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