Past Ride

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Sun Apr 14th 2013
South of Newbury 3*
David Smith
Start Time:
10:00 am
Start Location:
Greenham Business Park by Greenham Common, Newbury
*** UPDATE 13/04 17:30 Ride definitely on. Forecast fair. Entries accepted on the day ☺ ***

A moderately hilly ride taking in the scenic views from Combe Gibbet and Watership Down with a tea stop in Whitchurch - approx 60km.

Starting at Greenham Common we will head across and out of Newbury via the back roads to climb the Combe Gibbet hill (twice!) before descending to Hurstbourne Tarrant and along to Whitchurch for a tea stop. From Whitchurch a gentler climb (or two!) takes us to the top of Watership Down from where we can then cruise into Kingsclere, along the foot of the Down and back to Greenham.
Standard 3* pace, taking the hills at your own pace and regrouping to catch breath/admire views/wait for me at the top.

Meet at Greenham Business Park in the car park by Greenham Common - free - postcode RG19 6HX. The business park can be found on the A339 out of Newbury towards Basingstoke. Directions to the car park from the entrance can be found here. You have to use the main entrance to the park at weekends, then follow the signs to Venture West / English Provender.

We will start by crossing the common on the smoothly gravelled track (not shown on the route below) - actually in better shape than some of the pot-holed roads at the moment ☺

Please let me know if you intend to ride by the Saturday lunchtime.
Today’s dilemma was what to wear! Would it be cold or hot, well it turned out to be hot!
A great turnout for an away-day, 8 of us set of across Greenham Common and successfully navigated the Tescos roundabout before settling in to the ride proper. The roads were surprisingly dry given the rain yesterday and we were sheltered from the wind for the first 10 miles, which luckily included the 2 big ascents of the day. We really started to feel the strength of the wind as we regrouped at the top of Walbury Hill for the descent to Hurstbourne Tarrant and on to St Mary Bourne where Frank got us all to pose for a group photo in front of the picturesque cottage with dove cote in the garden. The next few miles were quickly dispatched and we were soon in H’s Coffee Shop in Whitchurch for refreshment and a good chat.
The climb to Watership Down starts literally from the café door which is a bit of a shock to the system after tea and cake but it is a fairly steady climb with a few bits of rolling downhill to keep the rider going. We soon seemed to be at the top of Watership Down admiring the view over Newbury and Greenham Common in the distance. There’s then a fantastic downhill section to Kingsclere to enjoy before more rolling hills back to Greenham and the cars.
Thanks to everyone for making the effort to come out and I hope you enjoyed it as much as we did.
61.30 km (38.09 mi)
Ride Details:
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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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