Ride report – Sunday 2nd June

Phil Johnson led this ride and writes:
Not a bad start to our Summer of Cycling this one. Plenty of sunshine, particularly on the way out and we pretty much avoided any rain on the way back.
Half a dozen riders joined me for this steady ride to Banbury including Elspeth who was looking to complete a century over the weekend having done a 50 mile ride yesterday.

A tricky start on Banbury lane at the light controlled one way bridge. Both sides seemed to be on red. Elspeth bravely inched up the rise and confirmed the all-clear as we went over the bridge along with the rest of the waiting traffic.
Steadily along Banbury lane we went enjoying some splendid vistas on the peaks in the morning sun and the speed on the way down. Once over the A5 it’s pretty much plain sailing and the 16 miles marker to Banbury soon came into view.

At Sulgrave some way along, you’ve got seven and a half miles to go. Then six. Then eight. All pretty much in the same place. Whichever mileage it really is Thorpe Mandeville was reached in no time at all. On to Chacombe and the cycle paths beyond getting us into the Gateway Retail Park and out the other side. The last mile into Banbury proving easier than usual along the busy thoroughfares and we were soon at the Hillier Garden Centre for tea.

The outside seating area was clear and there’s no need for locking the bikes up at all. The staff were very kind in accommodating our requests for various breakfast meals and provided a jug of iced cold water to refill our bottles. A drop of rain threatened to spoil the party whilst we were resting but nothing materialised. Darryl adjusted his cleats as his knees were knocking or something and we headed out onto Southam (which must be pronounced South am and not Sutham apparently) Road for the return journey.

A gloomier ride back was in prospect. Overcast skies and rain looking likely. Not to mention the constant wind now present.
We ticked off some idyllic villages one by one and headed for Woodford Halse where I decided to throw in the one and only climb of the day. Safely up we cruised along, mainly in a downward direction towards Cold Higham once more.
A turn of direction along Banbury lane ended the ride in a gentile fashion through Gayton and Rothersthorpe. Like the last day of the Tour de France if you will.

Great riding by everyone but special mention to Elspeth who despite her doubts about completing this entire ride hung on and must have ridden around 56 miles on this ride alone totalling well over 100 miles this weekend. Chapeau Elspeth!

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