Past Ride

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Sat Jun 24th 2006
Bike Week Easy Off-road Ride
Leader:
Steve Swanton
Start Time:
2:00 pm
Start Location:
WMP
Description:
A ride of about 20 miles exploring some of the easy off-road tracks up to the Ridgeway and beyond... heading east towards West Ilsley and back. You should be ok on a sturdy tourer (or mountain bike). Helmets recommended. Please bring refreshments.
Riders:
Alan Dodd
Alvaro Rey
Brian Hipwell
Chris Walters
David Bridge
Edith Hipwell
Gary Paterson
Geoff Neill
Steve Swanton
Riders = 9
Report:
A hot sunny afternoon for our first off-road ride for over a year. The route started off easy following the Sustrans route via Lockinge and Ginge through to Harwell. We continued over the A4185 and then turned right onto the track to Chilton village. Things then became more interesting as we took the track (wide shallow ruts)running southeastwards towards the Downs and then turned left to follow the tracks and bridleways (overgrown but ok) that converge with the line of the Newbury-Didcot railway. After a brief rest on the old railway bridge above Blewbury, we continued along the concrete road, turning off onto a bumpier track just before we reached the Ridgeway (at it lowest point before Streatley). This was our farthest East and everyone was doing fine.

We then turned back westwards climbing steadily on the Ridgeway up onto the Downs. Youngster Gary kept up with me on the climb as those with suspension were left behind. While waiting at the top, I commented that the hill had separated the boys from the men!. Following overnight rain, which had cleared the air, the views from the top were superb. We continued on further towards the A34 before stopping for a rest, refreshments and to enjoy the views.

Suitably refreshed we then dropped under the A34 and everyone managed the short sharp climb afterwards with gusto. Given options at Bury Down the group elected to stick on the Ridgeway, hereafter more rutted with some deeper, narrower and sandy ruts. However, everyone made good headway at their own pace. By the time we reached the monument above Wantage, people were beginning to tire, but all seemed to have enjoyed the off-road riding. Keeping it easy, we finished with an on-road descent of Chain Hill, getting back to Wantage at 5pm.

Well done to Gary on his first off-road ride proper. It was good to see Alvaro out with us again and a warm welcome to newcomer Alan from Wallasey.

Steve S.
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Ride Filter
Start Locations
WMP
Wantage Market Place
OMH
Old Mill Hall, Grove
Categories
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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