February Ride Report
The inaugural ride of the Taunton regional group finally took place on Saturday 16th February a month after January's planned ride had been cancelled due to poor weather.
This month the weather was more favourable being dry and cold and this was reflected in the number of participants. Although the day started a little foggy this soon cleared and we occasionally even got to see the sun!
Eleven tandems and one solo met at Ian and Lisa's home in Creech St Michael and departing at 11am after enjoying coffee and biscuits.
The solo rider was Ian and Lisa's son James who acted as a shepherd riding at the back of the group to ensuring we all stayed together for the planned thirty mile circular route.
After crossing the A358 we headed south passing up through Thurlbear Woods, Horton and Crock Street eventually stopping for a group photo at Donyatt Halt on the Ilminster to Chard cycle path
This stretch of the NR33 cycle path is built on the disused railway alignment of the Chard branch line which was known as the "Stop Line" and is characterised by the remaining WWII fortifications which once formed a continuous line of defence from the North Somerset Coast to the South Devon coast effectively cutting off the West Country and was designed to slow the advance of an enemy invasion from the West to allow reinforcements to be assembled.
The return route headed out of Ilminster passing through the Dillington House estate before heading back across the edges of the Somerset levels via Isle Abbotts and North Curry and eventually returning to the starting point where the riders were treated with hot drinks and a wonderful selection of cakes.
An excellent ride was enjoyed by all and many thanks to Ian & Lisa for both organising the route and hosting us all in their home.