Past Ride

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Sun Oct 11th 2015
Newbury Series - Off-road Ride 2*
Richard Pethybridge
Start Time:
10:00 am
Start Location:
The Control Tower, Greenham Common

Many apologies but I have just discovered I have double booked myself and the original date for the ride coincides with me being lucky enough to go and see Wales v Australia at Twickenham. With John T being forced to cancel the Sunday ride this gives me an ideal opportunity to do both, hence the need to swap. My apologies for any inconvenience caused, but hopefully those who were planning to ride will still be able to do so.

The final event of the Newbury series, this one is not to be missed. Come and enjoy some off-road fun on some of Berkshire's most beautiful tracks. The route starts at the Control Tower on the old Greenham Common airfield, where there is plenty of free parking. It follows some of the easy trails around the Common before dropping down and heading through Newbury along the canal. A meander through the Lambourn Valley and over the M4 to Chieveley follows, before the reward of lunch/coffee at Chieveley services. Post refreshment the route continues via Hermitage and Bucklebury Common to Thatcham and the final climb back to Greenham. There is nothing technical about the route, there are no great climbs, and anyone with knobbly tyres and some enthusiasm should be able to cope! The pace will be that of the slowest and I expect to take about 5 hours to complete the route. Any questions, just give me a call - 07875 456521. If you plan to ride please let me know if you can.
A total of 8 riders turned out on a glorious autumnal Sunday for the chance to enjoy the lanes of West Berkshire, the 7 names listed and a guest rider (Ray Wright) from Oxford CTC. For a while we experienced the unique situation of none of the riders having the same first name, but then Dave B arrived a little late and our normal complement of Daves was duly achieved. We set off around the tracks of Greenham, with Karen as our lone and very brave female keeping well to the front. Not that we would have lost her, considering the exuberant whooping noises emitted from the vicinity of her bicycle as we descended through the first part of the woods!
After leaving the common the route followed the canal into Newbury, where we had our first puncture (Ray). The Daves took the chance to refuel with a giant pasty each, before we headed off towards the Lambourn valley. Karen suffered our second puncture a short while later, before Ray left us to return to the start having enjoyed the ride but not feeling quite up to the complete route.
After a tricky crossing of a ploughed field, Dave Y suffered our third puncture, this one a slit in the sidewall caused by a flint and unable to be fixed by tubeless fluid or clever patch kit. We did manage to limp to Chievely Services, where a tube was fitted and the team refuelled on pasties and coffee. Robin had also left by this stage, needing to get home to fix a fridge and already a little later than he had planned.
The second part of the ride was via Hermitage and up onto Bucklebury Common, where it all got a bit muddier. The remainder of the group soldiered on regardless, and after a glorious downhill to Thatcham and a nasty climb back up to Crookham Common finished the ride in about 5 1/2 hours. Considering off-road miles can sometime be seen as double road miles this was a commendable effort, particularly by Karen whose stoic determination to keep up was remarkable.
All in all this was a great ride so thanks to all those who made the effort to support it, and I look forward to doing something similar again.
59.60 km (37.03 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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