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Sociable leisure rides for enthusiastic cyclists

Ride Reports

11WednesdaySEPTEMBER

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.


9MondaySEPTEMBER

Autour de Rosan

 109 km  1543 m  05:26  x6  x7
Ride Category
Welcome to Jez on this one, joining us for a few rides from his camper van!

An undulating start before the killer hill from Montjay up to Chapaiis. Uttely brutal in the morning sun, steeper than White Horse Hill, and rather longer. Many needed a stop, and walking was not too shameful. Some lovely downhill followed though, and at Rosans, we had a lovely lunch at la Boule d'Or - steaks all around!

More climbs (pretty much straight) after lunch in the mid-day sun where we retraced some of the morning's route before finding another hot hill and taking another detour to miss busy roads back to Laragne.


8SundaySEPTEMBER

Morning Ride

 61 km  340 m  02:30  x10
Ride Category
A good turnout for the B team. A beautiful sunny morning but the low temperatures meant an interesting variety of clothing at the depart. We made good progress across the flatlands and collected John T between Steventon and Drayton. [You know what these teachers are like – can’t get up in the mornings.] We managed to pick our way through the Didcot peripheral villages without incident, arriving at Chilton Garden Centre just as a group from Mid-Oxon CC were leaving. We took over their outside seats for a spell of sunbathing. Family Talbot joined us midway through a Ridgeway walk. We dropped John T at Rowstock and barrelled down the 417 to West Hendred where we took to the lanes again for the loop through Ginge and home.
8SundaySEPTEMBER

Gorges de Meouge

 102 km  1047 m  04:30  x5  x5
Ride Category
The gorge ride is a splendid gentle climb through a limestone gorge. Nice tarmac gave a hint, and when we reashed a summit at Barret sur Meouge, there was a yellow bike and jersey on the side of a gite, coincidentally owned by some Brits, and friends of the gite we were staying at. So we had a bit of a chat over the fence.

After 45 km, it becomes a long downhill affair, just a couple of lumps on the way into Sisteron, where we stopped for lunch. It was pretty blowy there, and after lunch we crossed the bridge over the Durance to take a look at the Citadel Rock - the full force of the mistral was making staying on the bike impossible as Andy was in raptures over the geology.

Back in the shelter, we had to take a diversion to the planned route, so it was a busy road, before stopping in Laragne for a post-ride beer... which was clearly a mistake, as it was 4km uphill into a headwind to get home!



6FridaySEPTEMBER

Troyes

 59 km  268 m  02:26  x3  x5
Ride Category
A select group of early birds managed to slip in a sneaky ride before dinner, on the tried and tested route to the Foret d'Orient. One hill to open our legs on, and a lovely stop in Lusigny-sur-Barse for patisserie and drinks, and a little touristing too.


1SundaySEPTEMBER

All-day Ride - Windrush

 113 km  703 m  04:38  x7  x3
Ride Category
Full club kit turnout today - all Corallian riders were in club kit. And then Nick Dunton turned up in his Roberts kit - but it was only a passing social visit to collect some cash. Colin and Simon from Beacon Road Cycling Club were resplendent in their Italianate colours - nice to see them again!

There was a headwind as we headed westwards, but nothing to worry the group. The sun shone, and the hill at Fernham generated some warmth. A quick deviation before Lechlade at St John's Lock gave us the opportunity to inspect Old Father Thames' statue and the Lilliputian houses.

Nick managed to "pick up" a German lady, who talked non-stop at/to him for a good while, clearly still very fit after completing PBP the previous week.

Just before Windrush, John had a puncture which was sorted out very quickly, much to the plaudits from our visitors. On the way quickly a few new roads took us to lunch at Alvescot. Or should I say "most of us" as Phil and Richard had overshot, and we had to use technology to track them down and guide them in, from the comfort of the dining table.

Lunch was leisurely, and didn't disappoint. Even Pete was happy with his Sunday Roast.

Upon setting off, there were a few spots of rain in the air, prompting the donning of waterproofs for those that had packed them. No great fuss for the remainder of the ride - a few new roads by Kelmscot, and we climbed back up the Corallian to Littleworth - quite a quick ride overall, but relatively flat.

