Past Ride

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Sun May 18th 2003
Regular Wantage Ride
Steve Swanton
Start Time:
10:00 am
Start Location:
To Maharajah's Well at Stoke Row. Lunch in Chilterns. Tea Dorchester Abbey.
Barbara Muritu
Barry Eastwood
David Newnham
Derek Boutle
Des Higgs
Diane Stuckey
Eve Thornton
Jane Bruffell
Kevin Fairs
Lou Rose
Mavis Rose
Nigel Stuckey
Peter Fink
Rex Belcher
Richard Divall
Richard Jenkinson
Roger Payn
Stephen Quartermain
Steve Bruffell
Steve Swanton
Sue King
Tim Martin
Riders = 22
Despite an unsettled weather forecast and a strong southerly breeze 20 cyclists assembled in the Market Place (and two joined en route) for our first ride to the Chilterns for some time. We welcomed Tim and Peter, who coincidentally had both been out/met up with the club once during its early days.
The group split into 2 for the first section to Upton. The main ride took the scenic route via Lockinge (bridleway) , Ginge (farm track) and the Icknield Way to Harwell, while the "roadies" kept to the A417. Re-united we took a loop through the Vale via the Astons, South Moreton and Cholsey before an arduous climb back up to the A417 into the headwind. After a rest, we descended the rollercoater A417 into Streatley, crossed the Thames to Goring and then climbed up the Evendon valley onto the top of the Chilterns. With the climbing behind us, lunch was taken at the Red Lion in Woodcote, who were able to accommodate and feed all of us in good order (although they were only expecting 12).
After lunch it seemed colder and the heaviest shower of the day caught up with us just as we arrived at Maharajah's Well (unfortunately sans the board explaining its history). So it wasn't a day to linger. For the descent to Wallingford we followed NCN route 5 along some narrow lanes through lovely beech woods carpeted with bluebells. Then it was just a few miles via Shillingford Bridge to Dorchester for tea at the Abbey. As the tearoom was already full, we sat outside in the courtyard with threatening clouds overhead, but fortunately no rain. The tearoom had rather a good day. Just as we were leaving City Section arrived to continue the assault on the cakes.
For the return leg, we took the shortcut to Little Wittenham via the bridleway to Day's Lock. We also rode the recently (2002?) metalled section of NCN route 5 from Pendon Museum to the Appleford Road for the first time which cut out the long and frequently busy section of road. But with legs tiring and the headwind it was a bit of a drag back through the Vale. Eventually we reached East Hanney and then Grove, with riders numbers slowly dwindling as riders peeled off home. But then finally the sun came out to see the remaining 8 of us back into Wantage by 6:10pm after 56 miles and a good day.
Steve S.
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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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