Past Ride

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Sun Dec 6th 2015
Mince Pie Ride - 1* 1*
Steve Swanton
Start Time:
10:15 am
Start Location:
Ride out with us to the NT car park at White Horse Hill, Uffington, for mince pies and mulled wine. For full details of the event see the "Annual Mince Pie Ride" entry.

The 1* ride will be a sociable ride at a leisurely pace leaving after the other groups at about 10:15 - but please arrive at least 10 minutes beforehand to register.

The 1* ride will follow the most direct route (about 8 miles) along the foot of the Downs through East Challow on to Childrey (via the track and bridleway), Sparsholt, Westcot and Kingston Lisle. Everyone will be able to have a go cycling over Dragon Hill. Even if you get off and push, it's worth it for the fantastic views over the Manger and the Vale below. We'll drop down into the main NT car park to join the other groups for mince pies and mulled wine.

There will be a led ride retracing our tyre tracks back to Wantage after the meet.
Andy Belcher
Barbara Lambers
Ben Paine
Ellie Paine
Graeme Larson
Ian Murray
Karl Blake
Peter Hallowell
Ros Hallowell
Stephanie Haddrell
Steve Swanton
Tony Clark
Riders = 12

black low cloud
A small but relatively strong 1* group of 8 set off last from the Market Place. Despite the headwind, we made good progress and arrived in Childrey about 10 minutes earlier than I’d expected. After a short pause to await Barbara, Ellie and Ben, during which we were passed by the 2* ride, we continued along the more sheltered lanes through Sparsholt and Westcot. Then, as we joined the foot-of-the-downs road, we met Ian Murray, swelling our numbers to 12. We tackled the ups and downs, along the B4507 each at our own pace regrouping several times before reaching the big one. We arrived at the foot of Dragon Hill at the same time as both the 2* and 3* groups, climbing from Uffington, and the Oxford group caught some of us on the climb too; it was a great sight to see the mass of cyclists climbing the hill. I was pleasantly surprised to find we were reasonably sheltered from the wind on the climb, making it easier than feared. Well done to everyone on the climb and special congratulations to Ben and Ellie who both cycled all the way up.

After regrouping at the top to admire the view, we continued down to the NT car park to join the throng. The mulled wine was excellent again this year and as always there was a warm, convivial atmosphere. Good to catch up with a few friends from the other groups and the other rides.

The 1* group split for the return journey with half dropping into the vale to cycle directly to the Fox (or home), while I led a group of 6 riders back to Wantage and Grove. With the wind behind us, the return trip was much easier. I picked up Lorna in Grove and we continued to the Fox, to what proved to be an excellent lunch, arriving just as it started to rain. (Given that the tail of Storm Desmond had passed overnight, we were incredibly fortunate with the weather!)

A big thank you to Karen and Jon Townsin, and their helpers, for the excellent catering and thanks too to John Tranter for organising the lunch. It was good to see Peter and Ros on their annual ride with Wantage, Stephanie too who had targeted the MPR as a goal after surgery in September, and welcome back to Graeme, hope we’ll see you again on some rides in 2016.
25.75 km (16.00 mi)
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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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