Past Ride

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Sat Feb 11th 2017
Saturday Afternoon Ride From Grove (RIDE ON) 2*
Karen Townsin
Start Time:
1:00 pm
Start Location:
It looks like it will be VERY cold - possibly feeling like -3, so please ensure you wrap up warm. There is only a small chance of precipitation according to Met. Office. A light dusting of snow in the Lambourn Vallry this morning but the roads look fine.

An excursion into West Berkshire to cycle past Welford Park and the carpet of snowdrops.
Route is over the Ridgeway at Hackpen Hill, along the Lambourn Valley to Boxford, then a gradual climb back up to the B4494 to descend Chain Hill. Approx. 55km/33miles.
There will be a drinks stop at The Swan pub in Great Shefford. There is also a shop in the village if you need cake.
This is not a flat ride, so perhaps not one to start your season with, though we will be riding within 2* pace and stopping at the top of hills to catch our breath.
After anxiously checking the weather forecast for a couple of days and with the light dusting of snow we woke to on Saturday morning, I was very surprised to see so many hardy souls, wrapped up in a variety of layers, arrive at OMH. So wrapped up in fact, we only recognised Joy by her bike.
However, it was with mixed feelings that we set off into light snow/sleet: 'Why am I doing this?' (Yvonne), 'This is a kind of madness' (Me), 'I'm so glad the ride wasn't cancelled' (Karl).
We had only reached the Greyhound Pub, when the first of the minor mechanicals struck. Yvonne's mudguards were rubbing annoyingly and despite several attempts to adjust them, including helping hands from the group, she took the decision to ditch them. This involved finding a suitable hedge to carefully stash them in for later collection.
I was then struck by a series of chain issues before we'd reached Hackpen Hill.
The swoop down to Lambourn was enjoyed by all, and despite the snow, we were all feeling quite warm and convinced we'd made the right clothing choices.
The Swan Pub stop was good - they serve a range of coffees and teas - then it was off to admire the snowdrops. They did look impressive. Even more like a blanket of snow than the blanket of snow.
The journey back through Boxford and Brightwalton was made more testing by strong winds, then as we reached theB4494, Joy realised she had a puncture. By now the temperature had dropped considerably and fatigue was setting in, so the decision was taken to put more air in and see if it would last. It held up very well and we all chaparoned her down the hill extremely sedately.
As we arrived in Grove riders peeled off - Adrian and Des with another 20km to do to get home - leaving me, Jon and Yvonne to continue back to OMH, arriving at about 17:00.
Thanks to all for an enjoyable ride and thanks too for a great spirit. Perhaps it was the conditions, but it was a ride where everyone supported each other well through mechanicals and fatigue.
Thank-you Jon for sweeping.
52.40 km (32.56 mi)
Ride Details:
Comment on this ride


Written by : Karl Blake

Posted on : February 15, 2017 at 10:20 PM

Thank you for a enjoyable ride Karen, Jon and all ☺

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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