WAGS take to their wheels

PUBLISHED: 09:00 13 February 2008 | UPDATED: 21:30 15 June 2010

Axe Valley Pedallers before the off

Axe Valley Pedallers before the off

Copyright Archant Ltd

Axe Valley Pedallers' second monthly ride of 2008 was in marked contrast to the first. Grey, cool and very blustery conditions from January were replaced with a crisp, cool, cloudless sky with sunshine from the off.

AVP's second monthly ride of 2008 was in marked contrast to the first. Grey, cool and very blustery conditions from January were replaced with a crisp, cool, cloudless sky with sunshine from the off. This months ride leader was 'Fishnet' and given the good weather conditions, 21 riders assembled at the Tourist Information Centre.The expansion of AVP now means that different groups of riders can do different things and today was no exception. The 'Adlib' group consisting today of the groups 'WAGS', were off to Axminster via the East Devon villages of Whitford and Kilmington whereas this report centres on the main group who were to meet the WAGS via a mini tour of West Dorset !Cycling along the Estuary from Axmouth Harbour to Axmouth, a calm, flat, high tide lapped the river edges. There were cool conditions given the shade of the Axmouth valley to Dowlands but as riders quickly warmed up so did the conditions from the heat of the sun.The route took us onto the A3052 into Rousdon and left at Charton Cross and along Trinity Hill with fantastic views west of the Axe Valley. Opposite the junction with the A35 is a bridleway which leads into Cooks Lane which itself is part of National Cycle Network Route 2 (NCNR). It leads onto the Crewkerne-Raymonds Hill road and a quick left and right and we were into West Dorset territory and heading downhill for Wootton Fitzpaine. Route 2 which begins in London and ends in Cornwall (or vice versa if you start at the other end) leads through this quiet backwater Dorset village but with every downhill comes and upward climb. At the junction beyond the eastern end of the village a NCNR sign states 'Axminster 9'. It leads uphill for a good mile to the historical Megalithic Iron Age hillfort of Coney's Castle. There is no 'castle' as such to see but views either side of the fort comprise the Marshwood Vale and the coastal area of Charmouth and the slow plod uphill to the fort was well worth it to see those views. A short stretch along from the hillfort and across this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), man has made a further indelible mark on the landscape with the monolithic electricity pylons marching purposefully but uncharacteristically across the land. A further short uphill section brought riders back onto the Crewkerne-Raymonds Hill road.This straight road enabled riders to stretch their legs for a couple of miles to Blackpool Corner where a right turn took us into 'Sector' and a fantastic 2-3 mile swoop downhill into the town of Axminster. Refreshment stop was 'Swans' in West Street where the 'WAGS' met us. They themselves had had a jolly good time cycling in very pleasant and what turned out to be warm weather. AVP members then made their own way back home and another excellent AVP ride was at an end.In March the group are off to fly the cycling flag in France for their 'Foray' so look out for a full report on this trip in a months time.

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