Saturday, 22 July 2017

Churchill and Rickford 36

On last week's Great Weston Ride, passed a very interesting photogenic building at Rickford near Burrington.  This building has been displayed on a few photos promoting North Somerset and is well worth looking at.  That is the mission for today as well as getting some bits of hills in ready for the Myton Hospice Challenge in August.  Almost cancelled today when it poured with rain just when it was time to leave, but the longer range forecast was for showers rather than the heavy stuff that appeared, so worth the risk.  Went out through Puxton, Sanford and onto the A38 at Churchill.  Turned round at Rickford and climbed part of the Mendips (reached 350') before descending back to Sanford, Banwell and back to Weston.


The village of Rickford is very close to Burrington Combe where there is evidence of occupation since Neolithic times, the Bronze Age and Roman periods.  The building I was after was a 19th century Methodist chapel which has since been converted into a Masonic Lodge.  A stream has been managed to form a small lake on the east side of the building.

The Pantry at Winscombe

With a bit of climbing, and 25 miles on the clock, it was time to stock up.  Have seen this little tea room in Winscombe a few times now so best give it a try.  A nice little place, in a converted house by the look of it, they did a nice beans on brown bread toast and tea that went down very well.  Sat outside and polished it off and finished just as it started raining.  By the time the waterproof top was on, it had stopped!

Dear Council.........

Reaching the outskirts of Weston, joined the excellent network of cycle paths that lead through the town.  One downside is, the maintenance of them leaves (pun not intended) a lot to be desired in some places and this is an example.  At this time of year, brambles are stretching themselves all over the place and at face height, can cause quite bad scratches if not avoided.  If reporting problems to the council they do ask for photographs.  I think this one will do.  The bush in the foreground is a dog rose, another plant with nasty thorns on.

Clocked up 36 miles today, a few over the 100 target.  Job done and stayed dry throughout.  Got back in time to see the Tour de France as well, with Froomey all but securing the 'maillot jaune'.

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Taking Tommy to Brean Down 12

A bit of an easy day today.  Taking Tommy, one of the grandsons over to Brean Down to show him the new cycle path that has been created between Weston and the National Trust Brian Down.  As the crow flies it is just over a mile from my place to Brean Down, 6 miles on the new track and 9 miles by road.  The River Axe is the problem splitting the two areas down the middle but the opening of the new path recently has changed all that.

Brean Down

Owned by the National Trust, Brean Down is the last bit of the Mendips where they meet the sea.  A good place to walk if you don't mind climbing up 300' of steps to get to the top.  Excellent views all round if you do.

Brean Sands

Stretching for 3/4 miles from, in the north Brean Down and in the south, Burnham on Sea this a popular place for tourists.  Tommy and I decided to ride back towards Brean itself along the beach.  The first photo is looking south from the beach towards Burnham.  The second, looking back towards north and Brean Down.  The sand was nice and firm and was not too bad to ride on.

We rode back to Weston back on the new cycle trail once we got off the beach.  We covered 12 miles today.

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Old Gits in Reverse 24

Old Gits day and today it is meet at the north end of the prom and cycle the reverse route to normal.  Stopping at Caffles for tea and vittles the remainder of the ride is out through Puxton and Banwell to Weston.  Good forecast today, certainly no wet weather gear required.

In the poly tunnel

For some reason Caffles had put the tables and chairs in a net poly tunnel that stores all the hanging baskets. Very salubrious surroundings for our tea and cake.  Spent a good hour in there chinwagging before setting off again.

Silver Moor Lane

Two of the Old Gits making their way to the little climb at the end of the lane.  There was a mishap later when one of the riders collided with a bollard in the middle of a cycle path.  An ambulance checked him out and a bruised knee (and stinging nettle rashes) were the worst injuries.  He made it home, albeit slowly in one piece.

An enjoyable ride out, in good weather.  24 miles covered.

