A glorious autumn day saw ten riders out for Gordon’s first ride as leader. We headed out of North Baddesley through Flexford, Hiltingbury, and Hursley before taking the slightly easier (or, rather, the less hard) way up Farley Mount following the course of the old Roman Road from Winchester to Salisbury for a short way.

We had some excitement on the way down when we found the road blocked with a vehicle. In front of it was a young calf that had somehow escaped from the adjacent field. There were other people trying to help it to get back into the field so we carried on. Shortly after, Simon spotted a farm worker in a field and walked across the field to speak to the worker with a hope of finding out who was the owner of the calf; no luck unfortunately.

We passed on through Ashley and Chalkvale before stopping at the lovely little All Saints Church in Little Somborne. It has the grave of Tommy Sopwith, famous for the Sopwich Camel biplane, of which over 5000 were built for use during the First World War. We took the opportunity whilst here for a group photo call.

The need for cake was pressing, though, so we moved on to the stop at Sandydown where we welcomed by Margaret Turner at the Turner and Thom Café. There was a very generous selection of cakes; we even left some.

Refreshed, we headed down to Stockbridge and somehow or other, the group became spilt and we lost Simon and Richard at this point. The rest of the group headed back through Houghton, Bossington, Mottisfont and Timsbury. It was then on up through Belbins and Crampmoor before returning to North Baddesley.

A lovely ride of 32 miles through the beautiful Hampshire countryside.

L-R in main photo: Paul, Margaret, Chris, Kathy, Simon, Gordy, Richard, Susan and David.