Taunton Regional Group

Organisers Contact: Ian and Lisa Warren, Tel: 01823 443889, Email: lisawarren166@btinternet.com

This is a Tandem Club regional group.

Ian and Lisa Warren2020-07-16 20:18:59Taunton
June 2020 2nd Report
June 2020 2nd Report

This was our last zoom Taunton group party and it was my turn to choose the theme.

So, I chose a game where we had to remove our adult hats and put on our kids hats. It was a scavenger hunt. Just incase you didn’t know scavenger hunt is a kids game, where you have to find a said item
. . First item to be found was a wine glass or a beer glass.  So, as you can imagine there was a very quick response to this request!
I think two of the funniest requests were,  a. some cyclists bum cream and b. a pair of the wife’s knickers placed on the chaps head! (I did have a winner for this but wouldn’t want to embarrass him especially as I heard he kept them on for 24hrs.)

It’s been a fun way for us all to stay in touch.
But, I’m thinking, that by now, we are, all of us ZOOMED out.

Liz & James Goodwin

 

Ian and Lisa Warren2020-08-02 18:00:35Taunton
July 2020 Report
July 2020 Report

19th July – socially distanced group tandem ride!

This was our first group ride since the beginning of the New Year and with some restrictions lifted we decided to try out something new.

We would need to socially distance, only 6 people in a group, this meant putting cyclists into pods and sending them off at intervals – no catching up and chatting! A maximum of 12 tandem places were offered for our trial ride.

Maps were issued and leaders for each pod were sure they knew the route which took riders through nature reserves and moors on the Somerset levels.

It was a beautiful day and the reserves and moors looked their summer best. Some riders were pleased with the flat ride, there were wildlife photo opportunities and time to walk the bumpy bits and share news.

The pods worked well, thanks to our guides Malcolm, Isaac and Alex.

We used the Avalon Marshes Centre as our base where we could park, use the facilities and enjoy the café which was well set up with a one way system and tables spread out in the open air to accommodate our social distancing.

Though our group has been in contact on Zoom doing quizzes and Bingo it was refreshing to catch up in person finding out how we spent our time in lock down and speculate on the future. We had 9 tandems and three solos and welcomed new members Nic and Jane.

We enjoyed showing off our corner of Somerset – ‘the north levels’ recently featured on the One Show. There was plenty of information on the area available from the Avalon Marshes representative which may encourage some of us back for a spot of bird watching. In the mean time we were treated to a bee swarm at the information point!

As a trial ride the pods worked well, looking to the future we will need to brush up on our map reading skills as we set the pattern for further meetings.

Rex and Hannah Whitcombe

Ian and Lisa Warren2020-08-16 20:52:09Taunton
August 2020 Report
August 2020 Report

Eighteen cyclists, on 8 tandems and 2 singles, met at Darts Farm, Topsham on Sunday 9th August. It was one of the hottest days of the year but we were off cycling in 3 groups before the heat built up and later there was time to relax and converse in the picnic area with plenty of space. It was impressive that people had travelled so far to be there, most folk from Somerset but special mention to Lisa and Ian who came across from Bournemouth, James who interrupted his holiday at Lydford and also Anita and Andy who cycled in from near Crediton. 

Two of the three groups went south, with staggered start times, to Exmouth on the East side of the Exe Estuary trail including boardwalks and views of the Estuary. The first group, kindly led by Andy and Anita, went straight onto Budleigh Salterton for a coffee stop, picking up the cycle track on the old railway route through farmland and woods. They then went over Woodbury Common, a renowned pebble bed heath, on quiet roads to make a circular route back to Darts Farm. 

The second group, led by Ruth  at the front and James as sweeper, stopped for coffee at the National Trust Farm on the edge of Exmouth. The foresight and generosity of a farmer leaving this farm to the National Trust stopped ribbon development along the East side of the Estuary. The group then cycled onto Budleigh using the same route as group one. After a pause at the seafront, they returned to Darts the same way with less hills than group one though in fact a longer route. 

