April 9th, 2007

road

First Second Sunday

Today was the first of the bike club's Second Sunday Runs – a regular monthly social ride with a definite leader and destination. But with the programme for the rest of the season already complete, no-one had yet stepped up to lead today's. Hats off to Nick who volunteered at the last minute to guide us to the bacon sandwiches of Yeovil Junction.

Immediately after setting off we were embroiled in a traffic jam of Ashley Heath car boot sale enthusiasts. We made better progress than they did, but it was still painful. And pointless: callmemadam had been there two hours earlier. There were no more bargains to be had.

Once clear, the minor roads of Dorset – Horton, Witchampton, Tollard Royal - were a sheer delight in the warm sunshine. That's what I call a social ride, miles away from cold weather gear and serious A31 congestion. This year's first ride in me leathers, and first descent of Zig Zag Hill, officially Britain's twistiest road.

Much of the route was familiar but Nick knew an excellent back road from Sherborne to Yeovil via Thornford, Yetminster and Ryme Intrinseca. Why anyone would want to travel on the mundane A30, when for just a few extra miles they could visit these delightful spots, is a mystery. What's more it took us to our destination without passing through the town. Or most of us ... a few SMS messages rounded up the final stragglers including huskyteer.

Yeovil Junction has numerous attractions including a charming steam locomotive that shunts up and down, but the buffet was closed. As were Pen Mill station's on the other side of the town, and the Sherborne establishment. Having left quite a few by the wayside, at this point we final four hardcores headed South via Cerne Abbas for guaranteed coffee at Dorchester's Top O'Town. At home I rounded off a suitably relaxing Easter day with Robert Aldrich's Flight Of The Phoenix – a favourite since I saw it at the Embassy, Chesham in 1965.