Friday, 8 October 2010

RIDING IN THE PURBECKS.


Since my last posting when I managed a 23 mile ride to Swanage and back I have moved along a bit. First I managed a 30 mile loop including the good old 'hill of death'. I didn't manage it at my normal pace but I did manage to grind my way to the top. Today I achieved a 40 mile circuit in the Purbecks including hills. I am pretty pleased with this as it was only FIVE weeks ago that I finished the treatment and I only got back on a bike THREE weeks ago.The ride today was completed at an average speed of just a whisker under 15mph over the 40 mile route. Now don't get me wrong this was NOT easy. I found the ride far more difficult than I would normally have found it before this cancer thing but at least I did it. In the future if I suggest going for a ride to someone and they say something along the lines of  'I need a bit of practice first as I am a bit off the pace' I will just laugh . I can tell them what 'off the pace' feels like and if I can achieve today's ride after what I have been through then they must be using it as an excuse to avoid making the effort!!

One of the good things about a cycle ride in the countryside is that you see things that you might miss if you were in a car. Not only that - but you can just stop and take a closer look - no need to worry about parking.
Today I saw the above small memorial in the hills near Creech and got off the bike to investigate further.
Apparently in 1940 it was felt that the Germans would invade England as they were close to the French coast. Winston Churchill had the idea of forming a special force that would hide themselves around the country and if an invasion took place this force would be activated.This was NOT like 'Dads Army' this force was highly secret. The force was called The GHQ Home Forces and was divided into seperate Auxillary Units. The memorial I stopped at was in memory of a local unit nicknamed The Creech Barrow Seven.
All members of this special force were highly trained in Gueirilla warfare - sabotage and demolition. They would certainly have caused the Nazis a lot of trouble if they had landed. Nationally there were 2600 men in the force all sworn to secrecy under the official secrets act.
The Creech Barrow Seven had their operational and observation post located in nearby Kilwood Coppice close to where the memorial stone is situated. The stone was erected on the 10th April 2010.

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