The third group, led by Liz and Mark (who also planned the overall day), went north through Topsham to Countess Wear then across the Exe onto Exminster. After a short, steep hill to the Exminter golf course, extensive views opened up over the Estuary. Back roads through the countryside were taken down to Powderham Castle then along the Estuary to Starcross. There was welcome coffee and flapjacks at an enterprising coffee trailer in the carpark, then a return on the cycle path past Turf Hotel and under the motorway to Countess Wear. The route was then retraced back to Topsham and Darts.  

All three groups were miraculously back within half an hour of each other. As well as fulfilling social distancing, we reflected on the advantages of these smaller groups of six people. These included making it easier for cars to pass, creating a good social group and helping the role of the leaders with a smaller group to keep together. Thank you everyone for coming to the Exe Estuary on such a hot day, enabling us to share our local and wonderful Exe Estuary trail for the three routes.

Liz and Mark Nicholson

Ian and Lisa Warren2020-10-01 20:29:00Taunton
September 2020 Report
September 2020 Report

On Sunday 20th September a smaller than usual group of the Taunton Tandem Club met at the Bridge Bakery and Café in Langport. 

Ian and Lisa Warren, Andy and Anita Petherick, Rex and Hannah Whitcombe, Len and Gill Hampson, Nick and Rachel Warner were joined by new recruits Mike Dunning and his partner Helen Smith and Andy and Netty Sale.

Due to the Covid restrictions we were unable to ride in one group, so we split into three groups and set off to the all-important coffee stop at Frogmary Green Farm at South Petherton.

The ride took us out from Langport, across the Levels to Muchelney, then from Long Load we took some lanes less travelled to Stoke sub Hamden and then a back road which took us into South Petherton. Len, who designed the route, specialises in obscure, but interesting lanes!

We fuelled up well at Frogmary and enjoyed the lovely sunshine for a while before heading back to Langport via Hambridge and Curry Rivel, enjoying the long downhill stretch from Curry into Langport.  

It was a good, if uneventful day, made even better by the sun and great company of the other tandemers, we all had a good catch up and were met back at the Bridge by John and Judy Beveridge, who seem to be regulars there!

Len & Gill Hampson

Ian and Lisa Warren2020-10-28 20:24:20Taunton
October 2020 Report
October 2020 Report

Well. How do you organise a tandem ride with 12 tandems that can only cycle in groups of three?  Some of them want to be challenged; some of them want to have a leisurely social; some are very fit and young; others are…….less fit and young.

This is how we did it.  Four routes were sent out by email.  They included a printable map showing the routes highlighted on an OS map and a GPX file.  The routes were called the Aliens - dark matter in their legs and fit, the Proletariat - hard working class of cyclist, the Intellectuals - need time to discuss matters, and the Lone Ranger - for the off the wall individual who needs an extreme challenge.  We all met at the lovely Cafe 360 in Bovey and very quickly sorted ourselves out into like-minded groups.  We all cycled up to Moretonhampstead in groups, fastest first and then returned to Bovey by the different routes.

I’m very grateful for the fact that the Taunton Group have a high proportion of good map readers and competent mechanics.  Their navigation skills were called on and everyone rose to the occasion, but no-one could salvage Andy’s car which was sadly collected by the RAC at the end of the ride.  I also want to recommend the OS app. which makes this sort of planning much easier.

I think everyone enjoyed it; I think everyone returned but sadly we weren’t able to have a group hug at the end cos’ of……you know what.

