Past Ride

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Sat Dec 21st 2013
CTC Wallingford - Saturday Afternoon Ride 3*
John Talbot
Start Time:
1:30 pm
Start Location:
Wallingford Market Place
I'm leading this ride for CTC Wallingford. This is their regular 3* Saturday afternoon ride starting at Wallingford Market Place. CTC Wantage riders are more than welcome to join me! Pay and Display parking available in Goldsmith's Lane (it is the last Saturday before Christmas so allow time for finding alternative parking if it is busy).

It wouldn't be right to have a ride at this time of year that didn't go via Christmas Common so that's what we'll do. We might even stop off briefly at The Tree Barn to get into the Christmas spirit!

We do need to go up onto the Chiltern ridge to get there (via Britwell Hill) but we'll have the descent of Aston Hill to make up for it!

Tea-stop will most likely be at The Bread Bin café in Watlington towards the end of the ride.

Lights essential at this time of year (it is the shortest day of the year after all!) and we'll aim to get back to Wallingford around sunset.

Distance 46km (28 miles) at riding pace of 19-22kph (12-14 mph).
John Talbot
Mark Austin
Nick Dunton
Robin Tucker
Steve Ellwood
Riders = 5

cloudy with light rainwindy
After a horrid morning I was half expecting nobody to turn up. The weather had begun to brighten at lunchtime although it was still breezy and five brave riders gathered under the Christmas tree in Wallingford market square.

We set off via Ewelme to the big climb of the day up Britwell Hill. There are no surprises with this hill, it's visible from a long way away and goes straight as an arrow up the Chiltern ridge. It's probably the hardest on-road way of getting up there so it was a slow grind to the top.

Once we were up we continued along the ridge with mostly a tailwind through Christmas Common to the summit of Kingston Hill. We had occasional light rain/drizzle but nothing too bad.

The road was wet so we took it fairly steady round the curves down the steep hill and we knew a headwind was in store once we turned left at the bottom.

A few hundred metres of very strong gusts by Lewknor and the M40 bridge was the worst we had as it happens. Unfortunately Mark suffered a puncture here too. But this was efficiently fixed and we were soon on our way to Watlington. This was expected to be the hardest stretch into the wind but it actually wasn't too bad at all, I've cycled in MUCH worse!

The Bread Bin café looked a bit odd as the seating area appeared to be a hairdressers. A second glance confirmed that the other half was a gift shop! OK, plan B then.

Luckily a few doors down we spotted a new café, The Granary, which was very welcoming and excellent value and comes highly recommended for future rides.

Filled with cake and tea/coffee, it was lights on for the final leg as it was getting very dark even at 4pm. We kept off the busier roads to Benson, and we made good time to Wallingford and finished around 4.45pm.

Our fears of a hideous headwind and heavy rain never materialised and it was a pretty pleasant ride for mid-December!
46.00 km (28.58 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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