Past Ride

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Sun Dec 9th 2018
1* Mince Pie Ride 1*
Steve Swanton
Start Time:
10:00 am
Start Location:
Our annual festive ride, which again is in aid of Whizz-Kidz, the children's mobility charity.

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 10:00 - 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.
We set off from the Market Place as 7 but by the time we left Childrey the group had grown to 12. Stuart, Dan and David caught us up at the start of the bridleway in Challow, we met Lizzie by arrangement at Silver Lane and then we just managed to stop Peter ride past us (hiding in plain sight) by Childrey pond. Evidently, I was guilty of setting off slightly too early!
Weâ??d had a brief light flurry of rain while assembling in the Market Place and a second flurry marked our departure, but as this passed the sun came out and there was just the north-westerly breeze to contend with as we headed westwards. We stopped several times to regroup after the ups, but made good time to the foot of Dragon Hill, arriving at the same time as riders from both Farcycles (Faringdon) and Freewheeling (Abingdon). Everyone took the hill at their own pace, some walking part way. We had seen showers to the north and I had just reached the top when the rain swept in. While several riders carried straight on to the NT car park, I waited for the others with my back to the rain â?? even less pleasant for those climbing. While waiting I saw two riders from the University Cycle Club, then familiar faces from Oxford City, our own two-star group and a couple of faces from the past (great to see Julian Gough and Robert Wyatt).
Eventually all were up and as we continued to the traditional gathering in the car park, the sun came out. The mulled wine was most welcome and excellent as ever. It was lovely drying off in the sunshine while catching up with friends both old and more recent.
8 of us headed back together after the meet, retracing our tracks along the B-road to Westcot and then back to Wantage through the springline villages. And with the sun out and the breeze behind us, it was a lovely ride home.
Thanks to all for your company on the ride and welcome back to Martin, Stuart and Lyn and warm welcomes to Dan and Dave. Particular thanks, of course, to the catering team for providing the essential ingredients. And thanks to Martyn and Nick for sweeping.
25.43 km (15.80 mi)
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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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