James & Liz Goodwin

 

Ian and Lisa Warren2021-01-03 12:38:06Taunton
December 2020 Report
December 2020 Report

The Taunton Group’s Christmas ride was held on December 13th and started with socially distanced coffee and cake in the gazebo outside Mr Miles Tea Rooms in the High Street in Taunton.
Two groups of 3 tandems set off in different directions. Ian and Lisa had planned four routes but unfortunately the weather forecast was not encouraging and a few couples were deterred. On the day the weather wasn’t too bad – the first group headed out south-west from Taunton through Pitminster and West Buckland while the second group headed out north-west through Bradford-on-Tone and Bishops Lydeard. Upon return to Taunton several couples decided to have lunch and the staff at Mr Miles Tea Rooms obligingly found tables for us. 
The event was great in the circumstances, the two groups didn’t mingle and riding in small groups was quite acceptable, almost feeling normal. This year has been so different and rides have been organised to conform with the current regulations and have proved popular. The trophy for the couple attending the most events organised during the year was awarded to Rex and Hannah.
To include those unable to attend the ride we also held a Zoom Christmas Party on December 18th. Nick and Rachel planned it meticulously with a spectacular simultaneous switch on of Christmas lights, a magnificent firework display (complete with fire alarm!), a game of pontoon, a fancy dress competition and, being the Taunton Group, included community singing culminating in an unusual rendition of ‘Daisy Daisy’ to the tune of Auld Lang Syne (?).
What a year! Many thanks to all those who have supported the Taunton Group throughout this year – and special thanks to those who have agreed to lead rides in 2021.  
Lisa & Ian Warren
 

Ian and Lisa Warren2021-04-22 20:57:04Taunton
April 2021 Report
April 2021 Report

Sunday 18th was the first Taunton Tandem Group ride following the lifting of the latest lockdown.  We were blessed with really sunny dry weather and everyone seemed pleased to be meeting up again.  It proved quite challenging to get the first group to set off, as there was a lot of catching up to be done! There were 9 tandems and 2 solos so we set off at five minute intervals of two twos and two threes (or two sixes and two fours if you prefer!)

We started off in the North Street Car park in Wellington and headed off to Culmstock. There was an unplanned snack and chat in Hemyock, where some groups caught up with each other outside the  public toilet facilities. For the leading group of three, there was also an unplanned stop when one of the electric assist tandem’s chain, became jammed on the hill leading out of Hemyock and Clive and Emma had to withdraw from the rest of the ride. A taxi was phoned, Clive returned to Wellington to get transport and Emma stayed with the bike to await his return. Everyone else managed the steep climb out of Hemyock onto the top of the Blackdowns and enjoyed the spectacular views as we followed the ridge across the top towards Blagdon Hill.

A speedy descent was had by the courageous and there was a choice of routes back to Wellington - either via Bradford-on-Tone and Nynehead - or slightly more directly, via West Buckland (27 and 24 miles respectively). Those that had brought a packed lunch, rendezvous’d in Wellington Park for a socially distanced picnic.  A lovely way to end a great ride.  
Rob & Sally Newberry

Ian and Lisa Warren2021-05-25 13:26:25Taunton
May 2021 Report
May 2021 Report

Despite the weather forecast being less than favourable seven tandems and three solo bikes met at Tiverton Canal Basin for a 25-mile ride. 
We set off in three groups, two starting off down the canal and our group following the disused railway line forming part of NCN 3. All went well until about 6 miles in when Bill’s chain got jammed, after quite a while, and with considerable help from Rachel, our newly appointed technical adviser, they managed to free the chain and carry on for another couple of miles until the same thing happened again. Time to call in the cavalry, our daughter, Zoe, who lives just a few miles away picked Bill and his bike up and took him back to the start. 
We continued on to Bridwell Park for a very welcome hot pasty, cake and coffee. Bill soon joined us and so we said goodbye to Bill and Katherine. We carried on with Nick and Rachel and decided, as the weather was so poor and we were now very late, to cut the ride slightly short and so we had a very pleasant ride back along the canal bank to Tiverton. One advantage of the horrendous weather was the usually very busy canal bank was deserted, that is apart from a couple of runners and the ducks, there was lots of ducks! – every cloud as they say.
The rest of the group had a relatively un-eventful ride, just enduring potholes, puddles and persistent rain. They decided to miss out on the coffee stop and get back asap.
Despite the weather I think everyone had a good ride and were glad they made the effort and came out for the ride; I suspect not many of us would have gone out in those conditions if left to our own devices. 
Thanks to everyone for making the effort to come along, it was so nice to see everyone again after such a long time.
Andy and Anita Petherick

