewish is at the top of Summer Lane.  At this point there is about 7 miles to go before we hit Weston again.  Still raining by the way.
You may recall the previous post showed some fly tipping by the River Banwell.  It was reported to the council, with photo, and it is pleasing to report it has all gone now.  Well done to NSBC.

Completed just over 22 miles today in the rain.  We haven't had a wet one like this for some time now thankfully.  First job back at the ranch was to give the bike a good clean.  After riding through a couple of farmyards it needed it!

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Blast to Banwell 20

A quick blast out today to get the mileage up.  The weather is being kind at the moment, another dry day, a bit overcast and not too windy. Going out to Banwell  via Hewish and making a circuit of it by returning to Weston through Locking.

Fly Tipping

The scourge of the countryside.  This pile of rubbish had been dumped in Silver Moor Lane Puxton right next to the River Banwell.  Vans and commercial vehicles have to pay to take their rubbish to a council tip which is a big incentive to carry on with this practice of antisocial fly tipping.  This photo will be sent off to the local council.
PS.  The bike is mine, definitely not due down the tip yet!

Clocked up 20 miles today, making the total for the week 155, the best weekly total I have done so far.  Must be something I have eaten!

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Went Right in Wendover! 41

Mission accomplished!  After yesterday's failure at finding a certain cafe, did some research before going out with Ordnance Survey maps displayed all over the table.  Think it has been cracked this time.  Went out through Mark towards Wedmore then headed SE at Mudgely (love that name) towards Westhay and two thirds of the way between Wedmore and Westhay found the tea rooms.

Heads and Tails

Leaving Mark, noticed these 'statues' in the grounds of the Hugh Sexey Middle School.  They were not too far from the open front gates and with it being Saturday, thought it safe to pop in and take a picture.  A bronze plaque showed the wicker structure was entitled 'Heads and Tails' and was a joint venture between this school and another local one.  The sign was dated 2003 so 14 years on, this has lasted pretty well.

Sweet's Tea Rooms

This is what I was after yesterday.  The 18 months since the last visit had wiped the memory of the way to get here completely.  Luckily the research prior to today's ride paid off and found it no problem.  Part of the attraction was to check out the cycle racks and they did not disappoint.  Scaffold poles held up by posts provided a good place to hang the bikes from.  Seemed a bit odd, but mine was the only one locked to the bar.  Must be trustworthy round these parts.  Settled for just a mug of tea and it was huge.  I did point out to the lady serving that I wanted to drink the tea, not wash my bike in it.  Good choice of cakes etc which is why this place is popular at weekends with the local riders.

Couldn't resist calling in at the Bay View cafe at Burnham on the way back;  it was quite busy, it being lunchtime, so settled for a mug (normal size).  Covered 41 miles again today, well chuffed with that.

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Went Wrong in Wendover 41

A good day for cycling today, dry, not much wind and a target in mind.  A cafe out near Wedmore that has, I think, some interesting bike racks.  Checked the ordnance survey before leaving, confident in the knowledge of its location.  Over confident perhaps, took the wrong road out of Wedmore and missed it entirely.  Never mind, ended up at the Bay View cafe in Burnham with a plate of beans on toast and a mug of tea.  Day wasn't wasted then.

Road closed

This was on the Wedmore to Mark road (Shouldn't have been here at all really).  Passing several Road Closed signs, wasn't too sure whether it was actually possible to get through.  Never failed yet.  This was no different, there was enough room for a pedestrian or cyclist to get through so did not have to retrace the 2 miles back to Wedmore.

Like it

Leaving Burnham on Sea, full of beans, went to the little local independent cinema to include it on the blog.  With it being school holidays there was a lot of kids and youngsters going in and out of it so not really appropriate to start taking photographs.  Saw this hoarding nearby and had to include it today, just appeals to my sense of humour.  One to put in next year's valentine card?  Perhaps not!

Just under 41 miles today.  Going well this week.  Oh yes, checked the maps and know what went wrong now.  Next time.

