Treasure Hunt by Liz and Ken, Sunday ride by Clem

Saturday Ride by Liz & Ken Sunday Ride by Clem

Nine camping units assembled at Holmsley campsite in the New Forest during the course of Friday afternoon and evening in preparation for 2 days cycling on the tracks and lanes.

Saturday morning dawned overcast and dri ly but, undaunted, 9 tandems and 2 solos set off in good time for the day’s ride after being joined by another couple who travelled down for the day. Within the first 5 miles the group had suffered 3 punctures, and we hadn’t even started on the forest tracks yet. This rather set the scene for the rest of the weekend; indeed we quickly lost count of the total number that we all accumulated. Along the first track of the day another incident occurred. We were riding along the old railway track approaching an old bridge area riding 2 abreast with Keith and Jane. We knew that the area was sandy so warned them as we approached. Unfortunately on the descent after the little rise our front tyre dug into the deeper sand and took us over towards the other tandem. For a brief moment Keith managed to hold on to his tandem but with the two of us (definitely not lightweights) leaning heavily on them, he didn’t stand a chance and we all four subsided fairly gently to the ground. Fortunately the sand gave a relatively soft landing but it did take some clearing out of the transmission. We managed a more thorough clean up at the coffee stop at Station House a few miles further on. Here Barbara and Malcolm joined us from their base in Sway. Next stop was lunch in Lymington near the quay where we met up with Tim, Anne and Brendan. For the afternoon ride we had planned a treasure hunt for those that wanted to participate which took a pleasant route back to the campsite starting off along the coast through Keyhaven and Milford on Sea. It was quite hard for everyone to keep their question sheets from getting soggy as the rain kept up for most of the afternoon. Mick and Rose kindly made space in their awning for everyone to enjoy tea and cakes on their return. The treasure hunt trophy was awarded to Neville and Tricia who were clear winners by 2¼ points. Unfortunately the planned barbeque had to be abandoned due to the inclement weather and some made use of the takeaway at the campsite shop. We all turned in quite early, hoping for better weather on Sunday.

It rained a lot during Saturday night and in the morning Clem’s tent was very close to several enormous puddles (and his car was in the middle of one). Fortunately the rain had blown through and the sun was shining, which was a much better way to start the day. Tents were packed away, having dried out well in the fresh breeze and we were all ready to leave as planned at ten o’clock. Clem had planned a lengthy route with lots of forest tracks, but unfortunately the still damp gravel put paid to those plans once we hit the tracks. After 7 punctures (in a total of 7 miles) on the lovely track from Burley up to the Canadian Memorial at Mogshade Hill we had got to plan F. This meant we headed straight down the road past the Portuguese Fireplace through Emery Down to Lyndhurst, where we had a very good lunch in the pub. After lunch we did more of the pretty tracks through the inclosures and across the Rhinefield Ornamental Drive. The ford on the track which we were warned could be impassable after wet weather was disappointingly dry, and shortly after we rejoined the road and rode into Brockenhurst where the watersplash lived up to its name. After a pleasant stop for tea and the purchase of new inner tubes it was a further 8 or so miles of mostly tracks back to the campsite.

Thanks to all that joined us for a very pleasant weekend, it was a very sociable weekend despite the weather with lots of opportunities to chat while all the punctures were being fixed!

Saturday ride approx 38 miles, Sunday ride approx 30 miles.

*****Report by Liz

Saturday - gathering at the campsite - Photo by Tricia

Sunday - In the New Forest - Photo by Neville

Cycling at last - Photo by Neville

Riding through the forest - Photo by Neville

The first puncture stop - Photo by Dave

Lazy Mark - Photo by Dave

Regrouping - Photo by Dave

Now where are we going? - Photo by Dave

The Needles - Photo by Dave

Grumpy Old Men! (or is it Three Wise Men?) - Photo by Dave

The Treasure Hunt Winners - Photo by Dave

Sunday - Ready to start - Photo by Christopher

Double puncture stop - Photo by Dave

Waiting - Photo by Dave

And another puncture - Photo by Dave

Relaxing - Photo by Dave

Tim and Anne - Photo by Dave

Neville and Tricia - Photo by Dave

More punctures - Photo by Mark

Sunday - leaving the campsite - Photo by Mark

Road! - Photo by Mark

Jake - Photo by Mark

At the Cafe - Photo by Henry

090711 - Saturdays Ride

090712 - Sundays Ride

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