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Cheddar Gorgeous
The sun shone, the wind negligible, the roads dry, what more could we want? Inevitably it was the much loved Chievely Services that beckoned early Sunday morning. Waiting was an overpriced Costa Coffee and some lovely donuts from Julie. I was almost embarrassed that Julie brought her own cakes for us rather than vice versa but a welcome idea anyway. So sticky fingers into black gloves, off we went accompanied by our first Scrumpie rider on his sparkling green bike. (I didn’t know that scrumpies allowed leprechauns in but there you are.)   A rumble and a roar and off we went following a badger through the leafy country lanes. More sticks than you could shake a roundabout at.

With a final rumble we rolled down the historic high street at Marlborough. Joined by a wild bunch of bikers from Wiltshire, we disrupted all the traffic to the delight of small children and envious Dad as we roared out of town. These boys certainly have a different riding style, quite happy to block junctions and roundabouts to allow us to pass through freely, thanks guys. Once again a badger and his satnav found the twistiest and challenging country roads and picturesque villages, only enjoyed by the girls on pillion to be honest. Finally arriving at the top of a cliff we wound our way down the twisty, turny road of the famous gorge. The only fly in the ointment, was a fly, which decided to flit around behind my sunglasses, don’t try this at home guys. Entering the village it was Julie who came a cropper as she put her foot down at a junction to find that there was no road to stand on just a deep drain. Fortunately just her pride hurt. Guided into the local café and parking by the dustbins, not the most salubrious spot, but at least in the shade.

Meeting and greeting friends from across the border as we trooped into the gardens. Some of us chose the shade to Baz’s confusion, I thought you wanted sunshine? (Actually we needed private space to surreptitiously eat our home made sandwiches) Refreshments over, a walk through the deserted (not) village where the attractions of sweet factories; ice cream parlours; expensive cheddar cheese shops; cider shops (Baz) and other bikes, far outweighing the scenic cliffs. Not that you could see the cliffs through the tourist shops anyway.

Badger gave his usual advice to all the other bikers on how to improve their bikes, most of which probably fell on deaf ears. Back to the bike park and with the usual insults and goodbyes we started the long trip home. First long trip on the beautiful beast and was concerned as the fuel gauge sat on empty for such a long time. (actually probably had another 100 miles left, must check gauge). The badger finally pulled over for a fuel stop having found the cheapest petrol in the UK, well done. Praise was short lived as he led us down the garden path, literally, before finding the main road again, after what I am told is the obligatory Vultures Ride Out U-turn.
 Again the badger showed us his true knowledge of the windiest, twistiest (is there such a word) roads in Wiltshire. Boots had a big moment on a sharp corner as gravel decided the shortest route round a corner was a detour across the road. Only the skill of a true biker kept him out of the far bank. (Who was that then ?  Ed.)

A lovely pub for a final drink as we all bathed once more in the late afternoon sunshine. The last leg home, waving at a stone monument erected by early bikers, before breaking up and making our separate ways home. 250 miles later, the weary riders arrived home to collapse on the sofa. A wonderful day out and can’t wait to get back on the bike and meet up on Wednesday.

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