Tuesday, 24 April 2018

14 Old Gits on the Banwell run. 27

It'sTuesday so it must be Old Gits Day.  Doing the 'normal' route today which is out to Banwell, Winscombe and Sandford before refreshments at Caffles at Hewish.


Banwell village is a real bottleneck for traffic, especially at peak times, as the main road can only take single line traffic through a narrow section of the old part of town.  We avoid this by going round the back of the village on quiet country roads away from the hustle and bustle.  Until this morning.  It was like the M1 and this works lorry was not helping the traffic flow at all.

Coming off the Strawberry Line

Eleven of the fourteen Old Gits went down the Strawberry Line today between Winscombe and Sandford. This is some of them on the approach to Puxton Lane.  A lovely ride down there, I gave it a miss as, despite it being dry, this is where I had a puncture last week so I used the alternative road way.  As fate would dictate, one of the riders had a thorn puncture his tyre today.

After tea and toast, it was back to Weston, four of us taking an alternative way through Sand Bay.  Not a bad day today, rain was expected but never materialised and the strongish wind was only a nuisance going back along the prom.  27 miles clocked today.

Monday, 23 April 2018

Over the Mendips to Cheddar 38

Off to tackle Burrington Combe, a 4 mile 800 foot climb over the north side of the Mendip Hills.  Back down the other side through Charterhouse and Cheddar Gorge with a battle into the wind back to Weston via Axbridge and Bleadon.   Met another Old Git, Andy, for this one.  Couldn't do Burrington in one go, had to have a couple of stops, well worth the effort though with stunning views from the top.

St Hugh's Church Charterhouse

Charterhouse is a small hamlet on top of the Mendip Hills near Cheddar.  This is the local church.  There is an activity centre here and in days of yore, lead mining was extensive near here. The mounds of spoils can still be seen.  There are also caves here, believed occupied in the Neolithic era.

The Lion Rock Tea Rooms

Spotted this at the end of zooming down Cheddar Gorge.  A tea room with a special offer for old age pensioners! A drink and a scone for £2.95.  Went in and it was a very chintzy place, all retro around the 40s and 50s.  A big pot of tea, china cups and a very nice warm scone.  A kick in the teeth was jam or cream was a £1 extra.  Have to make a profit somehow.

Tea and cake

With Andy tucking into a scone each.  The waitress knew of the Old Gits, as a Westoner,  she had seen us around the town.  Fame at last.

Hard work today but worth the effort. Covered just over 38 miles today.

Saturday, 21 April 2018

In the sun and rain to Burnham 20

Got a little errand to do in Burnham today so what better way to do it than include a ride in the job.  It was actually delivering a cheque and with it tucked down my cycling top started to worry a bit when it started raining.  Didn't want to hand over a soggy mess at the office.  Luckily the sun came out and was only a bit damp when it was handed over.  Just a slight deviation on the usual way down to Burnham and a change of scenery at refs time;  went to the Chatterbox cafe in the town rather than the Bay View Cafe.  Rode back in the sunshine which was a bonus and the 20 miles took the weeks total to just under 134.  Going well.

Friday, 20 April 2018

9 Old Gits go to Wrington 41

With 8 other Old Gits, had a bit of a 'training day' out to the east of Weston.  Surprised how chilly it was, especially first thing, as a west wind seemed to whistle off the sea.  Cloudy at first it took some time for the cloud to burn off, but by about 11.30 it did get less chilly.

Mother Hen Tea Room 

We like this tea stop.  Cycle friendly, good home made cakes and a cheerful owner makes this a preferred stop if we are out this way.  Left Weston and got onto the Strawberry Line at Sandford and went through to Yatton.  Surprised on the first section how many potholes had appeared over the winter and not that easy to spot due to the nature of the surface.  From Yatton cut across to Wrington and the tea stop.  A bit remiss of us not warning the lady we were coming, the 9 of us almost filled the cafe.

The Strawberry Line.

Used this short section to get from Sandford to Winscombe.  It does cut out a fairly steep climb but it can cause punctures as I found out to my cost.  Picked up a thorn so had to stop and change the tube.  Luckily the lads were very good and chipped in and made it almost a Formulae One change.  Sorry the photo is a bit fuzzy, took it whilst riding along!

Another good day out.  Covered 41 miles today.

Thursday, 19 April 2018

The 3 Cyclists meet at Stoneleigh 23

In Leamington for a couple of days so the 3 cyclists can meet up.. Due to other commitments, Mick wasn't able to ride this morning so the other two tailored their ride to meet up with Mick at the Farmers Cafe at the NAC at Stoneleigh at 10.30.  That worked fine.  Met Graham at his house and went out through Cubbington to Bubbenhall, Baginton and circled round the show ground  to go past the Abbey to the cafe.  Then took a direct road back to Leamington.

The Token

Time to hand over the token again after Graham paid for tea and cake today.  As Mick was not in the appropriate clothing he was designated official photographer.  My turn next then, and as the others are coming down to Somerset in May, I could take them to the 99p tea and toast place.  A plot is forming!  Note the blue socks, a present from Mick, sport relief socks to be worn during 2018 in aid of the BBC charity.  Note also shorts and short sleeve tops, first time this year.

Stoneleigh Abbey

This was taken down the rear drive looking toward the bridge over the River Avon. A very picturesque way to gain entrance to the estate.

The Parade Leamington Spa

Looking north with the Town Hall on the right (note the statue of Queen Victoria outside) and the shops on the left.  Notorious for traffic problems in the past, the main road through the town is fairly traffic free due to sensible routing of other roads.

A cracking day for the weather, and an enjoyable ride along roads we don't often use.  Clocked 23 miles today.

Monday, 16 April 2018

Over the hill to Winscombe 29

Chickened out this morning, was going to wear shorts but went outside first and thought the better of it.  The promise of warmer weather hadn't quite reached Weston super Mare so reverted to the usual full length leggings.  Wise decision as it happens, the wind was a lot chillier than anticipated.  Rode out through Banwell through  Puxton to Churchill where it joins the A38 trunk road.  Heading south from there is a 300' hill which is good practice for the future.  Turned back through Winscombe and just before Banwell, called in at the garden centre for refreshments.  Tea and toast (with jam) cost 99 pence. Unbelievable.  I queried the price as it was so cheap and the cafe offers a discount if you are a 'green' traveller.  Cyclists obviously qualify so fair play to them.

Covered 29 miles today, nothing photographically exciting out there unfortunately, although the hedges and verges were a possibility.  Will keep looking at them.

Saturday, 14 April 2018

Easy one to Burnham 25

No pressure today, an easy ride down to Burnham taking the usual route.  Certainly a lot warmer lately and this is evident with the amount of greenery bursting through on the hedgerows and grass verges.

Another tea spot

Spotted this the other day in Apex Park in Burnham.  Tucked away in a corner, hadn't noticed it before.  A large cup of tea was £1 and all sorts of cake, burgers and butties were on offer.  Just have the tea today.  The cafe itself is an American caravan from the 1950s and was imported over here.  It has been done up and is now a family run catering business.  A good place to go, and certainly in the summer months, to be able to sit outside will be a bonus.

Just over 25 miles takes the weekly total over the 100.  Job done.