Sociable leisure rides for enthusiastic cyclists

Ride Reports


Welcome Ride

 52 km  221 m  01:53  x4
Ride Category
At least we got to R&R in Abingdon in the dry this time!!

Only four riders but given the yellow weather warning for rain that was hardly surprising. The ride out to Cumnor was actually in the Sun and was very pleasant. I could see dark clouds gathering towards Abingdon though and I really wanted to get to the tea-stop in the dry for a change so we put on a very slick pace through Wootton!!

Is 10:15 a record for a club ride tea-stop?!

After refreshments I decided to head down Peep O'Day Lane to cut off the Drayton Road (Ken missed out on a little bit of off-road) and Andy headed home at Sutton Courtenay having cycled to the start.

It started raining as we approached Drayton and it was pretty heavy then all the way back. Richard left us at West Hendred and Lawrence and I decided to blast along the A-Road back to Wantage eschewing the back roads through Ginge in the pouring rain.

I was back in my car before 11:30am, another club record? An enjoyable ride despite the rain for the last bit :)


Away Ride

 97 km  930 m  04:15  x3
Ride Category
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.

Espinasses and Seyne

 91 km  1776 m  05:11  x5  x13
Ride Category
A tough day in the heat, and we were into the Hautes Alpes for a lumpy one!

Starting off from the Durance barrage at Espinasses, we were soon climbing, up through a tunnel and then up to the foot of the Col de St Jean. Up and over the top, we took coffee in the hotel in the St Jean ski "resort" and then continued on through the lovely town of Seyne (market day in full swing), Selonnet and over the Col des Fillys.

A chance lunch stop at the Camping La Pierre De l'Aigle (last day of the cafe's season!) was most welcome, before finishing the descent and starting the next climb up the ever-so-hot Gorges de la Blanche. A bit further on we had the Col des Garcinettes to deal with and then we stopped at a hotel for ice-creams in Turriers - very familiar as I'd stayed here on my Provence Tour in 2018!

From then on it was pretty much downhill to the Durance, and a trip along the Gap Irrigation Canal finished off the holiday!



 89 km  838 m  04:05  x6  x5
Ride Category
An easier day out - up along the canal to Tallard (coffee stop at la Saulce) and back through the orchards, with a delightful al fresco picnic lunch.

After lunch we diverted off the route into Ribiers for ice-cream and chill-out.

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.


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.


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.

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!



 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.


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.


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.