WessexOrganisers Contact: Sheila Ward, Tel: 01590 671205, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Our region extends from Swanage in the west to Southampton in the east. We have rides which are planned by our members as often as possible - see What's On for details - and are also keen to encourage members to link up with others locally for informal rides. This is particularly important because at present most offers to lead rides are coming in the east of the Region.
The cycling available in Wessex Region varies from the distinctly choppy in Dorset to the undulations of the New Forest and the hilly South Downs outside Winchester.
Whether you live in our Region or are visiting, we would be delighted to see you on one of our rides. Or you might like to ride out and meet us for coffee or lunch. Please always let the ride leader know that you are coming, either by phone or e-mail. Plans may have been changed or parking details amended.
Spurred on by reports of other group activities, Wessex held a social chat Zoom attended by just 4 tandem couples. A further get-together with some short illustrated tour reports is planned for later this month.
Twelve screens joined our second Zoom get-together and we were delighted to see some new faces. We enjoyed a tour of Kent and an adventurous trip from the UK to Santander, as well as quick visits to Corrèze and Salviac. We hope to meet again if more material is forthcoming.
Our third Zoom gathering again attracted 12 screens and this time we explored the West Midlands, Warwickshire and Worcestershire, the new home area of John and Jane. The little villages and quiet lanes made us very envious. Then it was off to Holland for The Cheese Tour, courtesy of Ann, David, John and Sue. With windmills, canals, perfect cycle paths and busy little towns, Holland's delights were only tempered by some damp days and one very windy ride! Next time, off to sun and India!
Eight screens joined us on 14th April for a tour in India presented by John and Jane Taylor and an exploration of Brittany's Voies Vertes led by David and Alison Martin - quite a contrast!
Two rides to look forward to in Wessex this autumn: Sunday 26th September from Southbourne via the sandbanks ferry to Swanage, and Saturday October 30th from Chandlers Ford into the New Forest. See rides list for details.
Wessex Tandem Club October ride Chandlers Ford -> Minstead (New Forest) -> Chandlers Ford 36 miles, 420m elevation Woke to the sound of heavy rain, so we postponed departure by an hour to allow rain to cease and puddles to recede. 4 tandems including 1 Hase Pino departed from Chandlers Ford in bright autumn sunshine with a slight head wind. We picked up another tandem in North Baddesley and another en-route to the New Forest. This was the first Tandem Club ride for 3 couples out of the 6 tandems, who had discovered the joys of Tandems during the pandemic. The route meandered along the River Test, and then bridges over the M27 and A31 before reaching the tranquillity of the New Forest. We stopped at the Rufus Stone, allegedly the site where King William II was fatally wounded with an arrow, to ‘bag’ one of the Hampshire BCQ answers. Lunch was on the Village Green at Minstead. Interesting (and soggy) spot – the local church is where Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is buried – if you can’t find the gravestone, the pipe and magnifying glass might be clues! Refreshments at Minstead were plentiful – with a pub and adjacent Community Shop (coffee and Dorset Apple Cake recommended!) The New Forest was lovely in the sunshine although some roads were covered in leaves, twigs and puddles. There were two bridleway sections, the Test Way being gravel and a forest track with a muddy underpass. All tandems declined to go through the Ford as water+++ but fortunately an alternative crossing was available. We all arrived safely back to our various starting points and all agreed that we were so lucky with the weather!
The Mince Pie Ride 4th December 2021: Seventeen tandem pairs came on the ride to Brockenhurst today, though not all on two wheels... And the sun shone almost all the time, though the wind was pretty cool! Four pairs were on their first Wessex ride, and we were delighted to welcome riders from as far afield as Poole and Eastleigh. Seven tandems and two solos rode in a group from Lymington while the rest rode or travelled from home direct to the Thatched Cottage Hotel in Brockenhurst where we received a warm welcome and enjoyed coffee, warm mince pies and chat.
Our next planned Wessex ride is scheduled for Saturday 19 March, starting from Romsey at 10am. David writes: "Not too long a ride, maybe aim to get back to the house for a late lunch inside. Possible coffee stop/shop on the way." More details later.
The Wessex Region's annual 'Soup Run' took place today shortly after Storm Eunice had departed. Six tandems and a solo gathered at Lymington Town Hall for a wind-assisted ride in the east of the New Forest along mainly hedge-sheltered lanes to the 'Captains' Table' café at Bucklers Hard. We saw signs of fallen trees having been cleared from the lanes en route. On arrival we were met by two more tandem pairs for coffee and a variety of cakes and buns. With a yellow wind warning imminent, we set off westwards for our homeward route, encountering strengthening winds in a few spots - it was a round trip of under 20 miles. The riders then settled into John and Sheila's conservatory for a selection of home made soups and to devour their own indoor picnic lunch, followed by hot drinks. We were delighted to welcome one new tandem pair, who discovered that they had connections to two others during the coffee and lunchtime chat.
