One bubble of six riders, dry roads and a windless day - some sun would have been nice but hey you can't have everything. This was a ride best suited to the whippet body shape but Oscar proved that youth and fitness can more than compensate by leading us up nearly all the climbs.
We bypassed the main Cotswold honey pots of Bibury and Bourton on the Water, but enjoyed the scenic Coln valley before heading up through Northleach and the switchback at Turkdean. After crossing the A40, the minor road to Harford provided a lovely, car-less descent down to the ford where Oscar chanced the wet route and survived the experience. The villages, most notably Naunton, were particularly photogenic with the Autumnal colours, but nobody felt inclined to stop. The undulations continued until the fast descent down Sudeley Hill towards Winchcombe. At 1115, too early for lunch, the Sudeley Castle cafe provided plenty of space and warmth but rather limited food options (cake, pasties, toasties).
After a post-lunch warm up through Winchcombe we ground our way up Corndean Hill and followed the undulating road South through Andoversford. Rather than take the long, hard climb through Withington Woods we took the alternative past Chedworth Roman Villa, visited by Corallian in 2018. The option of a tea stop at Denfurlong Farm was declined and we soon found ourselves on the flat roads back through Barnsley and Ampney Crucis.
A very pleasant day out. Thank you all!