Jubilee ride report, Sunday 5th June

PhilJ went on this ride and writes:

Seventy years in the making, our royal platinum jubilee ride went ahead in less-than-ideal conditions. Forecasts of weather warnings did not put off any of the signed-up riders on this once in a lifetime jubilee celebration ride to Royal Leamington Spa.

It’s a straightforward journey out and all was going well as we approached the summit at Priors Marston ready for the drop. The route took us on the less than obvious and quite tricky descent off the approaching road. A deluge of water and gravel made for some ‘heart in mouth’ descending as we plunged down to the base through twists and turns with all brakes engaged all the way down.

Emerging out of the dark we seemed to have lost one third of the group during the descent. Half a dozen of us waited for the other three to show but they didn’t appear as expected. It then transpired that Hartley had gone on ahead under his own steam and JohnW was likely to have done his own thing having been seen going down the alternative descent at the top. Dennis however was nowhere to be seen and we had some concerns about his whereabouts. PhilB went back up the climb whilst I scoured the lower level. Calls to his two mobiles went unanswered when we managed to get any signal. Assuming Dennis was with John we pressed on towards our destination in the hope that Dennis would reappear some time later.

A couple of climbs kept things interesting through Napton and Snowford before we approached the HS2 construction site some miles outside Leamington. It was kind to us again only allowing cyclists to pass and provided a near complete cycle path for us to use as well.

Passing through Radford Semele I noticed that the defunct White Lion pub that we had used in the past until its demise several years ago now looked like it had been refurbished and ready to open again. It could hopefully be back on as a ride destination sometime soon.

Traffic increased towards the centre of Leamington Spa, but we were soon outside the Café Royal with on street parking for cyclists all to ourselves. At 11:30 we took our seats on our reserved tables as queues were still forming out of the door of this popular venue.

Service was swift and the food was great. Full English and big breakfasts were brought without haste to our tables. John preferred Weatherspoon’s nearby and dined alone there.

At this point I managed to contact Dennis who informed me that he was heading back after arriving in Leamington but unable to find the café among the others on the street. He explained that he was fine and happy to be on target for seventy miles anyway.

Our journey continued on unfamiliar roads for many of our group. Harbury, Bishops Itchington and Fenny Compton. By now the constant drizzle from the ride out had gone and roads were drying up. In Byfield we missed a photo opportunity at Jubilee Close as we passed by. Near Blakesley with ten miles to go a brisk/moderate split was agreed but we all made it home in our own time having completed a right royal ride.

Thanks to everyone who came out today on a memorable ride.

Her majesty would be proud of us.

PhilJ

Cafe Royal
Cafe Royal

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