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Sat Dec 5th 2020
White Horse Cycle Challenge 2* 2*
Steve Swanton
Start Time:
11:00 am
Start Location:
Friday 4/12: Upgrading to 2* - still some places available.
A chance to tackle the White Horse Challenge in a relaxed 2* group. This is a pre-bookable ride limited to six riders. To book a place, please text your name to Steve before 8pm on Friday. You will receive confirmation or be advised that the ride is fully booked. A reserve list will be maintained - if there is sufficient demand we may be able to organise a second group.

We'll follow the route used for the new route sheet, out along the Springline through East Challow, Childrey, Sparsholt and Westcot before attempting the climb. Everyone can take the climb at their own pace (on two wheels or two feet) and enjoy the unfolding view across the manger and the vale as you near the top. We'll regroup for socially-distanced photos and refreshments at the top. Please bring our own mince pie and mulled wine (or alternative snack and warming tipple) and something to sit on (insulated mat or plastic bag) if necessary. We'll descend to Woolstone and return to Grove on the flat via Ufffington, Baulking and Goosey.

Giving that the weather forecast for Friday is looking wintery, I'm going for a slightly later start at 11am to allow the best chance of warmth and any lingering frost/ice to clear. Wrap up warm! Expecting to be back in Grove between 1:30 and 2pm.
Gerry Jones
Jan McCabe
Nick Portsmouth
Steve Swanton
Riders = 4

Who would have thought we'd have such a bright, sunny and clear day after all the mist and drizzle of the last week? Perfect for taking on the challenge of White Horse Hill. Just 4 of us on the first club ride after the second lockdown but it was nice to be riding in a small group again. Jan joined us at the start, having already completed an early morning ascent, making this her ninth in a week!
We followed the route as planned. The sunshine had brought people out and the bridleway from East Challow to Childrey was busy with walkers, dog-walkers and cyclists, whom we had to pass with care.
After negotiating the U-bend before Britchcombe Farm we came across the local hunt, out in force with their hounds, crossing a field towards the road. Two mounted huntsman were in the road to slow down on-coming traffic. Although we stopped briefly to catch our breath before the climb, we did not linger with the hounds approaching!
Soon we were on the hill, each of us taking it at our own pace. We could see two cyclists ahead of us and soon a third came rushing down (I recognised Paul Bentley). Just before the top, it was a surprise to meet Steph and David, on foot, who had come to meet us - and with hot mince pies to boot!
At the top we discovered we had been following Yvonne and Jerry and a few minutes later Phil, Sara and Caroline arrived too. So while keeping our distances, it was very nice to see familiar faces. Photos were taken and we enjoyed the wonderful views while eating mince pies and sipping our drinks.
Then all too quickly it was time to descend. Arriving in Woolstone, we encountered another huntsman on horseback - slightly unnervingly cracking a whip to control a hound in front of him. Having passed cautiously, we had a very pleasant but uneventful ride back to Grove thereafter, arriving just after 1:30pm.
Thanks everyone for your company and to Steph and David for the hot mince pies. Congratulations to Gerry on his first White Hill ascent and best of luck to Jan as she continues her daily challenge over the coming week.
32.67 km (20.30 mi)
Proposed Route:"
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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.
More Information
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