Surprisingly, only four riders met at the start of the ride in Wantage and we were at a loss to why there were so few? We were expecting at least double our number, but we soon discovered why there were so few.
Dave, Mike, Chris and myself decided to head straight to Hanney from Wantage as we were unsure if the Denchworth road into Hanney was still closed. Traffic was unusually heavy for the time of evening and I said to the other riders "perhaps traffic has been diverted due to an accident on the A34 or something". When we got a short way down the Hanney road to Steventon I had been correct unfortunately.
Cars were flashing us and we were told to turn round by a passing driver. Dave decided to ride on to see if we could pass and the rest of us followed. Eventually we came across a line of traffic halted by a double decker bus straddling the entire road at 90 degrees! We speculated to what chain of events caused it to be there as Dave squeezed past it on his return from even more carnage from a serious accident further on.
We all agreed to turn around out of respect for the victims and emergency services and headed back to Hanney. This was one of the reasons we had few riders, they couldn't get to us. One did but didn't catch us - read on.
We all agreed to salvage the ride and create an ad-hoc route as we rode on to Frilford missing Abingdon and a large chunk of the planned route entirely. We deviated slightly by adding a little extra to the rest of the planned route and we eventually got back to Wantage on the last part of the route as planned. Luckily we only lost about 10 km but it was bitterly cold so we were glad to get back early.
While all this was going on John had arrived a few minutes late due to the traffic caused by the accident and tried his best to catch us up. Alas we changed the route and he missed us! He did 50 km trying to chase us down so he deserves being added to tonight's ride report as he rode harder and further than the rest of us!