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Ian and Lisa Warren2024-02-21 20:55:57Taunton
February 2024 Report
February 2024 Report

Seven tandems and two solos joined the Taunton Tandem Group February ride which started at Cleeve Abbey, Washford and headed south for a short distance before coffee at Torre Cider Farm. From there our route headed up to Elworthy passing Combe Sydenham, an historic manor house which now needs a little TLC.  Back in 1585 Sir Francis Drake was engaged to be married to Elizabeth Sydenham of Combe Sydenham. However, before the marriage Drake left on a long voyage and her father arranged for her to be married to a rival suitor. Legend has it that on their wedding day, as the couple approached the Church in Stogumber, a loud clap of thunder was heard and a large meteorite crashed through the roof. This was seen as a bad omen and the wedding was hastily cancelled. Drake had arrived back in Plymouth on that same day and he and Elizabeth were later married at the Church in Monksilver. The large meteorite, known as "Drake's cannon ball", has apparently remained in the house ever since.
On route up to Elworthy we passed at least three Road Closed signs. Cars seemed to be ignoring them and so inevitably did we, without any problems! The climb was rewarded with a delightful run down to Halse with lovely views of the Quantock Hills.  Lunch was taken at the excellent New Inn, the community run pub and cafe in Halse.  The return route started on smaller roads which were a bit wet and muddy because of the recent rain. The climb back up to Elworthy was easier, but the leaders unfortunately suffered a puncture (even Schwalbe Marathons don’t last forever!). Much help and advice was on hand, and Rex's strong carpenter hands soon had the offending tyre back on the rim.

Everyone remained dry on the ride although the organisers did get wet as they cycled back to Minehead.

Richard and Michelle