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Clubrun Reports - 7 April 2013


By twarwick - Posted on 08 April 2013

Clubrun Reports - 7 April 2013

Where were you all ? A couple of reports from the best cycling Sunday of the year so far, by Rod MacFadyen and Trevor Warwick.

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Rod M led a Brisk ride to Wantage.

Being available for the clubrun today I checked Ranjit’s destination list and reckoned I could do a route to Wantage for the Brisks. Very chilly riding to Market Place but sunny. Not quite as many riders there as I thought there might be, perhaps for that reason. Trevor W marshalled the troops, I put my hand up for the Brisks, and 11 of us set off down Friar St and Oxford Road. I didn’t know everyone but the participants included Darren on the only non-plastic bike, Steve F, Fred H, Dave E, Ian A, Adam T, Chris T, Paul E.

The summer bikes had been brought out of storage and there were some frisky legs under the Spring sunshine albeit all covered by full-length tights. The climb out of Pangbourne establised that ascents were not going to be done gently and not long afterwards Fred and Steve informed me that they’d proceed at their own pace, leaving me to shepherd the flock , feeling like a dad. We took in part of the Bucklebury circuit where I got dropped on the hill after Yattendon, my chase back on being helped by the roadworks outside Hermitage. Not likely to be finished till 1st May, was the opinion of an Irish roadworker sitting in a van. Through Hermitage and Chievely we followed dusty gritty lanes to Peasmore and earned a rest there while Chris T fixed a puncture. This section with its little lanes had me winging it, route-wise, and we dropped down the Wantage-Newbury road not quite where I expected, but soon were riding through Brightwalton on the way to join the A338. These were lovely quiet roads with good views. The A338 was surprisingly nice too, large sweeping curves and little traffic. Darren wound it up, we were lined out and under his impetus split into several groups as we crested the downs. I was sitting on Chris T’s wheel while he was in full TT mode, wondering why we weren’t gaining ground on the group ahead. That would have been because Adam T was doing the same for that group. Over the top we actually passed the correct destination, the Hill Court cafe, but there was no stopping as we hurtled down the descent into Wantage. I glanced at the computer and it was reading 81kph. At 10:48 we stopped at the Sandwich Shop in Wantage which despite a limited food selection was very welcoming and pleasant. A surprisingly modest 50km to this point.

On the restart we headed North on the A338 turning right at E Hanney to head for Didcot. Now with a headwind, I sat at the back and let the strong riders, of whom there were several, do the heavy lifting. I had to be sure to be present for navigation purposes as we headed on busy roads into Didcot and with Darren forcing the pace it was evident as that there were some tired legs. We headed roughly towards Wallingford, I was winging the route again, but got a fix on our exact location when we emerged on the A329 at Cholsey. More roadworks at the rail bridge. The little rise at Moulsford split the group as we realised a little further on but no-one seemed to want to sit up so 5 of us arrived at Streatley slightly in advance. Darren headed for Pangbourne while Adam, Chris, Ian and myself went up Flint Hill. Happily they didn’t dump me and we rode briskly, still into that headwind, all the way into Caversham to find yet more roadworks on the Woodcote Road. I was home at 13:05 with exactly 100km (yay) at 30.7 kph. Top ride.

Rod MacFadyen

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Trevor Warwick led a Steady ride to Nuneham Courtenay

I was as surprised as Rod that there weren't 50 people at the Queen Vic, on what promised to be an excellent day for riding, and which didn't disappoint. I led a steady group to Nuneham Courtenay, not feeling confident of lasting the extra km required to the advertised destination of Waterperry. Still no-one seemed to mind too much. Much plastic in evidence in this group too, I think only Aemon's steel frame, plus my Alu Gios and another Alu Giant providing chinks in the composite.

So 12 of us (incl Graham, Aemon, Denise, Mike & others) set off on my habitual Reading exit route along Hemdean Rd and Rotherfield Way, and carried on riding gently uphill for the next hour or so via Gallowstree Common, Stoke Row, Nuffield and Cookley Green. Down the always sketchy-feeling main road descent to Watlington, then over the prairies to Stadhampton, and a little loop via the Baldons since we were a bit early. In the Notcutts GC at 10.55 with about 55km ridden from home. They have poshed it up since I was last there, no picking up your own tray any more, and new furniture too. Prices also higher...

Most of us had cake, Graham couldn't resist the lure of a cooked breakfast, although what was provided turned out to be a bit small for his needs, and he was ruing not going for the two servings for six quid option.

On the road again at 11.30, going back via Long Wittenham where we saw Steve Ferry and someone else, who from Rod's report must have been Fred, coming the other way. It became clear we were now riding into a nagging headwind. The little climb past Wittenham Clumps notified me of the onset of sore legs, a condition that was made worse by the rise out of Watlington towards Ipsden, and then my choice of ascent past the old Well Place zoo. Here it was my turn to rue the lack of something, in this case, the compact chainset that is not fitted to the bike I was riding. So a real overgeared grovel for me. After a bit of a wait to regroup, a downhill run through Stoke Row and Sonning Common where I turned off towards Twyford and the others continued on the main road.

Total stats for me were 97km in 3:57, so definitely Steady pace, but also substantially the longest ride I've done since last September, so I was pleased with how it went, and it seemed like people enjoyed the route.

There were a couple of new riders out, which I didn't realise until too late, so apologies for not saying hello properly.

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