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Sociable leisure rides for enthusiastic cyclists

Ride Reports

8MondayMAY

Curryallian Evening

 x4
Chris Walters
Barry Gills
John Talbot
Mike Holmes
We also had a guest tonight, young Matthew Talbot.
7SundayMAY

Afternoon ride to Blewbury

48 km  x8  x4
Ride Category
Chris Walters
Adrian West
Barry Gills
John Talbot
Mike Holmes
Nick Dunton
Phil Stubbings
Richard Preece
Some of the morning riders stripped off over lunchtime into more skimpy gear, which turned out to be a good call, as it got nice and warm. Joined by Adrian, Mike and Richard, we cracked on through Ginge and Harwell, making the most of a cunning cut-through (that even the locals didn't know of) to avoid Didcot, we made it to Chilton garden centre to see Mrs Chairman, who had just run 26km, and her friends also taking afternoon coffee - an ideal way to spend your 23rd wedding anniversary.

Afterwards, we took the track of dubious laccess to the bottom of Bury Down, where we stopped and had a natter to the farmer's mother-in-law, who instead of shouting "get orf my land" was most welcoming and noted how the family welcome cyclists as long as the crops aren't damaged - point noted and thank-yous said, we rattled our way back to the tarmac.

Climbing over the Ridgeway and then back up to it again at Farnborough was rather hot for those of us (guilty!) who were still in warmer clothes. Still, the descent of Chain Hill provided sufficient wind chill to cool down again.

Only slightly slower and less hilly than this morning's Red ride, I think pats on the back are in order, and it was great to see Richard out riding again, and in good form!

7SundayMAY

Morning ride to Ramsbury

58 km  x6  x4
Ride Category
Chris Walters
Andy Newell
Barry Gills
John Talbot
Nick Dunton
Phil Stubbings
There was a little drizzle in the air before we set off, but the gloomy weather lifted to give us superb views on our climb up Sparsholt Firs, and then down the glorious Sheepdrove road. Then up Baydon Road, with John proclaiming this to be a new route, the first of many for him today. After the descent into Aldbourne and along the flat, we had a last climb up to Ramsbury where excellent coffee 'n' cake was waiting.

More climbing followed, and legs got a little wearier, including the A338 up to the top of the Ridgeway. By this time the sun was out and although the headwind was still rather tough, it may be starting to feel a little like Spring. Overall, a pretty quick ride considering the hilliness and the wind - well done to all.

Lunch was very welcome at Costa in Wantage, where we lost Andy for the afternoon...

3WednesdayMAY

Wednesday Evening Ride

42 km  x4
Ride Category
Adrian West
Chris Walters
John Groves
Mike Holmes
Only 4 of us tonight. To be expected by the look of the grey skies and hint of drizzle and rain.

As we set off from Wantage we immediately encountered a fairly strong headwind which tried it's best to sap our strength. It stayed with us all the way to Abingdon.

We finally got the wind on our backs and drizzle when we left Abingdon and made a swift return as the drizzle turned to light rain. Easing in places, but staying with us most of the way.

Putting the wind and rain aside, we had an enjoyable ride and the small group coped well with the pace.
3WednesdayMAY

Hills West of Shefford

52 km  x4  x3  x2
Ride Category
Chris Walters
Louis Hall
Phil Stubbings
Terry Penn
A rather nippy morning for 4 riders - it looked like it should be raining for most of the way around, and the sun only shone briefly just after Terry suggested it might.

Plenty of hills and a nagging northerly wind, but we made good time and had a coffee and cake at the cafe in Aldbourne - a hidden treasure. A quick diversion to see the Dalek, and before long we were slugging it out up Marridge Hill, only to find our way impeded by most of a blackthorn tree across the road. A good morning out!

30SundayAPRIL

Dibley Dawdle

109 km  x5  x5  x2
Ride Category
Nick Dunton
Andy Newell
Chris Walters
Louis Hall
Nick Stokell
The only dawdler on this ride was the leader, who thought it started at 9.30. Sorry for the late start guys! Good weather throughout. A stiff south-easterly made progress tough when it was head-on, particularly climbing to Ipsden and the final stretches back to Benson. We made it back before the promised rain.

A well-balanced peloton: everyone had a go on the front at some stage and minimal separation on the climbs, although the Turville Tunnel exerted its usual selection process - thanks for waiting for me. Bluebells were much in evidence, particularly in the woods after Turville.

We have coffee at Velolife which was rammed with cyclist and lots of carbon bling parked outside. Lunch at Jenner's kept us fuelled for the return leg. Louis and I took tea by the river before he set-off to cycle back to Wantage.

A really enjoyable ride - no mechanicals or nasty drivers - and excellent company!
26WednesdayAPRIL

Wednesday Evening Ride

41 km  x5  x2
Ride Category
John Talbot
Adrian West
Barry Gills
Louis Hall
Mike Holmes
I thought we'd finished with the winter rides!

As five brave souls gathered in Wantage it started to hail and then snow. Let's get going I said, then all hell broke loose. Apocalyptic hail, rain, snow, kitchen sinks afflicted us through Challow, our faces hurt as we descended.

It didn't last all that long, by Denchworth it had stopped. But now we are wet and cold. The only way to solve that is to ride hard and fast to try and warm up again. Adrian had had enough though so did a circuit round Denchworth and headed for the pub. It was a close call if Barry would continue as we went past his house with snow visible in the verges and fields!

However, the four remaining riders had a spirited and thankfully dry ride and completed the full distance. Some welcome warmth and food at the quiet Fox where Chris joined us for a natter was just what we needed.

Well done for coming out tonight, tough conditions!

26WednesdayAPRIL

Aldbourne

62 km  x2  x4
Ride Category
Chris Walters
Nick Dunton
Just a couple of riders today - maybe the overnight frost was a deterrent?

Anyhow, off we went and nearly had a club collision before we'd got 100m! An early diversion because the planned route was rather less of a road than had been hoped for, a sneaky route through Shrivenham brought us back on track, sneaking into Bishopstone by a new route. Up to the Ridgeway via White Hill, rather than the more common Hatchet Hill, and the descent into Aldbourne was splendid.

Marridge Hill was as tough as ever, and on the top we got exposed to the headwind, which really did sap the energy, and made the decent into Lambourn rather sluggish.

Over coffee, the discussion was around what makes some days seem "slow" - today is one such day. Climbing back out via Sheepdrove was a novelty and became rather tough into the headwind, and the decent down towards Childrey was similarly retarded.

A quick stop under a tree at the top of Pulpit Hill kept the hail off us, until it made a reappearance just after we finished. A tough morning's ride!