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Sun Dec 10th 2017
Off Road Mince Pie Ride 2*
Robin Tucker
Start Time:
9:45 am
Start Location:
***RIDE CANCELLED (Mostly) ***
Robin Tucker
Riders = 1

cloudy with heavy snow
Waking up to two inches of snow was a surprise. The forecast had been bad, but more cold, wind and rain than snow. The rides were wisely cancelled, but I thought I would ride from Steventon to Wantage anyway:
(a) Just in case anyone didn't get the message and came out anyway, or was as crazy as I was
(b) To demonstrate the resilience of cycling as a mode of transport (#always campaigning)
(c) Just for the fun of it

That might sound a bit odd, but cycling on fresh snow, with the right bike and tyres is a rare bit of fun, somewhere between cycling, skiing and snow-shoeing. You want a mountain bike with knobbly tyres to get some grip. Fresh snow is best because you sink into it and get some grip, even if it is heavy going). The next best is where is had cleared or gone slushy, so you can cut through to the ground below. The worst is where it has been compacted by traffic into something near ice, that your knobbles can't dig in to, and you just have to hold a really straight and steady line, not braking, not accelerating, to the other side.

Overall, it took an hour-and-a-quarter to cover the 8.5 miles to Wantage on a mix of Bridleways and the NCN route. A good bit longer than it would normally, but I didn't want to rush. I arrived at 9:55 and wasn't surprised to see no one waiting in the Market Place apart from the statue of King Alfred.

I persuaded a passer by to take a picture, had a quick snack, and headed for home. There, to complete the experience, I had my own mince pies and sherry (closest thing to mulled wine in the house!)

I'll be back for the Mince Pie Ride attempt 2, when it is hopefully rescheduled!
27.36 km (17.00 mi)
Comment on this ride


Written by : Phil

Posted on : December 10, 2017 at 1:45 PM

Well done Robin, some sage advice too. The other benefit to snow riding is not having an inch of mud to clean off the bike afterwards ;-)

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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