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Poole to Ringwood (return)

  • From: Poole
  • To: Ringwood (return trip)
  • LEJOG miles cycled: 0
  • Miles cycled: 31.6
  • Map of the journey
 Today I get overtaken and feel bad, overtake and feel better, remember Dr. Beeching, and notice the smell of a place.

imageI am in Dorset this week as we are staying in Poole with my wife's mother for Easter. This area is a mix of urban and rural with gently rolling hills rather than the rugged scenery of Northumberland, beautiful none the less.

I had a short 31+ mile training ride today using the network of reclaimed railways, now walking and cycle paths, that exist around these parts. With Dr Beeching's cuts now 50 years ago they have been in the news all week but here I am benefiting on the old Poole - Wimborne to Blandford line. One minute you are in secluded wooded countryside with small reminders of things past, such as tunnels and bridges and discarded sleepers, the next you are cycling near a main road constantly busy with traffic in these parts. The image to the left is of what remains from the Beeching cuts of the Wimborne Minster to Ringwood railway at Ashley Heath halt. I love the names of towns and villages hereabouts - Canford Bottom, Three Legged Cross, both being close by. The surprising thing about this halt is that he sign still exists and has not been reclaimed by a 'collector'.

Close by I was overtaken by a 'serious' cyclist on his ultra thin lightweight carbon road bike. He looked 10 years or so younger than me, and despite my tremendous increase in fitness over the last six months, I felt bad about being left behind. Cycling on your own does seem harder and slower than with a friend. Still not far from here on the way back I overtook two cylists on mountain bikes and that made me feel a little better.

 A short ride today just to keep the muscles fit and blessed with good weather. The main thing I noticed today though were the smells. This is unusual as I have a poorly developed sense of smell normally. The place smelt different to around home in a way I had not previously noticed. Streams, partly culverted in town, smelt and looked like stagnant ponds in places, sewage farms in rural locations seeming particularly pungent. However, what I noticed most and surprisingly frequently, was the smell of leaking gas pipes! Perhaps on LEJOG we should report back on the characteristic smells of Britain?