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Sociable leisure rides for enthusiastic cyclists

Ride Reports

6WednesdayJULY

Weds Eve Wanderer

 49 km  247 m  01:54  x8
Ride Category
5TuesdayJULY

Keeping it local

 51 km  241 m  02:02  x9  x1
Ride Category
A pleasant relaxed ride in the Vale taken at a steady pace.
Stop for all at the Stanford Community Cafe.
Refreshments for most in Alfie's garden.
3SundayJULY

Avebury All-day Ride

 107 km  1101 m  04:25  x11  x2
Ride Category
Conditions were good and, despite the headwind and early climbs, we set a decent pace on the quiet country lanes out to Avebury . The sun was beating down as we took an early lunch from the basic but adequate selection at the NT cafe there. Jarv was traumatized by the NT prices but after some counselling was able to continue the ride. Further therapy may be needed I fear.

The Avebury to Wroughton road was much busier than I expected. Traffic was building up behind us even though we were in a tight 2x group and there were plenty of straights for overtaking. Some drivers just lack the confidence to overtake I guess. So we pulled over periodically and also experimented with different formations. On this road, on this day groups of 4 riders seemed to work best as it allowed us to ride single file and drivers then seemed more comfortable going for the overtakes. We continued like this to Wroughton without incident where we got back onto quiet back roads again. From there we surfed the tail wind back to Wantage, pausing briefly for ice creams at Shrivenham Spar.

A couple of us went to the Fred's Head garden for a pint after and were glad that we bagged the only covered table as a heavy shower hit just as we got the beer in our hands. But all was dry when we left 30 minutes later. Result!

Another enjoyable day out in the countryside, mostly a pleasant route apart from the Avebury - Wroughton section.

Thanks to Louis for diligent sweeping duties.
29WednesdayJUNE

Wednesday Evening Ride - Ups and Downs

 40 km  545 m  01:43  x9  x2
Ride Category
Plenty of short sharp climbs, plus Court Hill which is a tough start, but everyone took them in their stride and the many pauses to re-group were kept short. Once we left the A338 the lanes were very quiet and allowed a very pleasant sociable ride. Good to have new member Peter on the ride, as well as recently-joined Glyn and Drew. Thankyou to everyone and particularly Rachel for sterling work as sweeper. Four of us topped up our fluids at the KAH afterwards.
28TuesdayJUNE

Bibury

 91 km  620 m  03:38  x6  x2
Ride Category
All six riders today were resplendent in club kit!

This was a ride full of gusty crosswinds. We dropped John at Highworth after he had taken his turn at the front. Rachel, our avocado lover, was in her element at Bibury Trout Farm.

We were very disciplined on the return leg, crossing the A420 cautiously and keeping in tight formation on the busy A417 until our turn to Gainfield.

After a long Tuesday ride we deservedly relaxed (beer) in Alfie’s sunny garden.
26SundayJUNE

Welcome Ride to Coleshill

 57 km  473 m  02:20  x13  x4
Ride Category
A fun fair was being set up in the Market Place when we arrived, which led to a few surreal conversations before we set off. It was just as well that the stalls hadn’t opened or we could easily have been joined by a tiger or teddy bear if Paul B had had his way.

As we started out along Mill Street spots of rain began to fall and there were noticeable gusts of a wind. The raindrops were short lived, but the gusty wind stayed with us throughout the ride.

We had expected Ian to join us at Challow Station as he had been delayed getting to the start due to having to set-up a borrowed bike for the ride leader. However, as he wasn’t waiting for us, we continued on our way expecting that he’d be waiting further along the route.

The gusting south westerly wind put the majority of the twelve strong group of riders off the optional ascent up Dragon Hill, so just two die-hards in the form of Ben and Louis took on the challenge. Whilst the rest of us waited at the bottom of White Horse Hill for the die-hards to re-join the group, Nick performed a good deed for the day by helping a tourist with directions.

We arrived at the Carpenter’s Canteen before the masses and enjoyed their very delicious flapjacks. We were finally joined by Ian who had followed his own variation of the route to catch us and confessed that a second breakfast had been the cause of him losing track of time.

Rain threatened as we were preparing to leave the café, but the spots were again short-lived. We climbed the hill to Badbury Clumps then followed the route past the Faringdon Folly down to the A420. The crossing was awkward here, so we decided, for safety, to cross on foot. Two tightly formed groups, plus a breakaway rider, then made short work of the A417. Andy N and Paul J left us before we rode in to Denchworth, so they missed the Denchworth Dash. We decided to reroute to avoid the fair in the Market Place, so ended the ride at the King Alfred’s Head.

Thank you Louis for sweeping.
22WednesdayJUNE

Wednesday Evening Ride to Brighthampton

 50 km  187 m  01:59  x8  x1
Ride Category
Perfect weather conditions combined with quiet country lanes made for an enjoyable mid-summer's evening ride. The only downside of those quiet country lanes is boy racers travelling along them in the opposite direction. Fortunately the driver was just about able to see over the steering wheel (probably had a booster seat), so was able to stop in time. It was nice to welcome Fabio back for another ride with us.
21TuesdayJUNE

Tues Morning - Blewbury Not a Hill

 61 km  379 m  02:24  x7  x3
Ride Category
Ride the solstice day
Blazing skies to Diamond Light
Highway of sunbeams

.............................. Original haiku verse by Pete the pedalling poet.
19SundayJUNE

Away Ride - Cherwell Valley

 101 km  1113 m  04:29  x6  x4
Ride Category
The six of us set off into a stiff, cool headwind arriving at the lumpiness of the Astons where cyclists warned us that the route through Somerton was blocked. The resulting diversion took us up the busy A4260 to Deddington from where the much more pleasant road Eastwards returned us to the original route via Aynho.

At Limes Farm Cafe (re-branded as "The Foxes"?) the unlikely looking proprietor seemed very keen that we should sit outside, but the coffee and cake seemed fine and Pete extolled the virtues of the bacon bap for many subsequent miles.

After Williamscot we were overtaken by a succession of vintage motorbikes. Pete decided to race one and kept up with it for a while before his interest (or stamina?) ran out.

After the grind up Warmington hill, lunch in the garden of National Herb Centre went down well, particularly the brunch option. With quieter roads, a tailwind and flatter terrain, quick progress was made down as far as Barford St John where Jez failed to negotiate a RH bend. It turned out that he had punctured just prior to the corner!

After playing "gatey - gatey" through the Worton Estate we continued through lumpy North Oxfordshire villages to arrive back at Woodstock at 1515., where Louis, happily restored to full physical (if not mental!) health, headed off to ride home.

Great company and an enjoyable ride!
15WednesdayJUNE

Wednesday Evening Ride - Flat Abingdon

 49 km  103 m  01:53  x11
Ride Category
A warm sunny evening and the promise of a flat ride brought out the crowds. As always with such a large group, ride-management was tricky at times, particularly through the busy section between Steventon and Abingdon. Once that was done, better discipline prevailed. The low sun made visibility difficult in the latter stages but the descent through Charney was entirely in the shade and felt blissfully easy. Thanks to Rachel for sweeping (also known as herding cats).