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Sociable leisure rides for enthusiastic cyclists

Ride Reports

14SundayJANUARY

Morning Ride

56 km  x15  x3
Ride Category
Good calm day and not too cold (once all the layers had been put on). 15 riders turned up for a pleasant warm up on the flat through Grove, Denchworth, Baulking, Uffington to Shrivenham.

We took the challenge of Ashbury hill on and then enjoyed the downhill into Lambourn. It was a bit of a squeeze at coffee, but we all managed to get a drink and something to eat. Off for the second biggish hill of the day and then downhill all the way back to Wantage.

Thanks to Terry for sweeping and thanks to good fortune for no punctures and no mechanicals, all in all a good ride.

10WednesdayJANUARY

Winter Evening Ride

29 km  x6  x1
Ride Category
The first ride for me and a couple of others since before Christmas, but no one really lost their cycling fitness judging from tonight's ride.

We started as 5 until Dave caught us up at the railway bridge at the end of the Denchworth road. From the start, the fog started to thicken and glasses were removed to aid visibility.

It was cold wet and visibility was getting worse so we decided to shorten the route and head straight to Southmoor via West Hanney. We then headed back to Charney and back to Wantage. Still a good ride albeit we could hear everyone but not see a thing. All I can remember is red tail lights :)
8MondayJANUARY

Committee Meeting

 x3
7SundayJANUARY

Marlborough

97 km  x3  x3
Ride Category
Boot camp at 09:00 on the first Sunday of the year!

We had to be careful in the morning as the route moved onto lanes that had not been salted. While the sun was pleasant it was ineffective. Savernake Forest was great.

The Food Gallery in Marlborough provided a welcome late breakfast for us before we rode up to Hackpen 2. Thereafter we faced a chilling and strong North-Easterly, but this did not stop us getting back to Wantage for coffee and chat by 2:30pm.

31SundayDECEMBER

New Year's Eve

66 km  x10  x1
Ride Category
An overcast but fair morning and mild. Ten riders gathered for a very friendly ride out to Boar's Hill.

Dave made sure we knew he was back by getting his obligatory puncture near Hinton Waldrist :p

This was one of the easiest rides I've ever had to lead, I rather enjoyed leading from the back for sections of the ride as the group kept nice tight formation. I notice however that I was put to the front for the headwind sections back from Abingdon :)

We stopped at R&R in Abingdon Market Square which does bacon butties etc. on a Sunday. Recommended for future rides. Nick fixed his rattly mudguard whilst we were stopped.

To avoid the A338 in a headwind we extended the ride by going via the Hanneys and Denchworth and still finished before 1pm. A very well disciplined group which was a pleasure to lead. Happy New Year (beer)

29FridayDECEMBER

Hungerford

66 km  x2  x6  x2
Ride Category
Unsurprisingly given the weather forecast most riders stayed in bed! I was surprised and pleased that Nick turned up at the Market Place just as I thought I was going to be Johnny No Mates.

The first half of the ride up Chain Hill and through the Ilsleys and Compton wasn't too bad, some watery sunshine but there was a bit of a crosswind at times and a lot of snow in the verges in places. The roads were very wet and flooded in a few low spots plus some slush that needed avoiding. The recent cold weather has also opened up a lot of new potholes.

When we turned into the wind near Yattendon it wasn't horrendous but the cold rain that hit us at Chieveley was. Very heavy with strong blustery winds for good measure. We got cold and wet very quickly and sheltered under the M4 bridge for a re-think.

We decided to continue to Boxford and turn for home there and abandon going all the way to Hungerford. The rain and wind were still bad until we got to the A338 when the Sun came out.

The cold had somewhat sapped at least my strength and it was a long drag up to the top of Manor Hill and a slightly scary descent with crosswinds back to Wantage.

We managed 66km in less than ideal conditions which was quite pleasing. When does Winter finish?

24SundayDECEMBER

Welcome Ride

57 km  x10  x2
Ride Category
Good to see bikes bedecked in tinsel and helmets adorned with antlers and baubles as we gathered under King Alfred. Hugo came to say hello and took a photo of us before we set off.

It was mild and fairly bright, although overcast, and the roads were quiet out to Faringdon and Clanfield. No refreshments to be had in Bampton so we pedalled on to Aston Pottery, passing several groups of riders also dressed for Christmas, getting there just after they opened.

As we were getting ready to leave a large group from Didcot Phoenix arrived and we wished each other Merry Christmas and chatted to friends for a few minutes before heading off.

Bizarrely the weather had changed completely whilst we were eating cake, it was much colder, duller, windier and there was some fine drizzle. But we made good progress on the regular route back to Wantage keeping together nicely as a group throughout. We got back to the Market Square just after midday as the roads were starting to get much busier.

Merry Christmas everyone (beer)

17SundayDECEMBER

Cotswolds Away Ride

80 km  x6
Ride Category
There was plenty of ice in the car park as we set off. Half an hour in, just warmed up, the drizzle started and got progressively worse to lunch. There were a few patches of snow up in the Cotswolds, but nothing that made the roads too bad.

Malmesbury Garden Centre delivered a superb lunch - Corallian breakfasts all around, together with radiators for wet kit. A glance at the weather radar persuaded us to take a leisurely lunch to allow the rain to pass, which it did.

The afternoon's ride back had a puncture and a road closure to deal with - the first was most efficient, and some guess work on the second saw us go through Cricklade and nicely avoid the A419 using a bridlepath (that was the best tarmac of the day).

A nice cuppa at the Gateway Centre at the end and a bit of retail therapy at Cotswold Outdoor brought proceedings to a fitting close.
9SaturdayDECEMBER

Corallian Christmas Dinner

 x12
The food was good, the company was good, and some of the conversations were bizarre. I should stop at saying that Olivia entertained and I think Lyn's hearing aid may have melted... but anyway, he asked for Olivia's mum's telephone number.

Seriously though, we raised £51.10 for the Whizz Kids charity by way of a collection, as a precursor to the Mince Pie Ride cancellation - thank you everyone for your generosity.
6WednesdayDECEMBER

Winter Evening Ride

49 km  x3
Ride Category
Four riders turned up to battle the wind, as Strom Caroline headed our way.

It was good to see two new faces with John Boaler and Ben Heavers from the Peaky Climbers joining myself and Mike for a quick blast around the flat lands to the North.
The ride out was fun, with the wind behind us we made short work of the 16k to Abingdon, averaging a respectable 30km/h. The journey back to Wantage was a different story, heart-rates rose and speed dropped as we battled with the wind. We probably earned ourselves at least three pigs in blankets, making it worth the effort.

An enjoyable 2 hours was had by all and it was good to have my first ride lead pass without any hitches.