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