Sociable leisure rides for enthusiastic cyclists

Ride Reports


Summer Tuesday Ride

 74 km  313 m  03:00  x7
Ride Category

Away Ride - Campdens & Broadway

 83 km  967 m  03:42  x3  x5
Ride Category
A beautiful day out in the Cotswolds!

Having ridden out from Wantage, Dave joined Libby and I at Burford. The unpleasant climb on the busy A424 out of Burford soon gave way to more peaceful lanes through Fifield, Kingham and Evenlode. The arm warmers were removed at Moreton in Marsh where we enjoyed leisurely coffees sitting outside in the sun. Back on the bikes Batsford Park looked splendid with a multitude of young foals accompanying their mothers. The section of road from Batsford through Draycott and Broad Campden to Chipping Campden is undulating but flows nicely through these unspoilt (and at that time not yet heaving with tourists) Cotswold villages.

A variant on the originally posted route had come to my mind and everyone expressed a preference for the climb up from Saintbury to Broadway Tower for lunch rather than the climb up Snowshill from Broadway after lunch. However the first kilometre out of Saintbury was rather steeper than expected, though fortunately mostly in shade. The gradient then relented and we were soon up on the Cotswold plateau. The tower and the nearby cafe were busy but there was a spare table in the garden and the lunch orders soon arrived.

By the time we started the return ride the temperature had crept up to a very respectable, but still comfortable, 23degC. The hordes of tourists in Bourton on the Water slowed us down a little before a last big climb through Great Rissington and a rapid run in to Burford. Dave headed off for a well-deserved ice cream before setting off back to Wantage - Libby and I found our cars in the now-packed car park.

Thank you both for your excellent company!

Wednesday Evening Ride - Fyfield

 42 km  218 m  01:44  x4  x2
Ride Category
It was a beautifully sunny warm evening and where was everyone? At 18:27 I was beginning to think I would be riding alone, but just like buses, three riders turned up. It was nice to see Andy O’Shaughnessy back on a ride. The ride was flat with just the one hill (Holborn Hill) out of Letcombe Bassett, so the pace was good. As we were on the last stretch back into Wantage, Nick had a puncture, which was efficiently repaired, but the tyre was already patched up, so he decided to take a more direct route home, so the Pam, Andy and I continued on route back to Wantage. A lovely Wednesday evening ride, thanks for joining me.

Summer Tuesday Ride

 60 km  442 m  02:46  x8
Ride Category
Very cloudy when we left Wantage and it remained like that for most of the ride. We went out along the Springline and got as far as Kingston Lisle where Phil D peeled off to return home with a broken cleat.

The leader managed to upload the incorrect route so had to rely on others to point him in the right direction as we circumnavigated Shrivenham.

The route home was helped by a bit of wind assistance and 5 of us enjoyed a drink outside at Alfie’s before going home.

Morning Ride - Walbury Hill

 73 km  775 m  03:23  x5  x1
Ride Category
Well that was an interesting ride. First the Ride Leader #1 had to ask for a stand-in leader, who willingly stepped forward. Then the stand-in Ride Leader #2 turned up wearing crocs without cycling shoes. Of the five riders the three leaders agreed to share the responsibility.

Ride Leader #3 led up Manor Road before pausing at the stop to regroup.
Ride Leader #4 led up Walbury Hill and paused to take photos at the top.
Ride leader #5 rerouted us back at Kintbury to miss out a section of the A4.

The pitstop at the Honesty Cafe was bizarre. They serve breakfast until 10 and lunch from 12 - we arrived at 11. They had 12 cake servings on display and nothing in reserve. That was it! We did consider diverting to Hungerford for a greater choice but chose to sit in the sun instead.

Louis checked his bike before setting off again - always good practice - and found that the sidewall of his rear tyre was splitting away from the bead. So he reduced tyre pressure and rode mostly standing over the front wheel to relieve the load on the rear tyre. Descents were taken at low speed but nothing eventuated on the return to Wantage.

A great route in glorious sunshine. I am sure we will ride this route again (with an alternative cafe stop) for the benefit of the two ride leaders who missed out and any other members interested in a hilly ride.

Flat ride in the Vale

 44 km  183 m  01:48  x3
Ride Category
Warm and sunny weather for a change which was a good start for our new ride as 3 of us left Wantage for a relaxing evening ride. Fabio spotted us on our way to Denchworth and turned around and joined us for the rest of the ride.

The roads seemed quiet for a change so the ride was very straightforward and Chris and i were back in the market place by 8-15 and enjoyed a drink at Alfie’s where Pete popped in for a natter on his way home.

Blakes Coleshill

 72 km  534 m  03:07  x7  x1
Ride Category
Spring has arrived.
All but one in shorts - no names,, no pack drill Paul.
Two (Nick and Simon) had looked at 20’C forecast and were in short sleeves

We spread out going up the hills and regrouped at the tops. Blakes at Coleshill sold a lot of cinnamon buns. We just recovered after the steep hill at Badbury - no bluebells for us.

We enjoyed the ride.

Blowingstone-White Horse Audax

 103 km  1330 m  x3
Ride Category
A smaller field than usual started the audax this year, 32 including one on the line entry, excluding 4 DNS, but a fine day (at least until mid-afternoon when a sharp shower caught out some of the slower (value for money) riders. Kudos to the three Corallian riders - Hugo led the field back to Uffington. Some interesting stories from the some of the riders - a special mention for Neil T who saved the day for another rider when he incurred a broken rear gear cable just before Martinsell Hill. Neil tightened the rear derailleur Top Limit screw to enable the other rider to complete the ride on a two gear set-up. Other riders missed the time cut-off following punctures and flat phone batteries, but everyone seemed to enjoy a good day out.

A big thank you to Nick and June Dunton, Pete Wrench, who manned the Marlborough Control, Hugh Falkner, Pam (special mention for her cakes - widely admired!) and Louis for their help with setting up, catering and tidying up the hall afterwards. Despite the small field and increased costs about £60 was raised for the Thames Valley Air Ambulance.

Nick S

(I'm sorry I completely forgot to get someone to take photos!)

Wednesday Evening Ride - Sincombe Hill & Woolstone

 19 km  268 m  01:00  x1  x1
Ride Category
Not too surprised that nobody else turned up but despite the rain I decided to push on with a shortened ride - in fact the rain had all but stopped by 1900, though there were some very large puddles on the road. My efforts were rewarded with a puncture at Letcombe Bassett but it was a pleasant place to spend a few minutes and the rain had stopped.

Wantage to Dorcester-on-Thames Tuesday Ride

 74 km  433 m  03:06  x7  x1
Ride Category
The ride today was unusual for many reasons, the sun was out, it was warm, and John Groves joined us, back from his trip to Zimbabwe. It was also a ride with a far bit of discipline, but also some impetuous behaviour, particular by Mr Wrench. At one point he appeared to have aspirations of being a Didcot Phoenix Expresso rider as he hunted down a Didcot Phoenix rider who passed us near the Harwell site. Fair play to him, he caught the rider at the Rowstock roundabout!! Overall, it was a most enjoyable ride, feeling the warm sun back again, made everyone seem more energised, however, it was not enough to entice anyone to the King Alfred’s Head for a drink – sorry John maybe next time!