Past Ride

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Sat Feb 3rd 2018
To Hampstead Norreys and back 3*
Robin Tucker
Start Time:
9:30 am
Start Location:
Update Saturday. Nick S unfortunately not very well, so I've stepped into the pedals to lead. It's looking damp and very chilly but not too windy - route may well be adjusted/shortened depending on how we feel (but hills retained to allow us a chance to warm up). We plan to stop at the Courtyard Community cafe in Hampstead Norreys. Bail out options at Court Hill and Saddleback Farm :-)

Bring plenty of clothing and some snacks just in case. Daytime lights are a good idea on cloudy winter days!

Half day ride (60-70km / 38-45 miles), with a tea stop, riding pace of 20-24km/h (13-15mph). Likely to visit distant destinations. Not suitable for irregular riders. Climbing likely.

Hilly(ish) ride over the downs to Hampstead Norreys (cafe stop) and back.

Should be back 1330 - 1400
The weather seemed to sort the men and women from the boys and girls. In this case, in clear favour of the women. It was a cold and drizzly start, and just in case I had been looking at Nick's route and worked out that we could find a cafe and bail-out point at Court Hill or Saddleback Farm.
(On the Off-road rides, we count any ride that gets up to the Ridgeway as a fully respectable one, so both those would meet that badge of honour).

As we rode however, things didn't get worse and they generally got better. The five of us made for a compact group on the road, and we all warmed up on Court Hill, getting to the top within a few seconds of each other and no one feeling like and early end to the ride.

Turning right, we hacked along the A338, fortunately not too busy, until the Monument and turned left. Then up are second big hill. As we got away from the traffic the ride became more social again, and we meandered across Brightwalton to the B4494. This was busier than the A-road and maybe we'd have been better taking the smaller, windier roads cross-country to the tea stop. But in the end we past the Crab & Boar (as it is now called) and took the left back on to quieter roads to Hampstead Norreys.

Katherine took the initiative in asking a local for the exact location of the Community Cafe. It proved a mostly good choice, except that a couple of our orders took an inordinately long time to arrive, and one of those on the wrong type of bread. I'd suggest not chancing it with a group of much more than 5 riders.

Then it was back on the bikes and into the re-started drizzle. But Nick's route soon provided a warming hill, and a few more as we ticked off Compton and the two Ilsleys and the long steady climb (legs feeling it a bit now) back up to the B4494 ready for the fun descent of Chain Hill.

Damp weather, and quite long for a half-day ride in February. But we did not feel dampened, we all arrived feeling very glad to have been out!
64.37 km (40.00 mi)
Comment on this ride


Written by : Nick Stokell

Posted on : February 3, 2018 at 7:50 PM

Well done all of you and thank you to Robin and Richard for stepping in at short notice.

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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