Sociable leisure rides for enthusiastic cyclists

Ride Reports


Castle Combe Sightseer

 75 km  753 m  03:42  x11  x10
Ride Category
An excellent turn out with guest Simon Turner making us up to a round dozen.

We set off in cloudy but dry conditions and it stayed pretty much like that all morning. The route was well received and had plenty to entertain, passing through some of the most picturesque countryside, villages and towns and incorporating two towpath sections and two long and (dimly) lit tunnels. As if that were not enough, we also saw a flock of rhea/emu, a herd of pigmy goats, a llama farm, crossed a couple of canal aqueducts and passed several national trust properties.

A phantom puncture provided a good excuse to stop for a coffee and cake in central Bath, which was buzzing with tourists but traffic free on our route. A few minutes after resuming the ride the puncture reappeared but was swiftly dealt with. Meanwhile Nick's new bike drew the attention of the local police and was added to the national register. Hunger pangs and the smell of burgers drew us in to The Crossed Guns pub by the Avoncliff aqueduct where the food was excellent. We sat outside and enjoyed scoff ranging from dirty chips to Sunday roast beef dinner. Luckily it was flat for the first couple of miles after that and the sun was out to warm us up for the final bumpy section back to Castle Combe via Lacock National Trust village.


AGM and Dinner

Minutes and slides have been shared on Facebook and the website.

We got the business over and done with quickly, and had a lovely social and meal together - the consensus was that the food was fantastic!

Thanks to all members for supporting the club in the previous year - we're looking forward to more of the same for many years to come!

Morning Ride

 58 km  209 m  02:25  x3  x1
Ride Category
A very warm (actually wet and windy!) welcome to Caroline on her first club ride. Considering the state of the roads, Route B was enacted today, heading to Bampton via Fyfield and Yelford.

I kept suggesting that it was "brightening up", but every time I did, the weather seemed to redouble efforts to put us off. Anyhow, we took a very leisurely coffee / cake / breakfast stop in the dry, to discover on the way out that it was Mike's birthday - Happy Birthday Mike!

Taking the direct route home, it was rather less damp, although the rain didn't really finish until we stopped riding. The wind did pick though, so the last bit back from Charney Bassett into the headwind was rather a slog.

Anyhow, it was a lovely ride, despite the dampness!


Corallian Crusade

 105 km  409 m  04:33  x8
Ride Category
After some rather dodgy weather and a very wet overnight period the day dawned with blue skies and sunshine which accompanied the riders all the way around. It was pretty mild too.

Forty two riders completed the event, most complaining about the headwind on the return leg :)

Thanks to Nick, June, Tracey, Sue, Jasmine, Chris, Louis and Katherine for all their help on the day (beer)

Fifth Sunday Ride

 97 km  990 m  04:35  x1  x1
Ride Category
Solo - wet

Welcome Ride

 52 km  221 m  01:53  x4
Ride Category
At least we got to R&R in Abingdon in the dry this time!!

Only four riders but given the yellow weather warning for rain that was hardly surprising. The ride out to Cumnor was actually in the Sun and was very pleasant. I could see dark clouds gathering towards Abingdon though and I really wanted to get to the tea-stop in the dry for a change so we put on a very slick pace through Wootton!!

Is 10:15 a record for a club ride tea-stop?!

After refreshments I decided to head down Peep O'Day Lane to cut off the Drayton Road (Ken missed out on a little bit of off-road) and Andy headed home at Sutton Courtenay having cycled to the start.

It started raining as we approached Drayton and it was pretty heavy then all the way back. Richard left us at West Hendred and Lawrence and I decided to blast along the A-Road back to Wantage eschewing the back roads through Ginge in the pouring rain.

I was back in my car before 11:30am, another club record? An enjoyable ride despite the rain for the last bit :)


Away Ride

 97 km  930 m  04:15  x3
Ride Category
The sun was warming up nicely in Uffington as Stephen and I were getting ready when Paul, accompanied by Jason Jones, on his first Corallian ride, joined us, having ridden from Wantage.

The first part of the ride, with a persistent Westerly and the demanding spring line road, was taken at a steady pace. None of us wanted an early stop so we passed up the opportunity in Chiseldon and pressed on towards Wroughton. We regrouped at the top of the hill by the Science Museum library and proceeded through Broad Hinton before descending carefully off the Downs at Clyffe Pypard - the clue to its steepness is in its name!

The next 20 kilometres through largely deserted lanes were very flat before the bump up to Malmesbury. We parked our bikes in the back yard of the excellent Summer Cafe (open all year, including Sundays) for lunch.

The ride back was wind assisted and hot in the fierce sun on quiet country lanes. The shade of the trees on the stiff little climb up to Purton was a welcome substitute for the lack of air cooling. Swindonian drivers then lived up to their asinine reputation. We spread out along the B4019 before regrouping at Highworth and the simple run back to Uffington.

Back in Uffington by 2:15pm, we eschewed ice creams and saw Paul and the new Corallian, Jason, off on their final leg back to Wantage.

Espinasses and Seyne

 91 km  1776 m  05:11  x5  x13
Ride Category
A tough day in the heat, and we were into the Hautes Alpes for a lumpy one!

Starting off from the Durance barrage at Espinasses, we were soon climbing, up through a tunnel and then up to the foot of the Col de St Jean. Up and over the top, we took coffee in the hotel in the St Jean ski "resort" and then continued on through the lovely town of Seyne (market day in full swing), Selonnet and over the Col des Fillys.

A chance lunch stop at the Camping La Pierre De l'Aigle (last day of the cafe's season!) was most welcome, before finishing the descent and starting the next climb up the ever-so-hot Gorges de la Blanche. A bit further on we had the Col des Garcinettes to deal with and then we stopped at a hotel for ice-creams in Turriers - very familiar as I'd stayed here on my Provence Tour in 2018!

From then on it was pretty much downhill to the Durance, and a trip along the Gap Irrigation Canal finished off the holiday!



 89 km  838 m  04:05  x6  x5
Ride Category
An easier day out - up along the canal to Tallard (coffee stop at la Saulce) and back through the orchards, with a delightful al fresco picnic lunch.

After lunch we diverted off the route into Ribiers for ice-cream and chill-out.

Verdon Gorge

 92 km  2023 m  05:08  x6  x12
Ride Category
The Queen Stage of the holiday! Although it's a good drive to get to Moustiers Ste Marie, it was going to be worth it - the target was a circumnavigation of the Gorges du Verdon - the Grand Canyon of Europe.

Climbing almost immediately, it's impossible to properly describe the scenery, so the picture can do the talking. We had a stop to look at Point Sublime and the Sampson Couloir, ice-cream / patisseries stop in la Palud, lunch stop by the big bridge over the Autuby gorge, and numerous scenery stops.

A splendid day out - loads of climbing and descending, including the BIG one down to the Lac de St Croix which the Verdon river ends in.