Sociable leisure rides for enthusiastic cyclists

Ride Reports


Morning Ride

52 km  x6  x2
Ride Category
After a busy week on the roads, with John Talbot having cycled over 350 km in the previous 24 hours, this was a relaxed Sunday morning ride on the familiar flatlands to the north of Wantage. A clockwise circuit through Buckland and Brighthampton brought us to the Maybush at Newbridge. Great coffee on the Thames-side deck while watching spiralling Red Kites was let down by a very poor cake selection. However, from here it was a short trip on mostly quiet, smooth roads back to Wantage in plenty of time to take in an afternoon of Tour de France.

Committee Meeting


Wednesday Evening Ride

50 km  x8  x4
Ride Category
Phew. If I had known it was going to be that hot I would have picked a flatter route. Everyone coped well, however, and we did over 50km in under 2 hours: pretty good, given the terrain. I estimate I was only on the front for about 20 per cent of the ride, which probably explains why the time was so good. Blowingstone exerted its usual sorting-hat effect. The climb from Lambourn to Ashbury was managed strongly, even with a headwind. And the undulations of the Springline Road caused a few gaps. As we were making good time, we extended the route through Goosey, Denchworth and Grove. That pint of shandy at the end tasted good.

Curryallian Evening

Just two of us tonight - always good to natter and nosh!


123 km  x5  x8
Ride Category
It started off quite nippy, so we enjoyed a good warm-up out through the Vale flatlands. It wasn't long before a clothing readjustment was in order though, just in time for the first major climb of Britwell Hill - a long drawn-out affair that you can see going straight up the hillside from a mile or so back. Did someone say 14%? Anyhow a nice long descent followed through Pishill and Stonor (first reference) Park.

After the turnoff at Middle Assendon, we took a sneaky right from the Boulters Bash route up the rather harsh Fawley Hill stopping at the top next to a graveyard with a rather impressive mausoleum (built 1750 as a family tomb for the Freeman family, of Fawley Court). Back onto the aforementioned route, Nick managed to get a snakebite descending Dudley Lane, so I took the opportunity to tighten my loose headset.

Next it was to Hambleden, where Louis relived memories of his nuptials, and then over the weir at Mill End and through the meadows past Aston, and on to the thronging mass of beautiful people at Henley Regatta. Lunch al fresco at the Henley Piazza was very welcome, as were the ice-creams...

A gentle restart along the banks of the Thames and then up through the delightful Harpsden Valley, Sonning Common, the Herb Farm (second oblique reference) and Tokers (third and final reference) Green, along a pretty rough road before the B4074 (7 Bends of Death) road. The descent into Goring was welcome, and the group wisely played the Streatley Hill Gambit Declined on the other side of the river.

Meanwhile, Nick's front tyre had been getting softer... and as we hit the traffic lights near the A34, a further stop was in order to add a tyre boot this time. A pothole at Rowstock was the final straw for Nick, with another instant flat, at which point he told us to carry on without him while he smoked a Hamlet and did a leisurely final fix.

A tough ride, at a good pace in lovely weather - it was such a pleasure being out today.


Wednesday Evening Ride

47 km  x10
Ride Category
It was a gloomy and cool evening, but that didn't deter 10 riders, including (welcome!) Carol, from turning up.

The traverse of the Spring Line was marked by a few impatient drivers with little regard to safety, but having huffed and puffed up the undulations, we settled into a more constant exertion as we dropped into the Vale.

The former level crossing and cattle bridge of Stainswick Lane was new to all bar the locals, and the remainder of the ride was at a very decent pace, and very sociable due to the double line.

The Fox, as ever, provided a very amenable location for post-ride cool down - a delightful evening on the velocipede!


Welcome Ride

50 km  x6  x1
Ride Category
We were greeted by the Armed Forces setting up in the Market Square for their day, as riders gathered we took a look at the military equipment on display.

A ride of 2/3 and 1/3! The first 2/3 into Abingdon was relaxed, leisurely riding. With a favourable wind we made pretty quick progress to the coffee stop where we wondered how Abingdon supports so many coffee shops in such a small area, we reckoned there were 3 independents and 2 Costas.

We took the pleasant riverside lane and slightly off-road Peep O'Day Lane to Sutton Courtenay where Nick headed home having cycled to Wantage.

The punishment for the easy first 2/3 was a stiff headwind across the Steventon/Hanney plains and down the A338 back to Wantage where we also encountered some light showers. The group worked really well together to keep a steady pace without gaps forming in the peloton, it was pretty tough going and it's fair to say there wasn't much talking at this point!!

We were back to Wantage before midday and before the Armed Forces Day had properly kicked off. Well done all and thanks for your company :)


Wednesday Evening Ride

44 km  x8  x3
Ride Category
A glorious midsummer day evening. And a great group of riders, including Kirsten Smith on her first Corallian ride. Welcome Kirsten. An impatient lorry-driver with a very loud air-horn on the 417 failed to impact the mellow feel. Didcot was like a ghost-town and was traversed without incident. A goodly pace was maintained throughout. We finished off with a rehydrating pint in The King Alfred's Head before heading for home.

Cotswolds Ride to Winchcombe

101 km  x4  x5
Ride Category
A wonderful hot sunny day (could this be England?), but not overpowering (until you stopped when sweat gushed forth and the flies descended).
Someone remarked that this ride was like a trip back in time. The Cotswold villages seemed from pre-WW2 and we were passed from time to time by old Bentleys on their way to Winchcombe (https://www.bdcl.org/events/concours).

After the customary navigational error (this time in Cirencester, home of the giant hare) we headed up the gentle incline of the White Way, eventually giving way to the Compton Abdale Alps. All were happy to tackle an off-road section of the Winchcombe Way after which a high speed descent of Salters Hill (where the cattle grid at the bottom proved too much for my Garmin mount!) led us on to our lunch stop. Hayles Farm Cafe was quiet and the early lunch at 1130 was particularly appreciated by John (50 km + 56 km self-inflicted punishment!).

Post-lunch, the main climbs, Corndean Lane and the Withington Lung Buster, stung the legs but earned us another refreshment stop. At Denfurlong Farm Cafe we were greeted by a barbecue (fortunately for us, though sadly for the organisers, undersubscribed) and a singer/guitarist couple. Fortified by some excellent farm-made ice cream we headed back at a decent lick.
Good company and glorious views. Highlight perhaps was the sweeping descent down the valley from Hawling towards Guiting Power.

Wednesday Evening Ride

42 km  x6  x1
Ride Category
Barry organised a wonderful route that although only 42km long had plenty of climbs. We headed out towards the Letcombes and up Court Hill for the first climb of the evening. We then dropped down to Fawley before searching out all the hills between Brightwalton, Leckhamstead, West Ilsley and Farnborough.

Chris and Adrian dropped off at Farnborough to return home as they had already done a pre-ride and the remaining group returned to Wantage via Chain Hill.

Great weather and company .