Monday, 12 November 2012

Dorset Backpackers late Autumn meet......

Good Weather for a Mini Cycle Tour
The weather on Friday was ideal for setting off on a weekend of cycle touring as the picture above taken from the end of my road shows. 
The plan was to set off north to Alderholt near Fordingbridge and meet up with other members of the Backpackers Club for the Dorset Groups late Autumn meet...Some members would be walking and others would be cycling to the first nights camp which was based in the grounds of a garden centre... 
The Cycling Weather Continues....
 I mentioned on this blog a couple of weeks ago that I had been looking for an ideal route for escaping the Bournemouth area when travelling north from my home...
I had worked out what seemed to be a good route but as a last minute thought I checked on my Garmin to see the route to Alderholt that it would select....
Well it came up with almost the identical route that I had taken so long in searching out... 
Pity I hadn't just left it to the Garmin in the first place as it would have saved me a lot of time... 
As I followed the Garmin's instructions and headed north the good cycling weather continued...
Autumn Colours
The route was reasonably traffic free....
I chose a nice steady cadence which gave me a solid average speed of 15.2 mph which after the type of riding that I have spent most of the year doing was a really enjoyable change of pace...
There is something really nice about cycling along on a fully loaded touring bike...it's a good solid feel to the ride and I had plenty of time to take in all the Autumn colours. 
The route took me over lightly rolling roads between open fields as well as hedge lined country lanes.....
Leaves on the Tent.....Autumn Camping
I was first to arrive at the campsite and had put up my tent and changed out of my cycling kit before Graham Faithfull arrived.....
Graham had walked to the site from Fordingbridge having caught a bus from Bournemouth. 
The last time we camped at this site Graham had walked from Bournemouth, but on this occasion lack of time had meant him resorting to a spot of public transport....Graham and I chatted for about half an hour catching up on club news. 

Before long Mike and Chris arrived on their bikes with their fully colour coordinated  panniers and bar bags. 
Not long afterwards John,Brian and Jill walked in and then a little later Peter arrived on his touring bike and fully covered in the brightest hi-viz jacket and helmet cover any of us had ever seen....It was so bright that my camera was unable to record the brightness of it all... 
After cooking a meal we then headed off a mile down the road to the pub where we spent the evening... At the pub we also met up with long standing club members Lynette and Tony.......
Mikes New Kask Helmet...
During the night as the weather forecast had promised we had some heavy rain -  but again as promised, by morning the rain had stopped and there was a promise of another good day... 
Most of us headed to the Sticky Bun Cafe which is on the Garden Centre site and launched in to a full English breakfast. 
While we were having breakfast Howard, another club member arrived. Howard was unable to camp over with us due to a recent operation but he had decided to drive over and have breakfast with us all and catch up with everyone..... 
After an hour the walkers had to set off to the Saturday nights camp stop which was at Holt a few miles outside of Wimborne....The cyclists  on the other hand had plenty of time for more talking and more coffee......
Chris modelling her new Kask helmet..

Plenty of time for chatting.....

Still chatting- It's taken an hour to drop that tent.....

Colour Coordinated Couple Mike and Chris. They need to swap jackets to perfect the  look !!
 Due to all the talking it took the cyclists ages to break camp....So much to catch up on. It wasn't until way past lunch time before everyone was ready to head off to the next stop....
The walkers needed about five hours to walk there but for the cyclists about and hour should do it, so there was absolutely no pressure at all to push on...
At last!....Talking done and now heading off
 Peter and I were the last to leave and as thought the short hop only took us an hour.....
The Saturday night camp had been arranged in the grounds of a B&B in Holt. As we rode up the road towards the venue we passed the walkers....
So after all that talking and leaving about four hours after them  we still arrived just ahead of them....
Oh the beauty of the Velo machine..!! 

It had been arranged that Kimberly who runs the B&B would provide us with an evening meal and also breakfast on the Sunday morning.....John had arranged the beer and a great Saturday evening was had by all....good conversation and good friends...... What more could one ask for....? 
Sunday morning - Frost on the tents

After a cold night - Frost on the tents
 It was a cold night as could be seen by the frost covered tents on the Sunday morning but as everyone was an experienced backpacker with all the right equipment a cosy night had been enjoyed by all....
We had a nice breakfast provided again by Kimberly, more chatting and then all too soon it was time for everyone to go their separate ways......
My Loaded Tourer - Also colour coordinated just not as bright as Mike and Chris- My choice a tasteful silver grey and black.
Tents were dropped and everything was packed into panniers and backpacks....I loaded my bike and like the day before, Peter and I were the last to leave.....
All too soon the weekend trip was over...

Not a great distance covered....The emphasis was more about meeting up with old friends....having a couple of nights away in our tents and using our touring bikes or our walking boots. 
It's quite surprising how, if you don't use your tent for a while, you can forget the quickest way to erect it.......
The next Dorset group event is fixed for mid January.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Looks like you had a great time. Wish we could get away for a short break. Changed the dressing on DH ' s hand and despite the stitches , it still isn't healed . Against my advice he tried cycling yesterday and I think that's why it started bleeding again
Brenda in the Boro
www.cyclinginthesixthdecade.Wordpress.com

Marsha said...

Makes me want to pack my bike and hit the road...

anniebikes said...

It sounds like a perfect weekend.

Paul said...

Riding,camping,friends and beer! Doesn't get any better than that.

John said...

The style of tent your using, is it only one pole? This sounds like a very enjoyable simple way to get into short/lightweight camping, something I've never actually done.

Trevor Woodford said...


*Brenda* *Marsha* *Anniebikes* *Paul*

It was a great way to spend an autumn weekend...I hope that this makes you want to get out for a camping weekend yourselves....

*John*
Yes...the tent only has one central pole..however there are a couple of short carbon poles at each end to maintain the height...The tent is a four season Hilleberg Akto and is Swedish..