28WednesdayAUGUST

Wednesday Evening Ride

 32 km  200 m  01:20  x7
Ride Category
Weather forecasts had been ominous earlier in the day but seven were more than ready for the reduced risk of rain. There was never any risk of sun!

We set off Eastwards on the A417 with a gentle breeze on our backs. The bridle track to Lockinge was a bit of a gravelly surprise for some and the potholes of Ginge were treated with appropriate caution.

A dangerous driver came to close to taking the ride leader out while overtaking the peleton on Featherbed Lane but fortunately the oncoming driver was alert to the danger and performed an emergency stop.

We enjoyed the swoop down to Steventon before the steady headwind to Hanney. With darkening clouds we eschewed the Charney Basset loop and made it safely back to Wantage at 20:00 - sunset.

We were joined by Chris Walters in the pub for pleasant reflections on our rides together on what was the last of this year's summer evening rides.
25SundayAUGUST

Welcome Ride

 49 km  593 m  02:02  x7  x2
Ride Category
Hot, hot, hot! It's been a while since there was such a glorious Bank Holiday weekend.

Slightly depleted numbers today, but we had a stark reminder that the spring line road to Ashbury is tougher than the return journey. Steve peeled off at the end of the rollercoaster to get back in time for the cricket, which must have been a rollercoaster journey itself to watch in real time - it was tough enough on the highlights.

Hatchet Hill was dispatched without fuss, and then the long slog up to Baydon strung the group out somehwat, before the delightful drop into Lambourn, where we luxuriated in the deep leather sofas of Goodies cafe, quaffing the excellent coffee. Dropping Jenny and Terry off at the crossraods for their ride back home, it just left the climb up the downs with a helpful tailwind and then the plummet back down Hackpen.

21WednesdayAUGUST

Wednesday Evening Ride

 41 km  311 m  01:37  x15  x2
Ride Category
Big group of 15 for the penultimate Wednesday summer ride including newcomer Andy - welcome! It was a pleasantly warm evening with a light wind and once we had got Sincome Hill out of the way good progress was made through the vale, finishing with some segment chasing up past Lain's Barn and a rapid return down the hill into Wantage. With such a large group inevitably we had regular re-groups but it all seemed to work pretty smoothly. A few dropped off at various points on the way back, but seven of us enjoyed a drink in the KAH beer garden and Louis celebrated completion of his house move - Cheers Louis!
18SundayAUGUST

Salisbury Circled - Away Ride

 99 km  1092 m  04:26  x4  x5
Ride Category
Driving to Amesbury through torrential rain it didn't look to promising but, by the time came to start the ride, the sun had come out and the weather just got better from there on. We set off along the beautiful Avon valley to Wilton where we paused for a few minutes to enjoy the spectacle of a super car event. The Wylye valley led us westward before we turned south and bossed the significant climb up to Wylye Downs. Ken, having developed a taste for gravel riding during the Coate ride, took off on a solo mission down a dirt track into Grovely Wood and was having such fun that it took a bit of effort to reel him in. Back on route, we dropped down to Fovant and saw the regimental badges carved into the chalk hillside before tackling the stiff climb onto the ridge. From there a strong tail wind and quiet lanes had us buzzing along to the lunch stop at the Borough Cafe at Downton. We then wended our way back to Amesbury across the somewhat foreboding, but well surfaced, Porton Down road. We all chose to ride the optional byway route for the final 4km into Amesbury. This turned out to be slightly rougher than expected, so Ken was able to satiate his craving for adventure after all.

Thanks to all riders for making this an enjoyable day out - felt like a real team effort.

14WednesdayAUGUST

Wednesday Evening Ride

 42 km  150 m  01:35  x4
Ride Category
Only a few came out tonight, after a day of heavy rain. It wasn't exactly warm either, with those who didn't start in waterproofs donning them by Asti Farm, as the rain came down.

Nobody was overly bothered though, and we cracked on at a good pace, remaining pretty sociable throughout.