Past Ride

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Sat Jun 25th 2016
Saturday Afternoon Ride from Grove 2*
Steve Swanton
Start Time:
1:00 pm
Start Location:

I'm thinking it's a while since we've been to Cogges Manor Farm and John Ta tells me the cafe has been refurbished ....

Likely route below. We'll head out via Southmoor, Northmoor and Stanton Harcourt where we'll pick up the delightful narrow Cogges Lane into Witney. Tea and cakes at Cogges Kitchen at Manor Farm.

We'll retrace our steps a little before taking a good track over to Ducklington, returning to Grove via Cote, Great Brook and Tadpole Bridge. A generally flat ride with only one climb of note, up to Buckland, on the way back

We found the road to Denchworth to be very busy last week with redirected traffic due to the railway bridge closure. May take a detour via East Challow out or back to avoid this.
This may be remembered as the Tree to Tree Ride, given the number of times we took shelter from heavy showers on our way to Witney.

After a heavy shower just before the start, we actually set off in pleasant sunshine but could see the showers all around. Approaching Southmoor, a large grey cloud lay ahead; a clap of thunder ushered in the first shower of the ride. Fortunately, we reached the shelter of trees bordering the A420 and waited for the worst to pass.

The rain petered out after a few minutes. By the time we had crossed the dual carriageway, the the sun had came out again. We enjoyed the descent to Newbridge and the good tarmac along Moreton Lane. Having just taken my cagoule off, of course, it started to rain again. Fortunately there was a good sheltered spot just around the corner and we sat out a heavy shower and hailstorm relatively dry.

We weren't so lucky with shower #3, which caught us as we entered Stanton Harcourt. With nowhere obvious to shelter, I pressed on to eventually find two large chestnut trees on the corner of Blackditch. The rain became even heavier as we waited before eventually relenting .We continued on to Cogges Lane.

Shower #4 caught us in relative open country and although we did eventually find a large tree for shelter, by now we were all pretty wet. Fortunately it wasn't cold. As the rain died down, we continued into Witney, turning down the cycle track to Manor farm and the welcome shelter of the Cogges Kitchen cafe.

This was a new tea-stop venue for most of the riders, and one we've not used for a few years. Service was quick and I am pleased to report that the scones, bakes and cakes were of suitably large proportions for weathered cyclists!

By the time we left, the rain had stopped. Given the rains, we took a different route back, through the centre of Witney (passing LibFest) and into Ducklington on road, leaving the track for another, drier ride. As we climbed the small rise on the Aston Road, the sun came out and we had a great view over the Thames valley.

Soon the roads started to steam! For the rest of the ride we had a perfect evening, with the wind behind us most of the way too.

Thanks everyone for braving the elements and your company on a memorable ride.
58.74 km (36.50 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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