The “Long One” – DPCC Sunday Ride 15th September 2013
Weeks in the planning, only a few hours in the execution, the weekend of the much-anticipated “Long One” arrived at the same time as the first autumn low pressure system off the Atlantic, making for a blustery – and potentially quite wet – ride. Also of note, today marked the first mass display of the long-awaited new DPCC kit… !
Undeterred by the 8am start, 16 riders set off for the 80+ mile ride to Malmesbury, including young Tim Allen, who until just a few weeks ago had barely ridden half this distance in one go. To vary the out and back routes a bit, and given the quiet early morning roads, Matt led us on the main road all the way past Wantage (including a hefty detour to avoid the deserted town centre!) and Challow Station, before we turned off towards Baulking. From here it the main settlements passed along the way were Uffington, Watchfield, Highworth, and (ignoring the outskirts of Swindon) Purton.
Unfortunately only 15 riders actually made it to the cafe, as Simon McGowan’s bottom bracket bearings failed catastrophically just past Uffington, forcing him to turn back. Part way there, it started to drizzle and a few rain jackets were pulled from jersey pockets. Fortunately what little rain there was stayed (a) intermittent, and (b) light. And although the wind did get up as the day wore on, by then it was mainly at our backs so we got the benefit of it on the way home !
Arriving at the cafe, fairly basic but warm and dry, a variety of cooked breakfasts and cakes were eagerly consumed.
Setting out for home we retraced our steps as far as Highworth, from where we headed into Shrivenham before taking the “standard” route back to Didcot through Longcot, Fernham, Shellingford, Charney Bassett, the Hanneys and Steventon.
Stats: my computer said just under 87 miles in a few minutes over 5 hours riding time, giving an average of a shade under 17mph – but it was playing up a bit on the way out – online mapping suggested nearer to 90 miles ridden…
Mechanicals: only Simon…