One sunny (mainly) weekend in September, an adventurous Forge group made a trip to the Isle of Purbeck for some new cycling challenges. Just a couple of hours drive or train from south-west London, this lovely part of Dorset provided great riding, good roads and socialising for those making the trip.
Meeting on Saturday morning at the hotel in central Poole, our base for the weekend – and after the usual last-minute bike check pfaff (including the obligatory puncture) – we rolled around the edge of Poole Harbour to the Sandbanks ferry. Gliding past some of the most expensive houses in the UK – I’ll buy that one… no that one – it felt like a small slice of the Riviera.
The riding started properly from the south side of the chain ferry, picking up two more Forge souls, we rode towards Studland and on to the archetypal seaside town of Swanage. We won’t mention the same person who punctured earlier also suffered the same fate just a few miles in – but this was to prove the last mechanical issue of the whole ride.
Turning inland (and uphill) the group briefly split with some of the F3 and F4 riders tackling the first proper climb of the day, with the others (sensibly) taking the route along the valley. A succession of quiet, undulating country lanes followed, punctuated by some surprisingly tough, jabby-type climbs. The stunning views from the top across rolling Dorset heathland were reminiscent of a previous Forge trip to the Dragon Ride in south Wales. Considering this was the crowded south of England, it was delightfully quiet.
Energy supplies were topped up with a lunch stop at the lovely Dovecote Café, before the groups again split, with F3 and F4s taking a slightly longer route through some more quiet, flowing lanes, more like our normal riding habitat of the Surrey Hills. We all met again for exceptional Dorset ice cream at Wareham Quay, before the final stretch back to the chain ferry, and onwards back to the hotel.
Heading out to a local micro-brewery for some well-deserved drinks and (plenty of) food, before drink back at the hotel. A blissful sleep was slightly interrupted by fire alarm in the early hours of the morning (I mean, who vapes in a hotel room?!), before we devoured plenty of the complimentary breakfast.
Massive thanks to Andrew T for the excellent route planning and finding our refreshment stops, and to Anna B for extensive research into places to stay and eat.
- Ride distances: 100-115km
- Ave speeds: 24-27.8kmh F1-F4 all catered for
- Ice creams: 6
- Beers: erm, plenty!
- Smiles: all round!
All in all, an excellent day out for all Forge abilities and speeds. We will ride these roads again!
Forge organise a number of trips each year suitable for all Forge ride groups. Recently we’ve circled the Isle of Wight, ridden the mountains of the Dragon Ride in Wales and ventured further afield for our annual trip abroad to cycling hot-spots such as Girona, Clape and coming up in 2024, Mallorca.
Join us and join the fun.