Ian and Lisa Warren2021-07-28 21:13:26Taunton
June 2021 Report
June 2021 Report

Back in February when the only way we could meet was on Zoom and we were all bemoaning the fact that holidays this year might not happen, I happened to suggest that perhaps we should think about a few days camping and cycling. Very quickly the idea took off and before we knew it I had booked for 24 of us to go to Thorney Lakes in Muchelney near Langport, the site of the 2015 TC rally. 
Deliberately we decided to keep the numbers under 30 as we didn’t know what the COVID situation would be by in July and it’s just as well we did as the original freedom day was delayed at the last minute.
The plan was for it to be a very relaxed week with no particular route planned for each day but roughly based on the 2015 rally routes.

On Sunday Taunton TC group’s monthly meeting started from Thorney Lakes and we were joined by some members who were not staying at the campsite. Len and Gill had planned an excellent route to Glastonbury, a town always worth a visit and always an interesting experience.

Monday saw most of us heading off in the direction of Sparkford and Cadbury Castle and a fabulous lunch at Teals farm shop - another route suggestion from Len and Gill with the benefit of some local knowledge of the area.

On Tuesday we decided to do Thursday’s rides, confusing I know but Tuesday’s ride was another trip to Glastonbury so the general feeling was we had only just been there. 
A few of us set off on the medium route but after being disappointed that the cider farm would sell us cake but weren’t doing coffee, Bill and I opted to leave the others here and head to Ilminster for lunch and return through the grounds of Dillington House. Anita, Andy, Michelle and Richard carried on completing the medium but encountered some problems with the route due to localised flooding near Chard and they had to scramble over a fallen tree. Other members of the group had a fabulous day out at Barrington Court.

Wednesday was a rest day and most of us had a look round Langport and enjoy a well-earned lunch.

Thursday we decided to do Monday’s ride (yes I know!!) which took us through Yeovil and on to Sherborne for a picnic lunch at the Abbey. Malcolm had planned a shorter ride and headed off through the lanes to Montacute House.

On Friday we actually did the Friday ride! A short route with a stop at the community cafe in North Curry returning via Langport.

Because of the COVID situation we were unsure just what social events we would be able to have but most nights we managed to have some sort of impromptu gathering. On Monday we had a sing song led by Nick and James, who had both brought along their mandolins. On Tuesday night Malcolm organised a boules competition which was won by Michelle and Richard after a tense final with Clive and Emma. Wednesday night was Tandem Games, the slow race being won by Andy and Anita. On Thursday night we had a socially distanced night out and meal at the local pub, the Wyndham Arms, famous for displaying a very old CTC winged badge at the front of the pub. We celebrated our final night with another gathering, sing song and fire pit.

Considering the recent events we were very pleased with the week. We stayed local, and friends met up for the first time in many months. Unfortunately, new members to our group, Kate and Malcolm had to return home hastily because of flash flooding and Ian and Lisa were not able to join us until Thursday. They had been isolating as a result of being pinged by the app! They were absolutely devastated to have missed most of the week as they had been coordinating the event since March, collating the routes itineraries. 

The highlights of the week for me were the enjoyment of cycling with friends, the willingness of everyone to contribute something to the week whether it was organising rides and social get togethers or supplying tea cake at the end of the rides. Everyone was free to do as many or as few miles as they wanted and our daily mileages varied greatly. Thorney Lakes is a fabulous relaxed campsite with excellent facilities and the most amazing sunsets. Sally and her team looked after us well and we would recommend a visit but just make sure to check the date of their annual Nudefest. Fortunately I had the foresight to check this when booking so we left before the naturists arrived the following Monday!

