Sociable leisure rides for enthusiastic cyclists

Ride Reports


Curryallian - social evening

Lovely meal - we had Walters and Talbot family member guests to swell the numbers - good to see Jon and Des again!

Longleat and the Tunnels of Bath

111 km  x5  x3
Ride Category
Another scorcher of a day, where the chill of the tunnels under Bath provided a welcome relief.

As we set off from an almost empty car park, we exchanged greetings with a pair of 87 year olds preparing their tricycle tandem. After a warm up down to Lacock we hit the first major undulation, Bowden Hill, which rises 130 m onto the plateau, but compensates afterwards with 20 km of fast cruising. Their website said the Village Shop at Steeple Ashton would be closed but this turned out to be fake news so we enjoyed our coffees and watched the world go by for a few pleasant minutes.

From Axminster the road climbs up to the avenue leading into Longleat, through which there is a right of way. The swooping descent on smooth tarmac down past Longleat House was a delight (hope Chris has a picture!), and was followed inevitably by a climb but on a road closed to cars (beware the barrier at the end of it!).

There must be a less busy, less fashionable lunch stop somewhere in Frome than the Garden Café but it did the job. Richard and Lynn annoyed the frazzled proprietor by interfering with a "crime scene", but he came out as we were leaving and apologised.

So, onward to Bath and the converted railway tunnels which provided a refreshing and easy route into the city centre. After crossing the River Avon we followed the riverside cycle path NE then through the packed centre and onto the Kennet and Avon canal path. At Bathampton, well aware of the climbs to come, we prepared ourselves with long cold drinks at the pub.

After Batheaston we tackled the tough climb of Steway Lane, rendered even harder by a clot in a white Range Rover. Once back on the plateau quiet roads led back to the picture postcard village of Castle Combe.

Thank you guys for providing such good company and to Hugh F for showing me the route.

Wednesday Evening Ride

44 km  x4
Ride Category
A small group tonight on abnormally quiet roads: was there something else on? We dodged the pub-bound football fans and police presence in Wantage town centre and were soon underway. Weather conditions were perfect for cycling and some spirited riding soon saw us in Steventon. As it was so quiet, we detoured via the smooth tarmac of Milton Park rather than John's favourite route behind the Power Station. A peloton equally divided between rouleurs and grimpeurs caused a few minor splits in the latter stages but we re-grouped for the final stages through Ginge. A great ride and I even caught the extra time on TV when I got home. I guess Nick did too, given the result.

Morning Ride to Inkpen

73 km  x9
Ride Category
A lumpy one today! Great to see Richard P continuing the trend and coming up the hills with us.

Apart from the plonker in the van on the B4000 (overtook on continuous white line with the group pulled out and signalling right, and then brake testing the leader) it was a delightful tight group, with only the odd "off the front and not following the route" moment. We got to the foot of the Gibbet in good time and sweltered up to the top, talking in the views on what was a rather hazy horizon.

Down to the Crown and Garter for coffee and cakes, we sat in the garden until it was time to go, taking a slightly more roundabout route to avoid the gravel on the A338. Jenny and Terry left the group at Welford church to head home for an early bath. Top ride everyone - enjoyed your company!


Wednesday Evening Ride

45 km  x7
Ride Category
After Sunday's epic 100 miler this was a relaxed flat run around the Vale. Black storm clouds bubbling up all around failed to deliver any rain and a very enjoyable evening run was rounded off by a pint in the King Alfred's Head. Special welcome to Dave on his first Corallian excursion.

Corallian Century

163 km  x9  x1
Ride Category
Hot, hot, hot. Excellent to see nine riders out for a century ride. Everything went very smoothly with excellent group riding and everyone looking out for each other.

Congratulations to Andy on completing his first imperial century ride (clap)

The ride to Malmesbury garden centre went well with everyone seeming to like the B-road approach which meant several miles were dispatched quickly. The breakfasts were excellent as usual and I think that's the first time I've been able to sit outside as I'm usually there in the winter with terrible weather!

Due to the hot conditions rider's bottles were emptying quicker than usual so we had a brief stop at Waitrose in Cirencester to refill and a few of us had an early ice cream :)

The lumpy bit through the Cotswolds was pretty tough in the hot afternoon Sun and Bibury was heaving with tourists. We elected to use the river side café in Lechlade for an official ice cream stop.

Phil decided to skip the stop and get a head start towards Buckland. The rest of us after the break got a lovely peloton going to Bampton which only got disrupted at the lights over the Thames. Phil was waiting for us at the top of Buckland Hill and reformed into nine we made our way back to Wantage for 5.30pm.

Most of us took the opportunity for a post ride drink in the KAH and arrived just in time to see Russia beat Spain on penalties in the World Cup 8)

It was a joy to lead this ride with such well disciplined riders which meant I could take up position front, back or centre and not have to worry about anything. Cheers everyone (beer)


Wednesday Evening Ride

56 km  x9  x1
Ride Category
"It's gonna be a long hot summer from now on" - TRB, 1978

Glorious evening, fabulous group, no issues, just brilliant social riding to Boars Hill and back. Obligatory photo stop overlooking the dreaming spires. A few spirited sections on the return and a pint in the KAH. Perfect (beer)


Committee Meeting


Welcome Ride

53 km  x10
Ride Category
Glorious sunshine! More of a Welcome Back ride today, with Richard, John and Joy coming out of hibernation.

Despite a few ride leader hiccups (GPS set at wrong zoom level and lots of nattering meaning that some late turn-offs happened) it was plain sailing. Terry had a moment of steam-train-induced excitement at Didcot after we’d done the track around the back of the power station.

Coffee at Style Acre was as relaxed as ever, with the Corallian lizards making the most of the rays.

The return was as straightforward as the way out, diverting a little to have a look at Louis’ building site and drop him off safely at home (big thank you to Louis for some excellent sweeping!)

Everyone back home in plenty of time to watch the football / light the barbie / have a snooze.


Wednesday Evening Ride

47 km  x5  x3  x1
Ride Category
After a gloomy start it brightened up nicely and we enjoyed a glorious evening on quiet roads with panoramic views of the downs. I can remember only one car passing us on all the climbs, plus a tractor and trailer on Sheepdrove, and the road surfaces were pretty good. Unsurprisingly the group split up a bit on the hills - Kudos to Dave for racing a Banjo Cycles groupette up Eastbury Hill (and I think he won!) - but we all arrived back in WMS at 2030 together and in great need of refreshment.