Following the possibility of sleet or snow showers overnight on Saturday, and with other parts of the country snowbound by the morning, Sunday Club ride cancellation seemed inevitable. However, early morning conditions were far better than expected, so the decision was made to go ahead, albeit with a shortened route if necessary and probably no café stop as it was confirmed that the intended Puddleducks destination on Holt Road out of Napton was closed for the winter. Thanks to Alison for the initial warning that was the case, and subsequent searches did not come up with a suitable alternative in time to be confirmed.
With various withdrawals due to the gloomy forecast for rain by mid-morning, apart from RL Ashley it was just one other rider Rob of the Not So Quicks (NSQs) who turned up for the start, so it was "green for GOs" for the previous and current incumbents!
Although damp and a bit chilly, the pair agreed to follow the intended route initially, with a view to shorten depending on conditions as and when necessary, so it was up Friz Hill to Kineton, towards Edge Hill before the turn left past the MOD and into Northend. By this time the occasional drizzle was turning heavier and more persistent, so the pair stopped at the junction with Long Lane for Ashley to don his rain jacket. Resisting the temptation to turn back to Gaydon, it was on to Fenny Compton, up the steady climb to Wormleighton (no evidence of any road closure despite the warning signs), then out through Priors Hardwick and Priors Marston. At the junction with Welsh Road it was an easy decision to shorten the ride by missing out the loop into Napton and turn left instead and head straight into Southam, with both riders taking turns on the front to push the pace to keep warm.
After a brief stop in Southam for flapjack sustenance (thanks Lynn!), the ride continued out through Deppers Bridge, with Rob taking the lead on the footpath at one point to by-pass a long set of traffic controlled barriers for road works, where his off-road mountain bike skills came into play on the rough and narrow surface leaving Ashley well behind. Once through Harbury, and past Chesterton Windmill, the quickest way back for the now bedraggled pair was back via the Old Gated Road to Lighthorne, across The Fosse and down through Moreton Paddox for home.
In summary, not the most pleasant of rides, but nevertheless, better use of a Sunday morning than sitting on the sofa (might reconsider that!) despite the thought of yet more bike cleaning to come.
Stats Approx. 39 miles with 1460ft of ascent
NSQs – average speed 15.2mph Rob Lillywhite, Ashley Sherren (RL)
As Thursday dawned cold and frosty we delayed the ride start to 11.00, by which time the sun was shining.Ten hardy souls turned out to ride but as we reversed the route due to a change of lunch venue, Martin decided to ride on his own in order to head home before the end of the ride. We set off a little tentatively via Hampton Lucy, Snitterfield, Norton Lindsey, Sherbourne, Barford, Ashorne and Morton Morrell(after which Kevin headed back to Wellesbourne) to lunch at Gilks cafe in Kineton, although Ashley and Lynn decided not to stop. After the usual good food and service, and a welcome warm-up, the remaining six headed home the long way. A somewhat improvised route went via the Pillertons, Fulready, Idlecote, Halford, Armscote, Newbold, Alderminster and Loxley. Here we encountered the only ice as we negotiated a truck closing the road road and water/slush running down the road. A chilly but enjoyable ride completed without incident, in constant sunshine. 43.7 miles and about 2200 ft completed at 15 mph. The riders were:- Kevin McFall, Gary Gristwood, Gordon Matthew, Paul Meade, Steve Kirk, Ashley and Lynn Sherrin, Scott Bottles and Mike Massey (RL)
Official ride planned for today by Mandy Crust was cancelled due to icy conditions. A smaller group lead by Chas Hilditch went out at 11am from Kineton and did a smaller circular route, avoiding little used lanes, etc. Riders were (from Wellesboune at 10:30am - Sue, Olwen, Philip+Claire), meeting up with Chas Hilditch (RL), Iain, Gayle at Kineton church at 11am. Route was Wellesbourne to Kineton via Compton Verney for those coming from WB, then Kineton, Radway, Lower Tysoe, Upper Tysoe, out towards Honington and turning right at crossroads to Whatcote, Fulready, Pillerton Priors (road being resurfaced so had to get off and walk a bit). The WB group then took the Walton road back to WB, and the Kineton group went home via P. Hersey and Butlers Marston. Distance and speed: WB group - 25 miles at 12 mph Kineton group - 18.6 at 12.6 mph The difference in mph is down to the hills between WB and Kineton, whereas the common route didn't have any/many hills.
Eleven riders rode the 25.5 mile route with 1286ft of ascent in two groups; Group A: Gary Gristwood, Gordon Matthew, Andrew Markwick, Paul Meade, Mike Veal and Kevin McFall at average speed of 17.5mph Group B: Simon Hamilton-Smith (RL), Steve Kirk, Kevin Zwolinski, Paul Markwick, Mike Massy at an average speed of 14mph Weather dry and cold, roads wet.
The forecast predicted frosty and dry conditions so we went for a delayed 9.30am start. It was wrong, it was cold and wet which made for unpleasant and testing conditions. Still, I'm grateful to the brave folks who joined me for my first Sunday Club ride in a long while.