Monday, 17 July 2017

Usual to Burnham on Sea 30

After that heroic effort yesterday, a little bit of a gentle trip down to Burnham is the order of the day.  Nice and warm this afternoon, and not much wind. Perfect.  Took a couple of diversions to push the mileage up a little bit and ended up doing just over 30miles. Not bad after the Great Weston Ride and surprisingly, felt pretty good.  Out with the Old Gits in the morning so that was a little taster.  Should be no problems at all.  Called in the Bay View Cafe for a cup of tea, ordered it and then asked the lady to hold fire as I wasn't too sure if I had any money with me.  I hadn't!  Another customer kindly offered to pay for it but I had to refuse.  Wasn't that desperate for a drink.  Some folks are kind.  Meandered home via Uphill nature reserve.  No photos today unfortunately, nothing out of the ordinary or photogenic popped up today

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Great Weston Ride 60

A big day today.  Together with five other Old Gits, we tackled the Great Weston Ride, a charity event in aid of prostate cancer.  The ride runs from Bristol to Weston Super Mare, is quite hilly at first, rises over the Mendip Hills, reaching 899 feet, and dropping down the other side to the Somerset Levels and on to Weston Super Mare.  All in all cracking, well organised ride with, I think, over a 1000 riders, and organised rest stops and somehow, the organisers magicked up some decent weather.


A small matter of getting riders from the Weston area to Bristol.  A coach was laid on (for a fee of course) and vans to transport the bikes.  This is the unloading part at the Park and Ride near Bristol which was the start.  All done professionally with cardboard petitions between each bike when loaded. 

And they are off

A staggered start was the obvious solution to clogging up the roads. Groups of 40/50 were released every 5 minutes or so.  This is waiting for the off.

First Rest Stop

This was at the Burrington Arms, an inn at the bottom of Burrington Coombe, a steep climb up to the top of the Mendips.  Toilet, water and tea and coffee were all laid on as well as a mechanic on hand to check any problems.  Good job as my back tyre was down in pressure which was soon pumped up  before we set off.

Burnham on Sea

The second stop was in between Wedmore and Mark on the Levels. Again, free tea and some delicious cakes (for a price) supplied by members of the PTA of the school that hosted the venue.   Although there was a bit of a headwind from the west, it was a reasonable ride back through Burnham on Sea (this is us having a final 5 minute break) and on to Weston and a medal each.  The ride itself was a fraction over 58 miles but I did a couple of miles on top to reach a target that I have had in my sights for 4 years now.  60 miles (a 100 K sounds much better) and it was a satisfying feeling to have finally done it.  Well done me!

A really good day, made better by other riders shouting, "Come on you Old Gits" as they overtook us.

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Out to Walton and Wellesbourne

A trip to Leamington means a trip out with mates if they are around.  Graham was willing and able today so met up with him in Leamington and went out through Barford to Wellesbourne and through the Walton Hall estate before returning back through Bishops Tachbrook.  It was a nice quiet day, quite warm and not too strong a wind.  No need for waterproofs either.
You can see more stats on this ride at

The Airfield Cafe

Spoilt for choice at wellesbourne, there is a little cafe in the centre of town or the one at the Airfield to the west of the town.  Guess where we chose today.  It is under threat at the moment with developers circling as much as the aircraft and hopefully the legal battles that are raging over whether the place should be sold and built on.  Hopefully, common sense will prevail over the greed for profit and the airfield and the small businesses it supports will long continue.

A nice ride out today, covered just under 28 miles.

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Old Gits on the usual route 24

The usual Tuesday morning ride with the Old Gits club.  Nothing too exciting today, just the normal route through Banwell and Sanford.  The rain that was forecast did not materialise, so that was a bonus.  11 riders turned out today, some in wet weather gear which wasn't needed although it did start to rain briefly at the end.  The normal stop at Caffles at Hewish for tea and toast, and only had to pay for the toast as one of the Old Gits had a birthday and the teas were on him.

Rob's Corner

Named after one of the founder members of the Old Gits CC who has since passed away, this junction, at the top of Max Mill Lane near Banwell, has been named after him because this was one of his favourite stopping places and would stand and look over the gate at the view whilst waiting for the stragglers to catch up.  It was noticed that a stone with his name on has become a bit overgrown so that will have to be cut back.

Another 24 miles under the belt.