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Sociable leisure rides for enthusiastic cyclists

Ride Reports

5SundayFEBRUARY

All-day Ride to Chippy

 109 km  747 m  05:59  x7  x2
Ride Category
Seven riders at the start in the early morning sunshine. More than expected and all were richly rewarded with a wonderful ride into the Cotswolds. :)
It was a bit chilly to start but we were dressed for the conditions and were warm within half an hour. The ride was a delight - dry roads, very little traffic, beautiful views, charming villages - in dappled sunshine. (sun)
We dropped two riders, who needed to get back, at the Cafe de la Post in Chadlington. The rest of us went on to dine at the Old Mill Coffee House. We had the gentle breeze at our back on the flat return leg.
Marvellous :D
31TuesdayJANUARY

Tuesday Morning Ride - Back to Bloomfields

 50 km  372 m  02:14  x6  x3
Ride Category
Good to see Andy and Simon again and the (slightly) warmer, dry weather was very welcome too - in fact warm enough to sit outside in the sun at Bloomfields. Nice chilled, incident-free ride with a pleasant "de-brief" at King Alfred's Head.
29SundayJANUARY

Great Bedwyn - Wendy's Cafe

 85 km  1038 m  04:25  x6  x1
Ride Category
Three of us set out from Wantage to be joined by three more at various points along the route to make a cordial group of six. One puncture at Chilton Foliat was well timed to allow the rest of us to check out the Roman mosaic while it was fixed. Before lunch we were all feeling the cold in the damp mist and drizzle. Unfortunately for us the faux log burner in the cafe is really just a fan heater so we arranged 6 pairs of gloves in front of it and gazed longingly at the flame effect. Food and coffee were good though and the cafe is full of interesting stuff (I particularly liked the Cornish pasty cushions). It felt a little warmer on the return leg with no more drizzle and the wind now behind us. Three riders peeled off at various points until we were back down to the original three for the final stretch. One of those rides that you didn't realize you enjoyed until it was over. Roll on summer.
26ThursdayJANUARY

Clanfield & Bampton Flat

 62 km  443 m  02:39  x2  x3
Ride Category
By the 10am start time the temperature had risen just high enough to melt away on-road ice patches, although there was still some to be seen lingering in the gutters, on the fields and even in slack water on the river Thames. We made a quick stop to inspect the tithe barn at Great Coxwell then continued on into the northerly headwind to Lechlade. At Bampton Garden Centre Cafe we were joined by a friendly Robin who has taken up residence there. Aside from more and larger potted plants the cafe was much the same as ever although perhaps the mid week staff are a bit better organised. Good to be out riding again after the recent cold snap.

TIL that I can embed the Strava activity of another user who is a Strava subscriber (such as Louis) even though I am not one. Viola!
24TuesdayJANUARY

Tuesday Morning Ride - Abingdon and Bayworth Hill

 54 km  240 m  02:17  x2
Ride Category
This was a slightly re-routed version of the ride on Sunday that was cancelled due to ice. It was still pretty icy when we set off, so Nick and I skipped the Ginge skid pan and stayed on the A417 to Featherbed Lane. Most of the route was well gritted, though we had to be a bit careful on the old Oxford Road coming into Kingston Bagpuize.

It was sub-zero when we left Wantage in marvellous sunshine and still hovering around zero after coffee in Abingdon. By the time we got back with the temperature at three degrees we were almost on the point of shedding layers of clothing - almost.
22SundayJANUARY

CANCELLED Welcome Ride - Abingdon & Bayworth Hill

Ride Category
17TuesdayJANUARY

Tuesday Morning Ride - Wallingford

 58 km  279 m  02:22  x3
Ride Category
15SundayJANUARY

From Benson to Wheatley Undulating

 49 km  413 m  02:14  x5  x2
Ride Category
The low ambient temp with added strong wind-chill no doubt put a few off, so five riders is not a bad turnout considering. Actually the first half of the ride, with the wind at our backs, the sun shining and with my best vest on, didn't feel too bad to me.

The route took us past acres and acres of flooded fields creating some striking landscapes, but the road itself was mostly dry. At Mill View garden centre cafe hearty breakfasts were polished off in style, thus showing the Phoenix expresso ride what we're made of.

The cafe is at the ride high point and the route is quite exposed into the wind for a while after, so it took a little time to get warmed up again. Most were relieved that it was only a further 18km to the finish and I was glad to have planned a shorter route.

Nice, straightforward ride, no dramas. Cheers everyone.
12ThursdayJANUARY

Thursday Ride to Chiselden

 75 km  706 m  03:29  x1  x1
Ride Category
Out: headwind, hilly and dry
Pit stop: bacon butty at new Three Trees Cafe
Back: tailwind, flat and wet (rain and bottom bracket submersing floods)
10TuesdayJANUARY

Tuesday Shorty to Trindledown Farm

 43 km  508 m  01:57  x3  x3
Ride Category
The wind was driving the rain into my face as I rode up to the square, where I was overjoyed to find Louis and Nick waiting. Off we went to battle our way up Hackpen Hill and over to Lambourn into this strong liquid headwind. Nick was in good form so we kindly let him sit on the front for the exposed section. By Lambourn the rain had stopped and this, together with the more sheltered terrain, made the climb up to Ermin Street less of an ordeal. After that it was easier going and we ripped along nicely. At Trindledown Farm we were greeted by three very friendly alpacas who came over to the fence for strokes and photos. The cafe there is an outpost of Goodies (of Lambourn) so the food is simple, hearty and good value. We emerged from the cafe to find the wind had dropped right off and we were cheated of a free ride back to Wantage. I still managed to hit 45mph down Chain Hill but I credit my Christmas fat reserves for that. All agreed it turned out to be a much more enjoyable ride than was anticipated at the start.