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Sun Jun 3rd 2018
Easy on a Sunday morning Off Road Ride 2*
Leader:
Robin Tucker
Start Time:
10:00 am
Start Location:
WMP
Description:
Regular off-road rides for 2018 we are toning these down and keeping them closer to Wantage.

Free parking at The Beacon, and meet at Wantage Market Place, by King Alfred.

The rides will be 15-20 miles, on quiet local tracks through the woods, and maybe up to the Ridgeway. Pace (effort not speed) equivalent to 2*, best on a mountain bike, but a cyclocross bike and if dry a robust hybrid will be fine. Call/email Robin if you would like to know more.
Report:
Great day and a great ride. It was a real pleasure to see so many people out on their knobbly tyred bikes. I was a little nervous given the heavy rain on Thursday and a little more on Friday, but a dry Saturday (at least in weather) had improved things greatly.

We set off on the cycle path East of Wantage, then headed up by Goddards Brook. On such a day we shouldn't miss the Ridgeway views, and we might as well get the climbing done early in the ride. This is also one of the gentlest way up, and no-one really had a hard time either on the first section, or the second in the shade of Bitham Woods. Des provided a bit of comic relief on the top when he missed a gear and slipped into the edge of a muddy puddle, but no harm done.

We then cruised East along the top of the ridge, soaking in the sunshine and the views. Apart from a few deeper puddles retaining some rainwater, the trails were in good condition. We saw a few walkers, horse riders and even a carefully-loaded bikepacker who looked like he was on a long journey.

200m after Scutchamer's Knob we turned left and headed down to the corner of Harwell Campus - it's a fun descent, although a bit bumpy in the second part, you have to hang on and keep the bike pointing forwards. More sedate riding followed, first a grass byway, then into the woods dodging between the trees, then turning towards Rowstock, repeating that pair. The woody trails seemed especially popular - you can enjoy them slowly, and if you go even a little bit quicker the corners tighten up and become a steering challenge.

By this time we were headed back West towards Wantage again. We followed the NCN route, and even though one or two were interested to have a look we avoided all temptation to head to the Ginge Brook crossing (aka the Bridge of Doom - more for its appearance than any actual doom befallen). Instead, between a couple of road sections, we snuck in another cheeky wooded interlude.

It was great to hear the positive comments: "Off-road riding is much more fun than on-road" and even "You've made an old man very happy". I'll have to think hard to come up with a better route for July!
Distance:
28.97 km (18.00 mi)
 
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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.
More Information
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