Katherine and Bill Barnes

Ian and Lisa Warren2021-07-28 21:18:03Taunton
July 2021 Report
July 2021 Report

Eight tandem crews assembled in the drizzle in Glastonbury to head to the coast. We stopped on the Levels at Sweets after just 8 miles where Malcolm and Grace joined us for coffee and cake and Bill who rode with us to Burnham on Sea.
The weather improved as the day went on and we were able to enjoy our picnic lunch on the seafront looking at miles of sand and mud as the tide was out! Dave and Janet joined us and we took the gravel track from the sailing club into Highbridge and back across the Levels for another tea stop at the Avalon Marshes Centre.
We enjoyed the well surfaced track beside the South Drain and old railway track for 3 miles, stopping for a group photo over the Drain and then back into Glastonbury to complete our 38 mile ride.
Clive & Emma Bowyer

Ian and Lisa Warren2021-08-15 20:55:53Taunton
August 2021 Report
August 2021 Report

The August ride started from Darts Farm, Topsham. Initially there was a small, select group of 3 tandems- Lisa and Ian, Maggie and Steve, Mark and Liz. Our numbers did, however, swell through the ride. 
We cycled over the river Clyst on the cycle path to Topsham, then besides and under the M5 to rendezvous with James, our first extra cyclist. 
We crossed the river Exe and went under the M5 again up into Exminster. There was a sharp hill up to the golf course where we turned right and followed undulating, quiet country lanes towards Dawlish. Hedgerows were high but there were occasional glimpses of country and estuary views. We descended down to the Exe Estuary near Dawlish Warren and turned north through Cockwood and Starcross before taking the back route into Powderham Castle. Here Claire and Clive joined us, having cycled down from Exeter, as did Liz who was on dog duty so could not cycle with James. Rain has been threatening but did not materialise so we had coffee and snacks from the Farm Shop sitting outdoors. A fair, following wind helped us cycle back up the estuary on the flat cycle path to Countess Wear where we said goodbye to James. We cycled through Topsham, past the quay, and returned to Darts for a late picnic lunch. Altogether, it was a pleasant day out with great company and all the hills were in the first section of the ride. It was also an inaugural ride for our new “Ruby” tandem and we still had five bars on the battery at the end. 25 miles and over 1,000ft of ascent. 
Liz and Mark Nicholson 

 

Ian and Lisa Warren2021-09-28 20:17:11Taunton
September 2021 Report

The Taunton Tandem Group's September ride followed the Taunton Cycle Trail, which is a route devised and promoted by the Taunton Area Cycling Campaign ('TACC').  TACC works hard to promote safer cycling and the interests of cyclists in the Taunton area.  The route circumnavigates Taunton, mostly on quiet country lanes. 7 tandems and 3 solos joined the ride which started with coffee at Hestercombe Gardens and then stopped for lunch at The World's End at Bradford-on-Tone. We had pre-ordered our lunches and did not have to wait long before the food arrived.  We were soon suitably nourished to continue our ride back to Hestercombe.

It was good to be back cycling as a larger group and meeting people who we had not seen for months! The weather was good and there were no incidents that affected us. We crossed over the M5 twice - the first time the north bound traffic was at a standstill apparently due to a shunt involving several vehicles. Re-crossing a couple of hours later the traffic was still backed up - tandem travel is far less stressful!

After 39 miles we arrived back at Hestercombe but then had a long wait for tea and cake due to staff shortages! However, sitting together and chatting in the sun made it all worthwhile.

