Peter Bayles led this ride and writes:
The weather was kind to the six riders that set off from East Hunsbury on Saturday 13th Jan for the ride to Stowe, being reasonably mild for the time of year and, more importantly, dry all day. Quite a few of our regular riders are suffering from ailments of one form or another at the moment, so it was especially good to welcome Mark on his first ride with us.
The group decided to stick together on the way out, taking the ride at a steady pace through pleasant country roads, albeit with some seasonal mud on a few of the smaller ones. The route was not too challenging, with the usual selection of tiring inclines, but nothing too difficult.
Alex’s Garmin refused to work correctly at first, giving strange directions and, at one point, suggesting the sea as a destination. After a few unkind conversations regarding the instability of the Garmin software, well into the ride the owner found that he had actually plotted the wrong route.
We couldn’t resist the photograph of the Corinthian Arch, with five fine riders captured in front of it (obviously the sixth was behind the lens). The Nevillery Café at Stowe served the usual National Trust selection of cakes and sandwiches, which were eagerly consumed in comfortable surroundings. That was until the fire alarm went off. This turned out to be a false alarm, but did mean that we had to finish our coffees outside in the cold, whilst watching the fire engine, sirens blaring, arrive at the scene.
The group split into two on the way back, with three riders needing to push ahead to get back for various events.
The roads back via Silverstone and Whittlebury were faster than those in the first half of the ride, but still quite quiet. So a good pace was kept up on the second leg, until progress was abruptly interrupted due to temporary roadwork’s before Shutlanger, where several traffic lights had appeared in series.
With the roadwork’s behind us, we set off again and both groups were back without punctures or other incidents before 2.00pm.
So, overall, an enjoyable ride with pleasant weather, and no punctures to report.