Past Ride

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Sat May 20th 2017
Easy Saturday afternoon ride from Grove 1*
Steve Swanton
Start Time:
2:00 pm
Start Location:

A slightly longer Saturday afternoon 1* ride this month, but with a couple of options to cut it shorter depending on the group and conditions. (And with he amount of rain falling this week, I may shorten to omit the off-road stretch of NCN544 into the Harwell Campus, which may become muddy).

Plan A is to follow Sustrans route NCN544 through to the Harwell campus, and there take the newly-built Wiinnaway cyclepath down into Harwell village. We'll have a refreshments stop at Q-gardens at the top of Steventon Hill just over halfway. We'll return via Steventon, the Hanneys and Denchworth. Depending on the prevailing wind, we may decide to take the route clockwise instead. There are three of stretches of track en route, which are manageable on all but the stiffest of road bikes with narrow tyres.
Very much a ride of two halves. One dry and one very wet!
With a stiff SW breeze and showers forecast, the reverse route out via the Hanneys seemed the sensible option. We had a very pleasant ride out through Denchworth to West Hanney, where we stopped by the church. There was a wedding in progress and we had to reassure the photographer waiting outside that we weren't going to be in his pictures.
We continued on to East Hanney, where Lorna left us, and then out across Cow Common to Steventon pursued by threatening clouds. The idea of a tour around Steventon was vetoed in favour of getting to the tea room at Q-gardens in the dry.
There were only a few drops of rain during our tea stop and with some blue sky to the SW, I was hoping that luck might be on our side. It wasn't to be. The rain caught us in East Hendred. We stopped for a few minutes under two large trees to don waterproofs and in the hope that the shower might pass. But we needed to press on. After a brief lull, the heavens really opened... and Martin (on recumbent) got his umbrella out!
Despite the soaking, spirits remained high and there aren't many prettier routes to give you a lift than the road from Ginge through to Wantage. Of course the rain petered out as we returned to Grove and the sun even appeared right at the end too.
Great to see Mandy riding so confidently on her new bike and to see Mavis out again. Thanks everyone for your company on a ride we'll definitely remember...
28.97 km (18.00 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.
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