Richard and Michelle Miles

Ian and Lisa Warren2021-10-18 20:50:51Taunton
October 2021 Report
October 2021 Report

Twenty-four riders, (including the youngest rider, five-year-old Matilda Warren, with her dad James) on eleven tandems and two “half bikes”  met at Barleymow’s Farm Shop, Chard for the Taunton Tandem Group's October ride.  After a quick coffee and pre-ride chat the group set off down the lanes on the north eastern side of Chard, via the hamlet of Nimmer ending up in Peasmarsh. A brief section of NCR 33 towards Ilminster, before climbing up to Kingstone then via Seavington St.Mary, South Petherton and out to the Somerset Levels. Passing the old River Parrett pumping station, we headed for a coffee stop at Yandle’s Café on the edge of Martock. Some members had a look around the craft centre and the gift shop during the wait for refreshment. By the time we finished our teas, coffees and cakes the grey clouds had cleared and the sun came out to enhance the return leg.
Suitably refreshed, the group re-traced the route back towards South Petherton, turning off to pass through East and West Lambrook and passing Compton Durville. Heading back via Seavington St.Mary and Kingstone to the lunch stop at the traditional country pub, the New Inn in Dowlish Wake. We were a bit late arriving for our pre-ordered lunch, but the owners and staff were brilliant coping with such a large number of people all wanting drinks, the bar area had been reserved exclusively for our group. Dowlish Wake is a typical Somerset village with ham-stone cottages and thatched roofs as well as the home of  Perry’s cider .
There was a very pleasant lunch with David and Janet, Katherine and Bill Barnes joining the group as non-riders. As we left David, who joined us for lunch took some photos, as did one of the local residents, who was genuinely interested in who we were and where we had been and going next. At this point Nic and Jane Bard from Chard left the group  having enjoyed the ride.
Somewhat heavier than when we arrived, we set off towards Knowle St. Giles, before turning down to Dowlish Ford and Sea back to Peasmarsh , where we picked up National Cycle Route 33 to take us back through Chard. This cycle route follows the old Taunton to Chard Junction railway line into Chard. It was also “fortified” during World War Two as the Stop Line Way, a line of fortification from Seaton to Burnham-on-Sea. (You can still see gun emplacements in the field and anti-tank obstacles along the route). No sooner had we got onto the cycle track than Mark and Liz had a puncture, ably assisted by James and Nick, “supervised” by Ian and Andy  the puncture was soon sorted, but the first part of the group  had gone on, so we finished as two groups.
From Chard it was all uphill, in a couple of steep climbs and then a series of more gradual climbs back to the top of Snowden Hill ( 210m above sea-level) to the farm shop. By the time the second group got back the sun was beginning to set on what had been a very pleasant day.

David Gray


 

Ian and Lisa Warren2021-11-16 11:46:11Taunton
November 2021 Report
November 2021 Report

A mixture of tandems and solos met at the Avalon Marshes Hub for coffee and bacon sandwiches on a fine November morning before a 30 mile meander around the Somerset Levels and Polden Chain.
Because the levels can be wet and muddy at this time of year, Rex rode the route the day before to check.
Upon arriving at the Shapwick Church turning, our memory was jogged about Remembrance Sunday. We cycled to the next village – Catcott and reached the war Memorial at 10.55 to pay our respects at the given hour.
We zig zagged across the levels spotting plenty of birdlife and passing the main pumping station on the Polden Levels called Gold Corner. We were amazed as Malcolm pointed out the sign recording the level of the highest spring tide on the side of this building.
We made steady progress to arrive at the allotted time for Rich’s Cider Farm and a fulsome lunch.
It was a gentle ride back on full tummies to the Hub.    
Special thanks go to Malcolm for plotting the route on gpx, Garmin for us.

Ian and Lisa Warren2021-12-17 17:50:11Taunton
December 2021 Report
December 2021 Report

The December ride and Christmas meal for the Taunton Group was smaller in number but as colourful as ever. The fancy dress costumes were amazing. We met at the Walnut Tree for coffee and then Ian and Lisa led the group for a 15 mile ride around the lanes to Bridgwater and back to North Petherton for a Christmas meal for 28 people. 
As always, everyone took part in the quiz, music and singing were provided by James and Nick and the trophy was awarded to Andy and Anita for attending the most rides during the year. Fancy dress winners were Nick and Rachel with their amazing Hawaiian themed costumes complete with decorated tandem, flamingo and palm tree!
 

