It's a shame that so many Corallians are on holiday - this was a gem of a ride!
Today's guest rider was Dave Jones, normally hanging out with Newbury Road Club, and of the ripe old age of 87, taking the average age on the ride to a pensionable 71.
I rode over from Sandbanks, meeting Lyn and Dave at Swanage, we we coffeed and then climbed. Quite a rude awakening, but the sun was out, so it all was good. Past the Matravers and then the winding steep descent from Kingston took us to Corfe Castle.
The climb from Steeple was, well, steep. Incidentally, there's an entertaining signpost to "Steeple Church" - most times those nouns are seen the other way around. From the top, the military firing range road was very pleasant and the 360-degree views from the summit were just breathtaking, basically showcasing all of Dorset, the New Forest, Poole Harbour, Tyneham village, the Isle of Wight, and Portland. The descent down to Lulworth Castle was rather good (swift) too...
We took lunch at Lulworth Cove, which was heaving with beachgoers, and then climbed straight up to Durdle Door, hoping lunch had settled sufficiently. The flatlands followed, and my natural inclination to move the wind out of the way was put to good use. By Wool, the drizzle had become more insistent, so rainjackets came out, only to be put away for the Creech climbs, and punctuated by a lovely pause for ice-cream at East Creech, prior to the delightful climb with hairpin.
Plain sailing now back to Corfe Castle, where we caught a steam train crossing the viaduct, and the back road overlooking Poole Harbour and Studland Heath was negotiated safely, with quite a bit of traffic vying for position on the narrow but scenic lane. Goodbyes were said at the golf course as we headed back to our respective cars - a delightful day out on the bikes!