Thursday, May 11, 2006

Hambledon Route #1 - Bluebell Frenzy

Ride: Thursday 11th May, Hambledon Route #1
Present: Al; Jon

It made a nice change kitting up in Hambledon on a sunny evening in the mid 20s centigrade, shorts AND t-shirts all round this week!

We left a little later than usual so decided to do the old faithful Hambledon route via the White Lion at Soberton and the Traveller's Rest at Newtown, taking in a significant stretch of the disused railway line.

The ride was reasonably uneventful although Jon took a definite shine to the biffer who was half of a husband and wife biker combo who we talked to outside the White Lion. They had a magnificent yellow Triumph and were on their way to France on the Ferry. We had a cracking pint of our usual 'Palmer's 200' and caught up with the gossip - Graham has finally found a taker for the pub and hopes to be out in early July. The usual bedlam with dogs ensued when we got up to leave, exacerbated by the simultaneous departure of Mr & Mrs Biker.

We floored it down the railway line which was in pretty good condition after the fair weather. The scores for this week's 'Railway Embankment Challenge' are as follows: Al 1 - 0 Jon (which will be a relief to Billy-Bob)!

The Forest of Bere didn't hold any suprises, despite the bridle path having a fresh layer of bike-deadly sand. Of note though was the spectacular display of bluebells, which are at their peak at the moment. They were particularly dense on the long climb up from the A32.

We had a treat in store when we got to the Traveller's since they had opened the open-air rear bar for the first time this season. We enjoyed a fine pint of Greene King 'Abbot' Ale under the blossom of the cherry trees in the garden (it still being light at 20:30 when we got there). The only aberation on an almost perfect pint was that a vicious runty little mongrel (who seemed to have no objection to Jon) took offence to Al, who retreated like a jelly until the owners had it removed to a safe distance.

A gentle ride home down the country lanes with lights set to 'dazzle' rather than 'stun' and we were home just before 22:00. Jon scarpered straight home as he had a friend staying at his, not even the lure of Die Hard II would tempt him in for dinner!

(Posted by: Al)

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