Ian and Lisa Warren2022-01-17 20:22:51Taunton
January 2022 Report
January 2022 Report

We had a superb time on the January tandem ride. This should have been the shortest ever Taunton ride designed for winter in uncertain times.  15 of us met at Hestercombe. Within a ride distance of just 13 miles, we climbed 1300 feet up onto the Quantocks , stopped for coffee and cake at Fyne Court , and found we had lost five tandems and 10 riders. This was disheartening because the average number we usually lose is 2.3. And while people usually turn up eventually, there are still some cyclists unaccounted for from a ride back in 2009 around the infamous Somerset triangle. 
This time making use of satellite technology and contacts in Cheltenham we managed to link up again with the missing riders who had mysteriously elected to do an extra 3 mile loop. It didn’t rain, there was very little traffic, the conversation was of the usual high standard and there were beautiful views out over mist in the Vale of Taunton.
Nick & Rachel

Ian and Lisa Warren2022-02-23 10:55:43Taunton
February 2022 Report
February 2022 Report

As Storm Eunice blew through the South West, the plans for our February ride were almost blown away with it. But with some flexible route planning and an excellent pub venue we were able to start with a lovely lunch.  We were delighted to see new members Jeff and Vicky come along.
After lunch, as the cloud lifted, 14 cyclists set off, leaving the remaining 11 to the arduous challenge of pudding and coffees!
The group of tandems, half bikes and recumbents enjoyed the quiet valleys of Devon, passing through the villages of Silverton with views over the Exe Valley and the Killerton estate. On to Bradninch and after the valleys came the climb of the day over to Butterleigh.  The offer of more leisurely pastimes was tempting us to rest as we cycled up past the fishing lakes, and the Butterleigh Oval! Our hardy cyclists pressed on into the brisk headwind (but not quite the 45mph of the morning) and our efforts were rewarded with great views across mid-Devon.  
A brief round of 15 miles where we enjoyed good company, lovely cycling and the best weather of the day.  Who’d want to stay in the pub and have pudding!?! Whatever the choice for the afternoon, it was good to take the opportunities to meet up with friends.
Clive & Claire

Ian and Lisa Warren2022-03-20 20:52:49Taunton
March 2022 Report
March 2022 Report

The Taunton group met on a glorious spring Sunday morning at The Old Calf Shed just outside Ilminster.  After coffee and cake, some 10 tandems accompanied by a further 4 solos set off for their March ride.  It was good to welcome Peter and Jenny Weeks, from the West Country group, and two crews on their first outing with the Tandem Club.  
Following a delightful almost traffic-free route via Horton, Hatch Beauchamp, Curry Mallet, Westport, Barrington and Whitelackington they arrived, after 20 miles, at The Green House on the Dillington estate for lunch.  Looked after in some style, lunch was taken basking in the sun in a delightful setting overlooking the estate’s lake  
With some reluctance, the group saddled up for the last 10 miles which saw them cycling through the Dillington estate, through the town of Ilminster and then joining the former railway heading south before turning off at Peasmarsh and making their way back via Crock Street and Broadway.  
A lovely ride through classic Somerset scenery it was hard to believe the A303 was our constant companion for most of the way.  Lovely route and great stops coupled with the glorious weather and top company all contributed to a very enjoyable ride.  
Stephen & Sarah Launchbury

Ian and Lisa Warren2022-05-05 21:11:23Taunton
April 2022 Report
April 2022 Report

