PhilJ went on this ride and writes:
Autumn had well and truly arrived for todays ride to one of this years most popular café stops , the Harley Equestrian Centre near Woodford Halse. If we didn’t know it at the start we certainly did out on the road. Skies were clear and the sun was out initially.
Elspeth regrettably decided to pull out of leading the moderate ride leaving seven riders on the brisk ride including my returning neighbour Ian and our mutual friend and Monday night rider Chris on his first CTC ride. With two options available, James H decided to follow Elspeth’s moderate route which as it turned out was a brilliant move!
The ride blasted out of the blocks towards Milton Malsor before the hill at Gayton made us regret it. We weren’t warming up very much so it was best to get a move on as best we could. Wind-chill was noticeably dropping the temperatures somewhat. Total contrast to the week before.
The route undulated a little through familiar villages and it wasn’t long before the welcome signs for Woodford Halse started to appear.
I for one geared up for the two tiered climb prior to the café only to realise that Elspeth’s route came in from the opposite direction. We still climbed a little but it almost felt like we were going downhill in comparison to the double digit% brute on the other side. Chapeau! Elspeth.
Our favourite French chef greeted us in the usual friendly way as we sat down outside in the chilly air. The usual excellent service from the staff got us tucking into warm food quickly. But realising how cold it was getting we were soon on our way again.
It definitely seemed colder as we set off. The sun having long gone leaving grey skies instead. Midway home we split up. Not intentionally, we just lost Ian, Chris and John Weller. A quick call confirmed they were ok and they made their own way back. Pete and I actually caught Ian on Banbury Lane having split again near home.
A chilly ride today which sets the scene for the next couple of months.
Thanks to James for leading a cunning route by Elspeth!
Thanks also to Chris and Ian for getting John back home and apologies for losing you along the way. Two fine fellows.