The Sunday Ride Out on July 2nd was another cracker with a variety of roads, some fantastic scenery and great stops. The ride leader was Dale Ingram, and he started with a very entertaining briefing.
Dale started by saying ‘Welcome to the New Forest’ and then he paused. As we were in Dorchester everyone was wondering if he had finally lost the plot and didn’t know where he was. Then he said it again ‘Welcome to the New Forest’ but Dale had to pause again as a late arrival on a noisy bike meant we wouldn’t be able to hear. We were then totally convinced that he had lost it until he said, ‘Welcome to the New Forest and Old Planes Rideout’. Phew! A real relief that our ride leader was still sane!
16 riders had turned up, knowing it was going to be a nice day, although a little cooler than previous weeks as we rode towards our first stop. Thankfully, the possible weather front that might have delivered a thundery shower in the morning never materialised.
The first part of the ride was an excellent opportunity to make good progress through to Blandford, down to Badbury Rings and onto the Cranborne Chase. We then went through Verwood to Matchams Lane and then took the Avon Causeway to the mid-morning stop.
This stop was at Mudeford Quay where coffee and/or ice creams were the order of the day. It was extremely busy but there was plenty of space to park the bikes and most of the group had never been there so that was a bonus. At this location we were joined by a BWAM member who rode with us to the next stop. He was very complimentary regarding our group and the ride out.
After we left our morning stop, we took a leisurely ride through the New Forest, with stunning views especially around Brockenhurst and Rhinefield,. Initially, all the ponies were some distance from the road, but this soon changed, and they took great pleasure in blocking the road and holding up the traffic. We stopped for lunch at the Alice Lisle.
The Alice Lisle is a charming country pub located near Ringwood. It is named after the woman sentenced to public execution by Judge Jeffries after the English Civil War. The pub is nestled in the heart of the New Forest National Park with stunning lake views. The food was delicious, and several riders took advantage of their very popular Sunday Roast.
Concentration was required after lunch as five deer decided to join us on our ride. Richard did well to avoid them when they ran across in front of him and John also did well when one of them decided to double back.
We then made our way towards Salisbury with a fuel stop just after Darrington. This stop had not been planned but Dale thought it would be wise to refuel earlier than planned to avoid getting mixed up with another IAM Group who were also on a ride out and on a very similar route.
After we refuelled, we continued towards Salisbury and joined the A30 at Wilton. This is a great road with sweeping bends and lively overtaking opportunities and was very welcome after the slow (but enjoyable) ride through the forest.
The ride finished at the recently re-opened Compton Abbas Airfield café where there was inside and outside seating overlooking the airfield. Some riders went straight home from here, but a small number stayed and sampled their tea – coffee would have been nice, but they had run out!! No one tried Guy Richie’s beer – ‘Grichie brew’ so that is one for another day.
Thanks to Geoff for being the Tail End Charlie and to all who took part.
It was a great ride with many positive comments from riders and pillions and a lot of fun.