Several couples from the Taunton group enjoyed the Tandem Club Easter rally and following on from this we held a local ride starting from the High Street in Taunton. There were 11 tandems and three solos and so we split into two groups. Michelle and Richard kindly lead the first group through Vivary Park followed by a second group that was joined by our latest new member James with his daughter Matilda on kiddycranks. 
The route took us into North Curry via the infamous 13 bend hill and across the Somerset Levels to Burrowbridge and the river Parrett. We approached North Petherton and swiftly rode up and around the lanes to Thurloxton. The Maypole Inn was very busy but soon served all our meals. The return journey took us through Creech St Michael and across the busy A358 at Henlade to Stoke St Mary and back into the town centre once more. We welcomed new members once again and cycled a total of 32 miles. We are lucky that we have plenty of members agreeing to lead rides over a wide area and plan well ahead. Thank you everyone.
Lisa & Ian Warren / Nick & Rachel Warner

Ian and Lisa Warren2022-05-16 13:52:03Taunton
May 2022 Report
May 2022 Report

Eight tandems met in Cocklemoor car park in Langport on Sunday 15th May, 8 couples but the numbers were increased by one with Anita and Andy's grandson George looking very comfortable in a rather stylish child seat. We were all set for a 30mile ride with a cafe stop followed by a pleasant post ride picnic by the River Parrett. Ah well the best laid plans and all that…

The weather was overcast as we set off through the town and along some quiet lanes to Burrowbridge. As we headed towards Westonzoyland the traffic was busier as there was a Steam Rally at the Pumping Station. It gave us a chance to admire some vintage vehicles and we were soon back on the quieter roads towards Aller. At this point the sun started to peep out and it was all looking good as we pulled into the Bere Cider Farm cafe.

Everyone enjoyed some lovely cakes and scones and some (no names) even enjoyed a glass of the local cider. A quick check of the weather app brought bad news though - heavy rain was forecast for the rest of the afternoon! It was decided to cut the ride short and head back to Langport - the first drops of rain appeared as we left the cafe. It was a damp 3 miles back to our vehicles but that was nothing compared to the storm that hit as we drove home - the decision to curtail the ride was certainly justified.

I think we can put this in the "unfinished business" tray and hopefully we can try again next year with better weather.

Len & Gill Hampson

08/07/2022 Taunton
Long Weekend based at the Greenacres Camp Site at Scowles, Coleford in the Forest of Dean. For information and booking details contact Lisa & Ian. 
Contact: Lisa & Ian Tel: 07557 532450 Email: lisawarren166@btinternet.com
23/07/2022 Taunton
Cafe at the Farm Shop. Lunch will be at the Beambridge Inn - pre-orders will be necessary
Contact: Clive & Claire Tel: 07740 445441 Email: clive@chughes.org
20/08/2022 Taunton
Coffee shop opposite the car park. Circular route with lunch at the Willow Visitor Centre, Meare Green
Contact: Clive & Emma Tel: 07875 375306 Email: cliveandemmabowyer@gmail.com
16/06/2013
Sharon & Mercedes sheltering from the windJune Group ride to West Bay
Setting offApril group ride
24/04/2022
Map Reference: 51.0128, -3.10331
Ride length: 51 km
Coffee to start then ride to The Maypole Inn, Thurloxton for lunch via Burrowbridge..
20/03/2022
Map Reference: 50.9343, -2.94566
Ride length: 46 km
Coffee, snacks, even breakfast, available at the start. Lunch stop at The Green House, Dillington Estate (Whitelackington end). Please contact Stephen & Sarah by Wednesday 16th so that numbers can be confirmed for lunch.
19/02/2022
Map Reference: 50.792, -3.45295
Ride length: 37 km
Coffee shop opens at 10:00. Ride to The Butterleigh Inn via Cullompton for lunch. Return to Killerton via Silverton & Huxham Route https://ridewithgps.com/routes/38351214

The ability to download all the rides, by a member, in a zip file will be available once the rides have been published here.

August Ride Report.html

July Ride Report.html

June Ride Report

May Ride Report and photos

April Ride Report and phots.html

March Ride Report.html

February Ride Report.html

YouTube Video - February

November 2013 Ride Report.html
December Ride Report.html
October Ride Report.html
Ride Report - February 2014.html