I’m ‘relaxing’ for a week in Dorset so I’ve naturally brought 2 unis with me. Having had a few unsuccesful rides on my new Coker (first painful UPD; first high-speed, unable to run-out UPD and losing the bike computer on a night ride) I thought things would get better away from the big smoke! kind of…
I set off the long way (7 miles) while my mother walked the short way to Ringstead, where we would summon the others to drive us back. I left Chaldon Herring in sunshine and by the time I had confused & then terrified some lambs I had reached the clifftops in cloud, with visiblity varying between 10 and 50 metres. the quality of bridleway varied from big lumps of flint & chalk to thick grass to hard-packed mud so a good, challenging variety.
At one rest I chatted to a pair of walkers who seemed to be a little gullible. when asked about the uni I replied that I had got rid of the training wheel. The response was “oh, I didn’t realise that’s what they were.” Now, these people were in their 50’s and must have seen a few bikes in their time. Will they really think that ALL bikes are just trainers for unis??? I do hope so! As I continued the occasional figure loomed through the clouds like ghosts, almost right infront of me. I took a lovely photo of Scratchy Bottom, with Bat’s Head & Portland Bill behind. I would post it here but you can just imagine it - green grass falling away, with no visible path, and then after 15 metres 15% grey! I then needed some swift & fancy talking to a stern=faced woman as I was about to climb a heavily barbed gate, after 2 ‘private - no trespassing’ signs I had passed to get closer to the cliff, as I knew if i went too far inland it would be a lengthy diversion back.
After The White Nothe (as in nose) the path was well-worn single-track, heavily rutted by walkers. in places the path was shoulder-width and the ‘potential falling zone’ less than 2 metres wide, with barbed wire fence on one side and a vertical drop of up to 200 metres on the other (hidden by clouds!) certainly focused the mind when you’re perched on a Coker!
After a cup of tea we went onto the beach. it was so cold none of us could stay for more than 5 minutes. I’m now in a thatched cottage with a roaring log fire and a bottle of wine - lovely!
here’s to more rides (in nicer weather) later in the week!
P.S. - the walker (who did 2 or 3 miles less) was faster by a half a cup of tea. New 170’s very nice on the Coker (I think that the q-factor may me a bit high, and with a wide hub may be too much for me), will try 127’s (on a different route!) later