Taunton Flyer and New Forest Sportives

Honiton Spinners push the pedals at the Taunton Flyer Spitfire and New Forest Classic sportives.

After a damp start, Honiton Spinners Jackie Costello, Vanesa Glynn Jones and Sara Trumper left the airfield at Smeatharpe on the 37 mile Taunton Flyer Spitfire sportive.  The route took riders through Churchinford, Taunton, Blagdon, Symonsburrow and Hemyock. They tackled a long hill after about 20 miles, before reaching Hemyock, where they enjoyed a wonderful array of goodies with lovely volunteers looking after the riders at the village hall. After another climb out of the village, they had a long straight fast run in back to Smeatharpe. The venue had plenty of parking and a really good thing re signage was that the road was marked with an arrow when direction changed. Taking the pace leisurely, they all enjoyed the social ride.

£98 was donated to thebikenetwork.org/, which supports cancer patients & survivors with bicycles and cycle equipment,  for the 49 people who opted not to have a medal, and  113 trees will be plated by  Treesnottees for people who opted out of a t-shirt. In addition, £197 was raised for the nominated charity: SSAFA, the Ex forces charity.

The previous week, Jennie Sleeman took part in the UKCE New Forest Classic, a gentle first sportive for 2023 with 2,142 feet of climb over 57 miles. It was (just about) shorts weather as riders set off from the Gang Warily sports centre on one of four route distances. Riders were set off in small groups and there were rarely more than a few riders in each direction (apart from at the food station midway round!). It was well-organised, clearly marked, with a medal, beer (non-alcoholic) and flapjacks at the end.