Welcome to another cycling blog from the saddle of Bro. Mike Norton (Secretary of the SMCA)
We were blessed with a splendid morning of warm sunshine for this month’s SMCA group ride. Ray Guthrie volunteered to plan the route this month and of course he didn’t disappoint and came up with a fantastic Scenic, historic and definitely challenging in places ride. Sadly only five of the group made it this month with sick notes ranging from ‘tweaking something while Disco dancing’ and blisters . Speaking from experience, runners who wear badly fitting shoes suffer the agony of De-feat…..
We started our ride at Radstock which is on the National Cycle Network, route No 24 to be precise, which runs from Bath through Radstock, Frome, Warminster and Salisbury where it joins Route 23 at Eastleigh in Hampshire. After we left Radstock we cycled out on the old railway line to Shoscombe, after a short ride on minor roads we came through Wellow where the route rejoins the course of the old railway line. At Midford we were met by the PGM and his good lady wife, after a few photos and a chat we continued. A little further along we left the cycle path and dropped down into Tucking Mill and through the grounds of Monkton school to join the Kennet and Avon canal at the Dundas aqueduct. Then we went via the canal towpath to Bathampton where we stopped for Coffee. Following our break we headed along the tow path towards the centre of Bath for a spot of sightseeing checking out the Georgian splendour of Bath, we cycled along Great Pulteney Street, leading on to the famous Pulteney Bridge now closed to vehicles but not bikes! No SMCA ride can be complete without a photo of a Masonic Temple so we made a little detour for a photo.
After the city diversion the route returned to the canal towpath. Crossing the bridge over the river we then pick up the two tunnel’s route back to Midfofd then on to Radstock. It was a steady but not a difficult climb out of Bath. The route has a good number of story boards along the way detailing the building of the original railway and subsequent history. The ride was just shy of 27 miles with just over a thousand feet of elevation and took us about 3 hrs of riding time.
We have not fixed a date for the next group ride but there will be one in October and further details will follow. I will also be looking to arrange a Zoom call to discuss the proposed ‘Tour de Temples’ in the Spring. If anyone has any ideas for rides or events just pop an email to me or post on Whats App. Hope to see you on a bike or in the lodge soon.