Having been unable to participate in the original cycle ride on 9th June, the intention was to ride the same 42 mile course on Sunday 30th June. My son Chris, son-in-law Steve both volunteered to cycle the course with me, and their company and support were very welcome. Young William was keen to ride at least part of the route with his Dad, Uncle and Grandad.
We parked up for the day at Baiter Point on the shores of Poole Harbour and at 9:40 on a bright sunny morning, we threaded our way through the tourists on Poole Quay, over Poole Bridge, through Hamworthy and Lychett Minster, arriving on Wareham Quay after an hours cycling. Wareham is an historic walled market town located between the rivers Frome and Piddle (yes really) and is the gateway to the Isle of Purbeck. The river at Wareham Quay is tidal and there are regular ferries from Poole
Cycling south out of Wareham, our route took us through woodlands towards Lulworth Castle and skirts the fringes of the army's Lulworth firing ranges. We approached the foot of Whiteway Hill with some trepidation, a 400 foot climb ahead of us. What made it even more forbidding was that a sea mist was shrouding the summit.
Because of his Taekwondo, Steve must have been fitter than the rest of us, (or perhaps he just had a lower bottom gear ratio) but he cycled steadily to the top, where Chris and I (both panting) found him 20 minutes later, fully refreshed.
The reward for reaching the top of the long ridge of the Purbeck Hills was the wonderful swoop down the other side, through Church Knowle and into Corfe Castle. The old castle guards a gap in the line of the hills, and is the only access by road into this part of Dorset. We therefore opted to proceed on foot through the congested narrow streets, until we reached the other side of town where thankfully our route took us away from the main road.
Cycling steadily uphill towards Kingston Hill, we reached the foot of the 300 foot climb to Kingston Village, from where a gentle downhill ride took us through the mist to the pretty Purbeck village of Worth Matravers, having cycled just 25 miles. It felt like much further!
Aimee, Jennifer and young William met us in the car park where they had set up a nice picnic lunch for us. Refreshed after an hour's break, and accompanied now by William, we set off downhill, back into the sunshine and the beautiful panorama of Swanage Bay ahead of us.
Due to the busy main roads, William rejoined the car, whilst we cycled along the promenade, over the Purbeck Hills for the final time, and through Studland.
Approaching the chain ferry 'Bramble Bush Bay' we met up again with the others and William rejoined us for the ferry trip and the ride through Sandbanks, along the shores of Poole Harbour, through Poole Park and back to Baiter.
Altogether, on the warmest day of the year, we had cycled 42 miles of beautiful Dorset, in about 5 hours. So far the total raised is £486 plus Gift Aid, in support of the Dorset Kidney Fund.
Thanks to everybody for their valued contributions, especially to Aimee for the picnic and her support, and of course to Chris, Steve and William for cycling with us.
There is one more cycle ride later this year, which will be the New Forest Cycle Ride on 15th September, so we are keeping the Just Giving pages going until then, should any more contributions be forthcoming.
Thanking everyone again for their support,