Past Ride

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Sun Aug 21st 2016
Regular Wantage Ride 3*
John Tranter
Start Time:
9:30 am
Start Location:

UPDATE FRIDAY 19th: it looks like most of the exciting weather is going to pass on Saturday, so I don't see any serious problems for this ride. It looks like we will have a bit of a westerly breeze to contend with. I have a few names, but please do let me know if you plan to ride - I don't need an absolute commitment, but I do need to give the pub a realistic estimate of numbers.

I'm going for a ride here of pleasing statistical symmetry - 100km with 1,000m of climbing! I'm also shamelessly stealing a large chunk of Richard P's epic winter ride from January this year, but adding to it since the weather will definitely be more benign! The basic plan is an anti-clockwise loop south via the Letcombes, Lambourn, Chilton Foliat, Little Bedwyn and Hungerford to end up in Kintbury for lunch at the Blue Ball. The return will be via Newbury, Compton, The Ilsleys, a possible stop for tea at Saddleback near Farnborough if we are ahead, and the glorious swoop down Chain Hill to finish. If you are planning to come then please let me know so I can pre-warn the pub.

This is a serious ride with quite a lot of climbing, but we have all day and I will be cautious on the pace, keeping it at the bottom end of 3*.
A very big group gathered in the Market Place, although grey clouds and a strong westerly wind weren't particular encouraging.

Steve Swanton dropped out early on, victim of a lingering illness, but the rest of the group stayed together well over the early climbs. The wind was sapping strength, so we were relieved to get a few miles of flat tailwind in before lunch.

Service and food quality were good at the Blue Ball.

We decided against complicated routing through Newbury and opted instead to link across from Marsh Benham to Stockcross and down the gloriously named Snake Lane to get to Shaw.

As anticipated, the final stretch from Compton to Farnborough was pretty brutal - a rollercoaster road and into the wind. As time was pressing, we decided not to stop at Saddleback. To add insult to injury, we even had a few spots of rain on the way down Chain Hill.

Many congratulations to all - this was a very tough ride, made more challenging by the wind, and it was impressive to finish it so well.
94.95 km (59.00 mi)
Ride Details:
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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.
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