Thursday 26 December 2019

The Ways of The Ancients.

Continuing our catch-up series of Summer Adventures.

July 2019 

I love the Old Ways.
 The Drove Roads, Ridgeways, Bridleways, Byeways Open To All Traffic etc. etc.  

Last Summer we "did"  The Ridgeway as part of a cunning plan, devised by yours truly,  which saw us take a circular route returning by the Kennet and Avon Canal towpath to our starting point at Pewsey. 

Four out of five muddy boys get ready to set off from Pewsey. PB had been a bit poorly so elected to give day one a miss. He will appear like a knight in shining armour shortly. 

Day One, Pewsey over the White Horse to Avebury for lunch and up onto The Ridgeway.
  Onward to Ogbourne St George in time for a pint.
 20 miles, 1368 feet of ascent. 

So (not very) Far So Good. 

Did anyone bring the Long Handled Slasher? 

A sunken lane near the White Horse of Pewsey.  I think it's amazing how these ways have been carved into the landscape by thousands of feet and hooves.  

On the climb up to the ridge my back axle started to groan a bit, so of course I ignored it. Then just after we crossed The Wansdyke and started a long fast descent it exploded in a shower of bits and seized solid.  
The boys came back for me, eventually. 

A couple of phone calls later and a walk into Avebury saw Paul and Caroline arrive with my spare bike. They had arranged to meet us that afternoon and thankfully hadn't left home before I phoned.
 The fellowship was now complete, and I was mobile again Hurrah!

Thanks Caroline. 

My Trusty steed of 20+ years, recently restored and fresh from the Devon Coast 2 Coast pressed into service. 

The Travellers Rest. 

Let no Trig be left unclimbed. 
Pierre and  JP indulge in a bit of male bonding. 

A group selfie, PT didn't get the memo. 

Big Skies and wide horizons . 

A welcome pint at The Inn with the Well. Our digs for the night. 

Fat Face were doing a special on C2C T shirts. 

Day 2, Ogbourne St George to Goring-On-Thames  
36 miles. 2,370 ft of ascent.

The Ridgeway is fantastic, it just goes on like this for miles.........

Unfortunately being such an elevated route its a long way down to the villages and more importantly the pubs. You can see on the profile where we dropped down to Letcombe Regis where we got an excellent welcome at The Greyhound pub. Nice Sandwiches too. 

............and miles and miles 

And Miles............until eventually dropping down to The Thames. 

A welcome cup of tea at Pierrepoint's in Goring before heading to the digs.
This wee cafe/bistro is a regular stopping point for brunch on The Thames Raid. 

Day 3 Goring to Pewsey along the Kennet and Avon Canal. 
47.5 miles and almost totally flat, thank god. 

Crossing The Thames at Pangbourne. 

IKEA Reading, too early for meatballs, we pressed on. 

JP shows his dismay at our route being barred. We thought about ignoring it and pressing on but we chickened out and took the long way round. 

The inevitable puncture stop. 
It was a long hot afternoon so no-one seemed in a hurry to get back in the saddle.  

The Kennet and Avon Canal runs from Bristol Docks, up the River Avon via Devises then over the top to join the River Kennet and down to the Thames at Reading and on to London. Its very scenic and a great trip in its own right. 

Cobblers to you too. 

By late afternoon the heat and distance were beginning to take their toll,
 last reserves of Haribo and Trail Bars were being passed round.  

We must be getting near the pub by now. 

Hurrah, we're not dead!

  The Muddy Boys, (average age 65,) 
make it back to Pewsey at last; 
Three days 103 miles and 4,488ft of ascent.

 An excellent adventure, who you calling ancient? 

Tuesday 24 December 2019

A Fairytale of New Year.

Well here we are again. 

Its Christmas Eve in The Workhouse. 

And with 2020 just around the corner
 maybe we can apply a little hindsight to the year ending,
 remember all of the great times we've had, enjoy the highlights while reflecting on the things that didn't go so well  and maybe look forward to an excellent New Year. 

 Scottish Borders Roads Dept. Paved with Good Intentions. 


 2020 Strictly auditions are going well.  

"Happy Christmas My Arse. "