Sociable leisure rides for enthusiastic cyclists

Ride Reports


Summer Tuesday Ride - Lambourn Valley - Hermitage

 65 km  870 m  02:49  x3  x3
Ride Category
At 0930 it looked likely to be a very wet ride but the rain had stopped by 0950 and we enjoyed a dry and increasingly warm ride (with plenty of puddles). Sincombe Hill with a headwind was hard work and there was certainly no coasting down to Lambourn, but progress became much easier after we turned onto the valley road over towards Boxford. Hilliers Garden Centre at Hermitage was much changed since my last visit (last Autumn?). The day before our visit their new building opened for business, and customers are now met by a lifesize sculpture of a horse. The new building incorporates a drinks and cakes cafe, though we were able to purchase sausage rolls in their shop to consume in the cafe. Hot food is available in the (slightly) older cafe at the East end of the site. We emerged into the sun and made our way back to Wantage via Beedon, West Ilsley and Farnborough. My thanks to Richard and Louis for a very pleasant, incident-free ride.

Welcome Ride - Wantage to Abingdon

 64 km  277 m  02:42  x6  x1
Ride Category

Surprisingly on a drizzly Sunday morning there were five eager riders waiting in the market place! Just after we set off, we were then joined by Nick. S so a respectable six. As we made are way out of Wantage the rain stopped and wet weather gear was removed. We arrived in Abingdon Market Square, which was surprisingly quiet, well, quiet in the sense of people, it was not long before the campanologist got going! As we departed Abingdon the drizzle started again and wet weather gear was required. As we entered Sutton Courtenay Andy peeled off towards home. The ride back to Abingdon was at times into a slight head wind, but we made it back to the Market Square ready for some refreshments at the KAH. An enjoyable morning ride.

Tuesday Morning Ride

 52 km  326 m  02:06  x2
Ride Category
The wind was WILD on this figure of 8 route round the Vale.
Up past the cricket club the descent to the Childrey crossroads was hazardous. We found our balance and Pete found his legs.

The stop at the community cafe in Stanford was a delight - hot soup and a chance encounter with some familiar faces.

At the A417 Pete turned right to stay on the full planned route and had a delightful doggy encounter. The ride leader turned left and pootled back more directly to Wantage.

Away Ride - Winchester to Southwick

 94 km  1341 m  04:21  x1  x2
Ride Category
....."How was your ride today Pete?"

"Well it was a very pretty route, rolling up and down on almost entirely traffic-free tiny little lanes with some lovely vistas, woodlands and villages. One to be proud of I think. Some thrilling long descents through the trees in the second half too."

....."Nice, and what about the weather?"

"It was completely dry until the cafe stop. Then, just as I was tucking in to a breakfast bap, a couple of claps of thunder and lightning announced the arrival of some refreshing summer rain, which developed to be too refreshing at times. So I just suited up and cracked on. I was unfortunate to have to fix a puncture under these conditions but it was just warm enough to be bearable. The low rain clouds also spoiled some of the views in the second half, but eventually the rain stopped for the last hour or so of the ride."

....."Sounds good, but didn't you get lonely riding all that way solo and perhaps start loosing it and talking to yourself"

"What do you know about it you muppet?"

Summer Tuesday Ride

 53 km  124 m  02:08  x4  x1
Ride Category
Fab four of John, Paul, Louis and Phil set off in benign conditions for a flat ride. We went to Bloomfields in Shrivenham for coffee. We then rode back to Wantage and met The Wrench before retiring to Alfie's.
Simple fun! :)

Marlborough - Hilly

 75 km  988 m  03:07  x5
Ride Category
Muggy day freshened up from time to time by a few light showers, gave very pleasant riding conditions. Paul, struggling with his form, left the ride early on at Ramsbury, to re-appear on our return to Wantage Market Square. Refreshments were taken, sitting outside, at Mercer's in Marlborough. Jez left the ride at Baydon.

Thanks to Louis for the route.

Tuesday Morning Ride - Blewbury & The Moretons

 57 km  219 m  02:22  x7  x2
Ride Category
Another fine day of Indian Summer, but a gentle breeze ensured that the heat was never oppressive. The early off-road sections to Harwell Business Centre were successfully negotiated with puncture and we were soon at Savages enjoying a very early refreshment stop. After a pep talk from Pete W at Blewbury an exemplary riding discipline was maintained all the way back to Wantage (okay, well until we turned onto Mill Street!) and six of us enjoyed a well-earned post-ride drink. Thank you everyone - a joy to lead it!

All-day Ride

 92 km  442 m  03:42  x6  x4
Ride Category
This was the deferred Staycation ride from Thursday, which was cancelled due to poor weather – well what a difference in weather, after the Autumn mist lifted, we had a glorious sunshine. Steady progress was made to St Martin’s Church in Bladon, Louis headed back home just before at Eynsham. As we reached the church the congregation were leaving the after the morning service – we visited the graves of the Spencer-Churchill family, including Sir Winston Churchill, which were bathed in beautiful sunshine. A quick visit inside the church to see the stained-glass windows before we headed back to Eynsham to the Cherry Tree Café. On the way Pete “The mechanic” suffered a wasp sting on his head, which caused some discussion and let us be honest some amusement, while enjoying various refreshments. The ride back to Wantage was again at a good steady pace, we bid farewell to Nick and Andy at various points on the route home. The remaining three of us got back to Wantage and enjoyed a refreshing drink at KAHs. An enjoyable well-disciplined ride all round, thanks.

Staycation 2023 - BBQ

 48 km  202 m  02:00  x5
Ride Category
Four of us left the bustling market place for a steady ride through the Vale. Pam, who had already set a personal best at the Abingdon fun run, met us en route.

We returned to my house in Wantage. Several club members (non-riders today) - Libby, Pete and Paul Jarvis - joined us for a BBQ.

Thanks to all for a very pleasant way to wrap up our staycation week.

Staycation 2023 - Waylands Smithy via Seven Barrows

 51 km  569 m  02:30  x5  x5
Ride Category
A drizzly but quite warm start had us donning then removing then donning again waterproof jackets but the weather steadily improved through the morning. After a brief stop at Seven Barrows we set off up to the top of Blowingstone Hill where Phil, delayed getting to Wantage, was waiting for us.
Having abandoned the idea of a picnic lunch there was no need for a stop at Uffington. The main climb of the day was Knighton Hill to the Ridgeway, slightly muddy and potholed but fine for standard roadbike tyres. Waylands Smithy was then only half a kilometre along one of the flattest parts of the Ridgeway, again easily rideable. By this time the sun was making an occasional appearance (a picnic would have been possible after all!) to brighten up the photos.
A gentleman there told us the local legend of Wayland Smithy: "The smith there will shoe a horse for a passer-by, if a coin is left on the stone and the traveller leaves him alone while he works. But if you try to watch the smithy, the magic will not work."
Returning to the Springline road we were soon esconced at a table outside the Ashbury Cafe enjoying hot drinks, toasties and baguettes. On arriving back in Wantage four of us enjoyed a quick beer in front of the KAH.