The last Friday for this year of British Summer Time saw a good turnout of 13 riders (including one guest). The number 13 being very lucky for us and giving us sunny and generally warm weather with little wind.

Alan led this ride from North Baddesley. We went through Romsey and picked up Simon and Alice and then tackled the longest climb of the day up Old Salisbury Lane passing Roke Manor. We carried on through Shootash and and along Whinwhistle Road before crossing the A36. Immediately after that we were into the New Forest National Park and could enjoy more sociable riding and the colours of the Forest’s autumn.

After a photocall at the cross roads at Furzley Common, we dropped down through Newbridge and through Bartley with the cakes at the Furzey Gardens’s cafe already firmly in the mind of the leader. We sat sitting outside enjoying the warmth of the autumn sun for our essential refreshments.

Then it was on through Newtown and Emery down where we then had the least enjoyable part of the ride with trying to cope with the traffic using the narrow lanes as a bypass for Lyndhurst and then the traffic heading into Lyndhurst itself from Cadnam. After Lyndhurst, we used the bike path alongside the A35 into Ashurst and then on through Foxhills, Houndsdown and Rushington before passing through Totton and then back to Redbridge.

From there, those living in the Midlands and the North (Baddesley and Romsey) took their leave; thanks to Simon and Kathy for getting people back there. Those living in the south continued on towards Southampton.

Our thanks go to Gordon for looking after our backsides and to Simon for keeping him company.

(In the photo (l-r): Gordon O, Kathy (not looking!), Mary, Ginny, Alan D, Geoff, Sam, Gordon C, Stephen (our visitor), Alice, Sue and Simon, Photo by Alan R).