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.