First SAM Sunday Leisurely Run 2009 [2009/03]

Jill Kernick, Run Leader


The weather had been promising to be kind all week and sure enough Chichester Beacon Weather Station reported 7° when I had my first cuppa.  When I turned up at Sarisbury Green Community Centre there were about twenty-five bikes including a few scooters and one splendid looking trike.  Fortunately for me, as it was my first time in leading such a large group the numbers dropped down to a more manageable twelve when the time came to set off.


My planned route was a meagre twenty-five miles to a country pub in Selborne just south of Alton but Tom Tom calculated it as being an hour’s run via some of the smaller “unnamed” country lanes.


As we approached Bishops Walton I noticed a distinct lack of followers and feared the worst.  Had I forgotten to mark a corner?  Had half of the group gone straight across at that last roundabout?  I slowed the pace but still no signs of any followers so pulled over with just one bike behind me!


Oh dear oh dear!  No radios, just a mobile phone with no missed calls or messages and I didn’t have the inclination to get de helmeted.  So, instructing the lone biker to wait where he was, somewhere in the middle of BW, I turned around, gesticulated to the marker on the previous roundabout, found another marker, already overheating and having shed his helmet was able to tell me that there had been an accident and that someone had phoned for the ambulance.  Oh no!  Not what I wanted to hear.  My markers had all done a sterling job and had waited and waited and continued to wait while I continued back finally to see half a dozen bikes proceeding towards me.  I was relieved that it was not a SAM member and we all regrouped and continued onwards along some beautiful narrow Hampshire lanes. 


Beautiful and distracting though the scenery was I soon realised yet again that I did not have as many followers as anticipated.  Another pull over, this time by some very friendly ponies until the word came that one of our group had stalled some way back and suspected he was out of petrol!  The motto of that one is…don’t always believe what the fuel gauge tells you, it’s still a good idea to keep an idea of how many miles you’ve done since that last fill up.


Instructions again to stay put and a U turn or rather a three-point turn and I was on my way back again.  Rob Mills, my back marker had taken the unnamed rider off to search for petrol and with more difficulty a can to put it in.  Ness his pillion was left for almost an hour to stand guard over a rather vulnerable bike in a deserted country lane and what to do when approached by a weirdo with shaggy hair and a long trench coat?  Pretend not to be there and avoid eye contact at all cost.


The remaining ten of us continued onwards, up and down dale to the delightful refuge of the Selborne Arms complete with real log fire, friendly staff and excellent food.  Ness was able to call me to let me know that Rob and our unnamed friend had finally returned with some petrol and I managed to get a late order in for the stragglers.  Last food orders are 14:00 on a Sunday!


Fortunately our return run back to Wickham with just six of us was less eventful but too late to catch Lilies or the teahouse open so it was off to the pub again!  For an afternoon coffee and reminisce.


My thanks to all for joining me and particularly to Rob and Ness  Also to  Janet who had done a pre run with me the weekend before which eliminated the disappointment of the nearby Fur and Feathers public house which had neither atmosphere nor food.  In contrast, albeit by chance, the Selborne Arms was everything I could have wished for and will certainly be on my lists of favourite hostelries.


Post Run Report


The accident involved an `L` rider on a scooter who had just passed a car on the inside and then fallen off at the very roundabout that the SAM group were negotiating from another direction. Thanks to Mike Barringer for updating us.

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