2016-04 Cotswolds ride

Thursday 14th April
Plan was to assemble at 8tc at 10.00am, but when PT & RK arrived they found an empty house so they decided to take tea at Julia’s. In spite of that we were all Malaysian Tea’s up and on our way before planned departure time of 11.00am (surprisingly?).
Lunch at Oxford services and we arrived at the digs around 3.00 where we met hosts Chris and Dave. Dave was soon introduced to the ways of the FGCC including the ode to the fallen and the FGCC salute, much to his amusement.

B&B at Bourton on the Water.
B&B at Bourton on the Water.

Short ride westerly ride agreed – route being to Upper Slaughter, then along a Roman road, to Lower Swell, Lower Slaughter and back to Bourton, after a pint of either Hobgoblin or Brakspear in the Slaughters Inn in Upper Slaughter. The centre stage was soon taken by Richard Garnett with his theories on cricket, people from Derbyshire, Geordies, the EU, the BBC and regional accents and “gods own country”.
We then took dinner in the Croft restaurant because Kingsbridge pub kitchen “closed for a next day function” !!!! All would have liked the lamb option on the menu, but it was swiftly bagged by team vicar without and chance for debate!
After that we went back to the Kingsbridge Inn and joined in the pub quiz half way through but it turned out to be “too ITV” and only came 6th
11 miles ride in total.

Friday 15th April
Great breakfast. Black pudding (for two of us – Paul and Richard – due to bikes against the freezer)
Gauntlet thrown down as “Don’t all men faff” comment was made by landlady Chris
Away by 10.00 starting with PT riding through the Ford and finding that it was a little deeper than he anticipated resulting in his feet getting more than a little wet.
We found our way heading south onto the Monarchs way involving plenty of exercise lifting bikes over stiles and cycling through boggy fields leading to JR making disparaging comments about Cromwell, which were repeated several times thereafter.

Boggy Monarchs Way
Boggy Monarchs Way

On down to Sherbourne, and along the Windrush valley to Burford for tea and sausage rolls or similar in Huffkins tea shop (the Truffles of the Cotswolds). As we assembled outside we met Lord and lady Ides from March in Cambs who were most interested in our activities.
Headed off again further along Windrush valley to Asthall where we met “Terry and June” and took a group shot.

Group shot at Asthall bridge with Terry and June
Group shot at Asthall bridge with Terry and June

North to Shipton under wychwood but pub too gentrified
Then to Milton under wychwood where the pub had grilled halloumi sandwiches for £6 and other similar overpriced offerings in an ordinary and uninteresting village.
Then to generally west to Fifield and Idbury and nether westcote and the Oxfordshire way to Wyck Rissington and back to Bourton on the Fosse way.
Rk + za went looking for bike store in the industrial estate but turns out had gone bust.
Riverside tea gardens for double cream teas.
To Wellington arms to book a table and have a Friday afternoon after work pint.
Demonstration of riding through a Ford by rk and Jr.

RK successfully crosses the Ford
RK successfully crosses the Ford
JR crosses the ford - unsuccessfully
JR crosses the ford – unsuccessfully

Back to the digs where PT demonstrated to RK the art of bikespoke knitting. Details of this masterclass to be added to website.

Knitted spoke on 29" wheel
Knitted spoke on 29″ wheel

Total 31 miles

Blog to be completed – notes below:

Saturday 16th April
A rude awakening to find snow falling
Another excellent break followed by session insulting the map in the conservatory to decide on the ride.
Jr entered room as za was kneeling over the map with comment “I see you are in vicar mode zach”
Faffing session to wait for the snow to stop falling was extended by about 10 minutes as pt searched for his car keys only to find that they had been in pocket all the time.
Started with intention of going along Windrush way but as so boggy alternative route.
Along road to Naunton then barton Kineton, Ford up to snows hill with photo shoot in front of snow covered hill. Then Broad

way tower, to main road where Jr blasteet then on to chipping Camden
Lunch in orchard lane cafe with welcome rest in front of Woodburner then broad camden
Up to Blockley then past Bourton on the hill and to condicote where we stopped at a conveniently located village hall entrance to fix Jr’s flat tyre – it turned out that the previous repair had not quite covered the hole.
After that we joined Ryknild street a roman road track then upper slaughter then back to Bourton
A good faff trying to decide which pub to go to for an early evening drink – ended up at mousetrap Inn and decided to have dinner there
35 miles

Sunday 17th April
Faffing to fix jr”s tyre – turned put it had been assassination attempt that had pierced both sides
Learned that dave was from Darlington reading a book about the Cray. Dangerous dave from Darlington.
Pt blasteet
Headed off to lower slaughter, lower swell, where e put logs in pt’s bike to stop the sea sickness. Admired English Ness of the village with preparations for Queens 9th and new Wi
Procession of vintage motorbikes specially laid on for us.
Then to Stow on the wold where za went through a red light. Tea and cakes in huffing, the truffles of the cotswolds.
Then onto monarchs way to Broadwell and went through Ford a few times.
Then Evenlode we had choice of muddy field or by way. Took by way and ended going up boggy track arriving at Chasleton house
Continued northeast to little Compton where we rejected the pm’s suggestion of a lunch in a Donnington pub
Long grind up to the top of the hill to find a great view of the Malvern Hills some 35 miles away
Up to the Rollright stones where we stopped for a long break
Remainder of ride route to be added.

Monday 18th April
JR taken to bus stop by PT. Final great breakfast and farewells to hosts and return home.