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Out with the Old Gits 27

Tuesday, Old Gits day.  12 hardy souls braved the cold wind today and did the normal run to the Caffles Garden Centre at Hewish.  We were joined there by another OG who has been off for 6 months with illness; it was really good to see him.  The weather wasn't too bad to be fair, it just did not warm up at all as the forecasters led us to believe.

Rob's Corner

Rob was one of the founder members of the Old Gits but unfortunately passed away a couple of years ago.  One of Rob's contemporaries, Roy (also passed on), decided to have a stone made to mark this spot, at the top of Max Mill Lane. As this was a favourite stopping place and viewpoint for Rob, fellow members had to drag him away from the gate whenever they stopped.  The stone is engraved with 'Rob's Corner, R.I.P' and a picture of a cycle.  It looked as if a van or lorry had disturbed the stone so several of the living Old Gits repositioned it.  This did prompt a discussion that some form of permanent memorial could be made so that as each of us ride up that big cycle path into the sky, our names could be added to it.  With that thought, we carried on to the tea stop.

Close shave!

On the A370 at Hewish is the garden centre we use as a tea spot.  We normally get off the busy road and cycle the last couple of hundred yards on the footpath.  Today, with a hundred yards to go, there was a traffic accident and the white car pictured failed to see stationary cars in front and hit the rearmost vehicle pushing it onto the pavement; just as myself and Keith were cycling along it. The car actually hit Keith's bike but only enough to push it back a bit. No damage to bike or rider.  Not so fortunate were the drivers of the other vehicles, they both needed an ambulance.  My first thought was that the offender had been using a mobile phone but when I checked the driver and the interior of the car, all I could see was airbags!  A lucky escape for the pair of us, perhaps the memorial we discussed earlier could be placed at this spot!

After tea and toast, we carried on to Weston on a new varied route and the total mileage recorded for yours truly was 27.

Monday, 13 February 2017

Mark Meander 25

Such a different day to yesterday, about 8 degrees warmer though the east wind is still howling over the Mendips.  Forecasters are talking about gales in the west and Wales but nothing like that going on out there.  Out with the Old Gits tomorrow so don't want to overdo it today.


Went out towards Mark, on the Somerset Levels, and the weather was not too bad at all.  Just got the one picture today (couldn't get the bike in it) new born lambs in a field near to the village of Mark.  Missed out on photos of a little egret and a grey heron, they will insist on clearing off when I stop near them.

Covered 25 miles today.

Sunday, 12 February 2017

By train to Nailsea 32

Another chilly day with a strongish easterly wind.  Did not fancy cycling into that for any distance so elected to catch the train to Nailsea and ride home with the wind behind for at least the majority of the way.  At the same time, it was a good opportunity to call and see my daughter and family at Clevedon.  Pausing the GPS between stations is the reason for the straight line seen on the map.  No fiddling, it really was 32 miles covered on the bike.

Weston Station

The train was on time (in all fairness, they normally are) but being the weekend was only a two coach job.  It was fairly crowded  but the bike went on OK.  A family got on at the next stop with a lad in a wheelchair and there was a bit of grumbling about 'all the bikes on here' (there were two) but a little bit of shuffling round soon solved what was a relatively minor issue.

Nailsea Station

Away from Nailsea town centre, the station seems to be in the middle of nowhere.  Not many facilities available and after the train pulled out, the place was deserted.  Still, for just over £4, worth it to keep the wind at bay.

Clevedon Pier

This is only a couple of hundred yards from my daughter's house so couldn't really ride past it without getting a shot of it.  It is a well maintained Victorian Pier, opened in 1869, and was built to receive paddle steamers from Devon and South Wales.  It is the only Grade 1 listed pier in the UK.

Another road closed

Going back to Weston via Yatton and Congresbury, encountered this entering Banwell from Puxton.  Bristol Water messing about on the river again.  Luckily, could get past easy on the footpath which avoided a long ride back to Puxton.

32 miles today, the weekly total is 138, the best of the year so far.