Our objective (and sanctuary, as it turned out) was Wyatt's Garden Centre at Great Rollright which was a straight forward 20 miles cycle south. After 10 miles everyone was cold and damp (enough so that Alison sought out a quick way home) and everyone was freezing and wet by the time we arrived at the café.
We lingered while everyone dried out and warmed up (and apologies were made over the theft of an apple pie and custard; sorry Nick!) but eventually we struggled back out into the cold drizzle. With the wind at our backs, we made good progress home but did choose to shorten the route a little to prevent hypothermia. I failed to mention this to the Quick boys.
Overall, a fairly miserable ride made bearable by the good company. Distance was somewhere between 39 and 43 miles with about 2300' ascent, completed at an average speed of 13.7 and 15.9 mph by NSQ and Quick, respectively.
Peter Dewis David Godefroy Rob Lillywhite (RL) Paul Markwick Lyn Sherren Ashley Sherren Alision Speechly
During the week there was a mighty discussion re Dene start time. It was then agreed 10am is best in winter. However ignoring all that wreckless RL bit the bullet and decided 9.30am start today! Her courage stemmed from her weather app assuring double figures in Centigrade by 9am... what's a girl to do.
8 riders in the lay-by to kick off our tour of Dovehouse onto the Loxley Road to rusty roundabout to collect some rusty riders. So now we are 12. Cycle path to Luddington where we are met by 3 more. Luckily the temporary lights (which seem to be popping up everywhere lately) were just after our right turn to Binton. On up to Temple Grafton and swoosh down to cross Alcester Road. Mike W. headed back wisely keeping a check on his bonky knee. Haselor and Oversley bring us to coffee in Orange Mabel with the exception of a few non-patient queue waiters going elsewhere! Post grub we were all happily reunited, momentarily. We lost Dave T. to the great unknown or heading back to Long Marston.
Two groups as we headed out of Alcester towards the Great and Little Alnes onto Wootton Wawen. Keeping our bikes clean we stuck to main road, to Bearly to Snitterfield, Hampton Lucy, WB. My group did wait a bit and another bit for 2nd group but think they may have taken the scruffy route and alas we did not meet again.
Acknowledging we are sadly (very:) missing some of our regular riders permission was given for the absence of Wendy Skyte (still probably reeling from 00 birthday celebrations and John Tuck who chose to go to Paris to celebrate his (instead of coming with us lot..... beats me!).
The mix of 15 non-rusty, rusty, all sunny deners who travelled 37.5 miles, with 1,762 elevation at 13.1mph, were:
Dave Thomas (thanks for assistance) Steve Toms Guy Canning Les Oakshott Trevor Shaw (thanks for assistance) Caroline Young Barry Newman Paul Bannister Tim Hawkes Graham Sims Mike Wallace Chris Hind Andy Spink Richard Freer-Hewish Olwen Kelly RL
On a perfect autumn's day for cycling, 12 riders gathered at the start with Gary and Martin displaying their legs, Mike M displaying his calves, and Gary opting for his summer bike. Despite numerous requests to repeat the 'Tour de B4100' Peter C had opted for a route of familiar roads but in a slightly different order. Off down Walton lane and then on to Pillerton Priors, we started to get a taste of the fresh headwind. To Fulready, then Whatcote and Honington, we fought our way into the wind glad when the turn on Felt Mill lane came. Then, with the wind behind us, we flew toward Tysoe, and glided up the long grind of Compton Wynates hill. Then along the ridge of Edge Hill and flying down to Kineton where we enjoyed the normal excellent lunch at Gilks. We loosened our stiff legs on the Lighthorne road climb and collectively grumbled about the sharp up after the lovely down. Through Moreton Morrell and past Oakley woods, we briefly reacquainted ourselves with the B4100 before turning down Hareway lane to Barford, Sherbourne, and home. A very enjoyable 42 miles with about 2300 feet of climbing at about 16 mph. Enjoying this were: Steve Kirk, Gary Gristwood, Kevin McFall, Martin Le Tocq, Ashley Sherrin, Lynn Sherrin, Mike Massey, Mike Veale, Scott Bottles, Gordon Matthew, Peter Dewis, and Peter Coote (RL)
Nice sunny but cold ride out to The View. Eight riders today - Chas Hilditch (RL), Sue Bacon, Iain Jones, Ian Hope, Vino Clarke, Mandy Crust, Rachel Cousins, Shauna Kelham-Gardner. Route was WB (10am), Charlecote, Hampton Lucy, Black Hill, Sand Barn Lane to A46, few hundred yards on (overgrown) tarmac path then across the A46 to Snitterfield via Park Lane. Bierley, turning right onto A3400 and to The View for coffee stop. Back via Little Alne, Aston Cantlow, Shottery, Stratford, Tiddington, WB. Arrived back 1:10pm. 26.6m at 11.3mph.