Past Ride

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Sun Oct 18th 2015
Regular Wantage Ride 3*
Katherine Boyce
Start Time:
9:30 am
Start Location:
Monthly 80-100km (50-65 miles) all-day touring ride, lunch and possibly tea stop en route, at a riding pace of 18-22km/h (11-14mph). Not suitable for irregular riders. Climbing almost inevitable.

This is the penultimate ride before the clocks go back, so thought we'd take advantage and do a ride with some hills. The fact that we will be visiting 2 of my favourite cafes is incidental ;). After ascending Chain Hill, we'll make our way to Café Roubaix at Thatcham for an early lunch / late coffee and a look over the bike bling.

We'll then wiggle away around to Inkpen and the Coffee Shop & Bakery at the Crown and Garter for a late lunch / early tea. We'll then go through Kintbury, over the A4, passing through Great Shefford before climbing back up and over the Ridgeway and descending down Chain Hill.

The ride will be run at 3* all day touring pace.
A pleasant mid October morning tempted 7 of us to meet at the Market Square for a trip into Berkshire and Hampshire starting with the climb up Chain Hill. Just past the Ridgeway Jon, Karen and Chris were waiting for us and just before we made East Ilsley we met up with David and Ursula.

It was a great day for cycling, not too warm and clear views of the rolling countryside. Plenty of wildlife - deer, buzzards and kites. An uneventful ride to the first stop - Café Roubaix in Thatcham. Some took the opportunity for an early lunch, others the rather nice homemade cakes. No one was tempted by the bike bling despite the bike sale! John headed back to Wantage. Leaving, I forgot I was the ride leader and promptly missed the turning, Chris provided a detour that saved us trying to retrace our steps on the busy A4. We cleared Thatcham and popped over to Hampshire where immediately we were in to tiny hedged lanes and less tarmac. Before long we were at our second café stop - this very disappointing for those who waited nearly an hour for cheese sandwiches that in no way lived up to their description on the menu. Would suggest that the Inkpen Bakery is fine for tea stops but not lunch.

We said goodbye to Karen and Jon at their front door and Chris at the top of his road. Ursula and David peeled off on the Newbury road for their return journey home. The remaining 6 of us eagerly climbed to the top of Chain Hill for a great descent. The memory of this mornings climb erased with a great sweeping return. We parted at the bottom all well satisfied.

Despite the wide ranging cycling strengths and the undulating nature of the ride, we kept together well and it was a really friendly, good natured ride. Special mention goes to Joy on her first all day ride with the club, I am certain it won't be her last.
95.20 km (59.15 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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