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Sociable leisure rides for enthusiastic cyclists

Ride Reports

8WednesdayAUGUST

Wednesday Evening Ride

 45 km  292 m  01:44  x5
Ride Category
This summer's weather continues to confound. It was raining heavily when I arrived in Wantage. I skulked in the car for five minutes, cursing my lack of mudguards and waterproofs. It relented a little for the gathering, then we had five minutes of light rain just as we left. As this was a strong group, we agreed to abandon the speed guidelines for a blue ride. Those smug riders wearing waterproofs had to remove them before too long as body temperatures rose. The group rode in compact fashion until Ashbury. With a tailwind, the dogs were let off the lead along the Springline. There was a re-group at the foot of Blowingstone and from there order was mostly restored back to Wantage for a restorative pint at KAH. Excellent ride: thanks guys.
5SundayAUGUST

All Day Ride - Woodborough

 110 km  1070 m  04:47  x7
Ride Category
Yet another beautiful day without much wind and lots of sunshine....maybe even a little too hot, but not too bad once you were cycling. An uneventful ride through three counties, without too many nasty hills, just quite a few not so nasty ones. We enjoyed a good late breakfast at Woodborough Garden Centre and bought the last of the ice creams and ice lollies at Crofton. No mechanicals and got back to Wantage in good time.
1WednesdayAUGUST

Wednesday Evening Ride

 47 km  623 m  01:55  x5
Ride Category
Summer weather had returned for this evening's ride that saw us heading for the hills of the Berkshire Downs. A tail wind helped us up the tougher bends of Chain Hill and onward toward Compton where after an ascent of Apple pie hill we swung around for home gradually gaining height for a superb descent into Wantage as sunset approached.
25WednesdayJULY

Wednesday Evening Ride

 41 km  195 m  01:32  x7
Ride Category
Lovely evening! We did a fair old lick down to Challow railway bridge, where we picked up a pile of Piles, and then had a very mellow, but not-hanging-around bimble around the Vale. Lots of peacocks, and Adrian and a Mike were waiting for us at the pub, so we enjoyed a natter about the day's Tour stage and G's prospects.

22SundayJULY

Welcome Ride - Bampton

 53 km  173 m  01:58  x4
Ride Category
Strange start... There were nine riders at the Alfred... four went on the ride, and seven were club members. Anyhow it was nice to see Jon, Paula and Jerry again, even if you had something better to do ;)

Big welcome to Pete, out for his first ride!

It was quick for a welcome ride, but with 4 strong riders, there was no holding back. Perfect conditions preceded a very chilled cake stop, with the new bike sheds at Bampton Garden Plants being very welcome, even if they did cause a modicum of surprise. They were nearly big enough to accommodate the massive Didcot peloton that arrived as we were leaving, too.

Fed and watered, it was a nice potter back to Wantage. Thanks to all for a very chilled ride, and especially Louis for chaperoning me back up Manor Hill.

18WednesdayJULY

Wednesday Evening Ride

 47 km  331 m  01:55  x9
Ride Category
A dry and fair evening and a bit cooler than of late. Welcome to Joe on his first ride with the club.

The classic Hackpen and Seven Barrows combo was accomplished without incident. Louis rode ahead so he could act as lollypop man at the crossing at the bottom of Blowingstone.

The riding across the Vale felt very easy and relaxed this evening with a couple of spirited efforts, e.g. at Shellingford.

All topped off with a pint in the KAH at the end (beer)

16MondayJULY

Curryallian - social evening

 x8
Lovely meal - we had Walters and Talbot family member guests to swell the numbers - good to see Jon and Des again!
15SundayJULY

Longleat and the Tunnels of Bath

 111 km  1318 m  05:15  x5  x3
Ride Category
Another scorcher of a day, where the chill of the tunnels under Bath provided a welcome relief.

As we set off from an almost empty car park, we exchanged greetings with a pair of 87 year olds preparing their tricycle tandem. After a warm up down to Lacock we hit the first major undulation, Bowden Hill, which rises 130 m onto the plateau, but compensates afterwards with 20 km of fast cruising. Their website said the Village Shop at Steeple Ashton would be closed but this turned out to be fake news so we enjoyed our coffees and watched the world go by for a few pleasant minutes.

From Axminster the road climbs up to the avenue leading into Longleat, through which there is a right of way. The swooping descent on smooth tarmac down past Longleat House was a delight (hope Chris has a picture!), and was followed inevitably by a climb but on a road closed to cars (beware the barrier at the end of it!).

There must be a less busy, less fashionable lunch stop somewhere in Frome than the Garden Café but it did the job. Richard and Lynn annoyed the frazzled proprietor by interfering with a "crime scene", but he came out as we were leaving and apologised.

So, onward to Bath and the converted railway tunnels which provided a refreshing and easy route into the city centre. After crossing the River Avon we followed the riverside cycle path NE then through the packed centre and onto the Kennet and Avon canal path. At Bathampton, well aware of the climbs to come, we prepared ourselves with long cold drinks at the pub.

After Batheaston we tackled the tough climb of Steway Lane, rendered even harder by a clot in a white Range Rover. Once back on the plateau quiet roads led back to the picture postcard village of Castle Combe.

Thank you guys for providing such good company and to Hugh F for showing me the route.
11WednesdayJULY

Wednesday Evening Ride

 44 km  198 m  01:36  x4
Ride Category
A small group tonight on abnormally quiet roads: was there something else on? We dodged the pub-bound football fans and police presence in Wantage town centre and were soon underway. Weather conditions were perfect for cycling and some spirited riding soon saw us in Steventon. As it was so quiet, we detoured via the smooth tarmac of Milton Park rather than John's favourite route behind the Power Station. A peloton equally divided between rouleurs and grimpeurs caused a few minor splits in the latter stages but we re-grouped for the final stages through Ginge. A great ride and I even caught the extra time on TV when I got home. I guess Nick did too, given the result.
8SundayJULY

Morning Ride to Inkpen

 73 km  831 m  03:24  x9
Ride Category
A lumpy one today! Great to see Richard P continuing the trend and coming up the hills with us.

Apart from the plonker in the van on the B4000 (overtook on continuous white line with the group pulled out and signalling right, and then brake testing the leader) it was a delightful tight group, with only the odd "off the front and not following the route" moment. We got to the foot of the Gibbet in good time and sweltered up to the top, talking in the views on what was a rather hazy horizon.

Down to the Crown and Garter for coffee and cakes, we sat in the garden until it was time to go, taking a slightly more roundabout route to avoid the gravel on the A338. Jenny and Terry left the group at Welford church to head home for an early bath. Top ride everyone - enjoyed your company!