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Sat Nov 23rd 2019
2* Saturday Half Day Ride 2*
John Tranter
Start Time:
9:30 am
Start Location:
WEATHER UPDATE, Friday evening: the forecast is not great, but it's also not terrible. I am going to tough it out and so the ride is ON.

Half day ride (45-55km / 30-40 miles), with a tea stop, at a riding pace of 18-20km/h (11-13mph). Not likely to be very hilly. Might be a struggle for new or irregular riders in winter months.

This is a re-run of the ride we had to cancel in October (but with a morning start to catch the daylight): I want to try out the new cafe in Lambourn, so the route will be south through the Letcombes and Hackpen Hill (don't worry - it is a kindly hill which gives you a rest on a flat bit half way up). The reward is a brilliant swoop down across the Downs to Lambourn. After refreshments, we will return along the back road to Ashbury. This is where school geography comes into play as we realise how gentle the slope is on the back side of an escarpment. The dramatic drop down Ashbury Hill shows off the other side before we pootle home through the Vale.

34 miles - a few hills, but well worth it and we will stick to a gentle 2* pace.
The forecast had been pretty dreadful all week, but we got a bit lucky on the day. It was grey and cold, but not raining when we set off, and with only a light easterly wind. The big climb of Hackpen Hill was dealt with well, although Steve succumbed to a puncture from a very nasty flint on Holborn and joined us later. We were rewarded with the big swoop down to Lambourn where we met up with Richard, who had cycled over from Newbury. Goodies Cafe is indeed very good! We were made very welcome and the cakes and coffee were first rate.

But - eventually we had to drag ourselves outside again and set off for Ashbury. It is a lovely valley road and it's always amazing how little you notice the gentle slope up. We then set ourselves for the big descent of Ashbury, which was great fun but unfortunately Karl slid on a nasty wet manhole cover on a bend and had a heavy crash. A bit bloodied and bruised but fit to carry on after some recovery time. The route home was straightforward, through Shrivenham, Uffington and Goosey.

Thanks to all for your company on a drizzly day!
56.33 km (35.00 mi)
Ride Details:
Proposed Route:"
Comment on this ride


Written by : Karl Blake

Posted on : November 24, 2019 at 6:55 PM

Many thanks to everyone on the ride for their assistance and medical care after my crash.
Won’t be doing that again lol
Many thanks again Karl

Ride Filter
Start Locations
Wantage Market Place
Old Mill Hall, Grove
1* - Suitable for irregular, social, beginner or family riders, pace will match the slower riders. Not hilly or long. Expect rides up to 3 hours. Gentle exercise.
2* - Suitable for regular riders who prefer to cover some distance but at a more relaxed pace. Likely to be half-day rides. Solid exercise.
3* - Suitable for experienced riders, may be hilly, long, quick, or any combination! Likely to be half or full-day rides. Challenging exercise.
4* - Suitable for athletic riders who can ride safely above the 3* standard. Quick rides for the fit.
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