Wessex March ride Can anyone imagine better weather than we had today? Okay, maybe a bit less wind at times might have been good. Mark and Sarah had to pull out because of a bad cold, leaving 6 tandems and 2 solos to tackle the challenge. Cliff and Bridget also from Romsey with their powered steed. Jack & Nic along with Josh had ridden all the way from Highcliffe and further (wow!). Simon and his daughter Elm did that too but 'only' from nearby Braishfield. Simon & Anne and daughter Sarah (solo) did that too, from Chandler's Ford. Which meant that Doug and Shirley rolled up in the only vehicle. I think we were very green! Alison and I, however, can hardly claim to have ridden to the start: all we had to do was fall out of bed! We took the road to Braishfield, nearly back to where Simon and Elm had just come from. Then the road to Merdon, encountering the first proper climb, albeit short and sharp. Down briefly to the main road and up towards Sparsholt, turning left where there is a sad memorial to a cyclist, and up to Farley Mount. Then an enjoyable roller-coaster ride down to Kings Somborne. There Simon noticed his mum out walking the dog and we all gave a wave. A few yards on the main road then off towards Horsebridge and our coffee stop at the John O'Gaunt, spot-on the planned 11:30am. The promised chocolate cake was very good and we all took our cake and drinks out into the sun. After a quick group photo, and a decision that we could slightly lengthen the route, we headed for Houghton and down the Test Valley, soon turning west and climbing up and across the Broughton road and then south to East Tytherley. Then Lockerley, Dunbridge, Kimbridge, Michelmersh and Braishfield where Simon and Elm left us. 12 of us continued on the predictable route back to the house. 48km covered, 30 miles in old money. And 580m of ascent. 2pm back at the house and we enjoyed some of Alison's biscuits with our lunches and drinks, and the sun was still on full beam. Josh and Jack and Nic were the last to leave and we hear their total distance was just shy of 100 miles! We hope the easterly wind helped, but still - wow! David and Alison Martin
Only a week to the Sutton's BBQ at Mudeford on Saturday 2nd July, preceded by a ride led by Stephen and Jill Gray from Mudeford to Burley for coffee, where some tandems may join direct from home. If you have not already received details, please contact email@example.com
Between 7 and 10 tandems took part in our 40-mile ride on an unseasonably mild if cloudy Saturday in late October round the New Forest East Waterfronts (7 started and finished, 3 joined and left during the ride) plus 2 solos. We had a very leisurely coffee at the Beaulieu Bakehouse, which was packed with cyclists, and after a quick visit to Ashlett Creek we rode on to Calshot Activity Centre for a leisurely lunch, during which warm sun came out for a time. Then we headed home via Lepe, Gilbury Hard and Bucklers Hard. The route which visits waterfronts on Southampton Water, the Solent, Beaulieu River and the Lymington River uses many quiet lanes, and we passed donkeys, ponies and cattle en route.
Wessex held its annual Mince Pie Dart this morning. 16 couples and a solo member met up at the White Buck hotel in Burley having ridden in from all directions, mainly in small groups. A few statistics - 14 tandems of which 7 electric, one car (due to last minute flat tyre), 3 solos. We consumed unlimited coffee (and a few teas and hot chocolates) and plenty of mince pies. The White Buck looked after us very well and the decibel level of the chat was amazing! It was great to see everyone, and I think we got home before the rain arrived.
Hope I have managed to add all the photos without duplication!
Wessex Tandem Club ride - 13th May 2023 The Wessex TC Test Valley ride was originally planned for 6th May but had to be postponed due to a non-TC event in London, however thanks to King Charles III we had much better weather for our event. 2 tandems and 4 solos rode a 32-mile circular course (570m elevation) from Chandler's Ford via Up Sombourne and Stockbridge, returning via the Test Way. Lunch was at Turner & Thom, an arty cafe near Stockbridge - the tandems had to be carefully positioned to avoid the wall-mounted ceramic squid 🐙 Due to another train strike, Josh and his dad, David had to ride from the New Forest - an impressive combined mileage of 170 miles for the day.
A pretty dampy forecast did not deter the four tandems that met at Burley for coffee before riding down the increasingly wet lanes of the Avon Valley to Mudeford for the annual Wessex BBQ, which was very kindly hosted yet again by John and Sue Sutton. There we found those who had chosen to drive there, making 18 of us in all. John and Sue managed to squeeze us all in, though a few were able to escape into the garden later on. The usual sumptuous feast left the riders doubting their ability to ride home again, but we managed and didn't get too wet. A massive thank you to John and Sue for all their hard work and giving us the chance to get together and 'talk tandem' again.
The coldest day of the year and an ice warning saw us all driving rather than riding on our Mince Pie Ride! 19 members, the youngest being a toddler, gathered at the White Buck Inn at Burley in the New Forest for coffee and a very mini-mince pie. It was pleasant to see everyone, and there was already discussion about the 2024 rallies. Something to look forward to on such chilly days.
The ability to download all the rides, by a member, in a zip file will be available once the rides have been published here.