Beating the Bounds of Dorset – Part 2

Burton Bradstock back to Hurn – 178km or 110 miles with 2100 meters of ascent.

I had planned to ride the two parts on consecutive days but it was raining (!) so I delayed a day.  This also gave us a chance to recover.

Leaving Burton Bradstock I met up with Steve in Bucky Doo Square in Bridport  and we set off into the Marshwood Vale to Whitchurch Canonicorum.

The South Western limit was Charmouth  (half of Lyme Regis is in Devon) and we rode up to Monkton Wyld to follow the border along the B3162 and down to Drimpton and on to Mosterton and Cheddington.

On the Dorset border

On the Dorset border

This is very much our home patch. One of the great things about planning rides is that new lanes are discovered. The next section from Cheddington to Halstock was along a lane we hadn’t ridden before.  The views down into the headwater of the Rye which flows into Sutton Bingham reservoir were magnificent.  It was also downhill which ensures that we will return!

Quiet traffic free lanes brought us down to Evershot and then after crossing the busy A37 we headed north to Bradford Abbas and into Sherborne where it was definitely lunch time.

Empty roads on the way to Evershot

Empty roads on the way to Evershot

Steve is something of a connoisseur on cafes and he made an excellent choice with The Pear Tree which I can thoroughly recommend.

The Pear Tree

The Pear Tree

Not quite half way yet as we rode on the A30 for a while before heading North, again on virtually traffic free lanes and quite flat towards Cucklington.  Here there is a steep hill that unexpectedly rears up to 16% before levelling off again, flying over the busy A303 and into Bourton our most northerley point.

Bourton our most northerley point

Bourton our most northerley point

We still had 70km to ride and we continued on B roads through Gillingham up the big hill into Shaftesbury where we  had a look at the famous Gold Hill from the top.

Gold Hill

Gold Hill

We continued to Zig Zag Hill.

Zig Zag Hill

Zig Zag Hill

This famous mile-long stretch of the B3081, between Cann Common in Dorset and Tollard Royal was next on the agenda. The hill is only 10% and it is very beautifully wooded as it twists and turns though its 5 hairpins. It is dubbed as Britain’s bendiest road with more hairpins in a mile long stretch than any other road in the country.

It continues to ascend all the way up to Donhead before a wonderful 6 km descent through magnificent trees to Tollard Farnham.  We crossed the busy A354 Salisbury to Blandford Road before going through Gussage All Saints and Gussage Saint Michael and the very pretty village of Wimborne St Giles.  We were now back in East Dorset with 30km to ride. Cranborne was our last port of call before picking up the busier B3081 through the edge of the New Forest through Verwood and crossing the A31 just west of Ringwood.

At last we were on Hurn Road and the finish beckoned with just 10km back to Hurn.

I was delighted with my new Thorn Audax bike which had performed exactly as I had hoped and I look forward to many more adventures on this bike which I have chosen for its ability to carry me with ease and comfort on long rides.

4 thoughts on “Beating the Bounds of Dorset – Part 2

  1. wellermj

    Great write up, do enjoy reading your posts, I have been thinking of doing longer rides and your posts have been very encouraging. Next step 100k and onwards from there. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Mike

    Fascinating website…It would be nice to hear more about the new bike; tyre size, gearing etc. I’m moving on from a Specialized Globe and am looking for an audax bike with a rack.

    1. Barbara

      I intend to use this bike for Audax events form 100k to 1400k. I tend to ride hilly routes. I also want to do some touring but this will be lightweight (not camping) and I will carry about 12kilograms divided between a handlebar box and 2 rear panniers.

      Firstly this s the link to the Thorn published specification about the bike:

      Click to access Thorn_Audax_Mk3.pdf

      From my view the bike frame is made from high quality steel. I did not choose the carbon fork option as I want the durability of the steel fork.
      I live close enough to Bridgewater to have the bike fitted for me and Thorn staff spent a couple of hours with me when I went to order the bike and another hour fine tuning the fit when I went to collect it. My bike size is 550 medium. My carbon bike is 54cm.

      I chose Gunmetal ‘imron’ with black decals. It looks great! Thorn supply a small amount of touch up paint and suggest nail varnish as an alternative for touch up.

      The transmission is Shimano Deore equivalent 10 speed. 26/36/48 chain set and a 11-36 MTB cassette. It has a Shimano Tiagra road triple front mech and Shimano Tiagra 10 speed STI levers. I did consider bar end shifters but Thorn advised STI’s would be fine for my purposes.

      I had this transmission on my Dawes Galaxy and have not failed to ride up any hill I have encountered so far.

      For reliability and durability as a priority over speed the wheels are hand built black Mavic Open Sport Rims with 32 DB spokes of “proper”, hand

      The hubs are very durable and reliable Shimano Deore sealed MTB hubs

      The tyres are 28mm Panaracer Pasela tyres which have a great reputation for grip, reliability, long life and, most importantly for me comfort.

      Mudguards are fitted as standard.

      I had an accessory bar fitted on the handlebar stem as I like a front box for my bits and bobs and this frees up the handle bar for my Garmin edge and lights.

      I had a very light black Tortec rack fitted.

      I hope that helps.

      I am so far absolutely delighted with my new bike. Thorn provided an excellent ordering and fitting service. Early indications are that the bike is quite fast despite it not being a lightweight. It handles very well and I feel very secure in it. I have climbed some quite long hills with sections up to 20% on it. Average touring speed is about 21kph which is perfect for Audax rides. I haven’t ridden it with loaded panniers yet.

      Good luck with your search for a bike and extending your ride distance.


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