Cycling the ridgeway

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by Paul Kelly, Jul 28, 2003.

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  1. Paul Kelly

    Paul Kelly Guest

    Having done the south downs twice (October last year and a couple of weeks ago) a group of us
    are planning to do the Ridgeway - starting at the Western end, train to Swindon and the road to
    the start.

    Anyone got any experience/advice - in particular wrt sensible overnight stop. We managed 40 mile per
    day on the south downs with reasonable comfort.

    pk

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  2. Mark

    Mark Guest

    "Paul Kelly" wrote ..
    > Having done the south downs twice (October last year and a couple of weeks ago) a group of us are
    > planning to do the Ridgeway - starting at the
    Western
    > end, train to Swindon and the road to the start.
    >
    > Anyone got any experience/advice - in particular wrt sensible overnight stop. We managed 40 mile
    > per day on the south downs with reasonable
    comfort.
    >
    >
    > pk

    I cycled portions of the Ridgeway in May 2000, in a fairly heavy rainstorm. As I recall, the ruts
    left by 4 wheel drive vehicles were so deep that I could not ride in them without hitting my pedals
    against the sides, which made riding rather difficult. I also remember that the clay surface that I
    was riding on became extremely slippery when wet, adding to the difficulties. A guide book to the
    Ridgeway that I read made reference to this problem, and advised against cycling the Ridgeway for
    this reason. HTH,
    --
    mark
     
  3. Paul Kelly

    Paul Kelly Guest

    "mark" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    >
    > I cycled portions of the Ridgeway in May 2000, in a fairly heavy
    rainstorm.
    > As I recall, the ruts left by 4 wheel drive vehicles were so deep that I could not ride in them
    > without hitting my pedals against the sides, which made riding rather difficult. I also remember
    > that the clay surface that I was riding on became extremely slippery when wet, adding to the
    > difficulties. A guide book to the Ridgeway that I read made reference to this problem, and advised
    > against cycling the Ridgeway for this reason. HTH,

    errrr, thanks!

    Which bits did you try?

    pk
     
  4. Mark

    Mark Guest

    "Paul Kelly" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    >
    > "mark" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]...
    > >
    > > I cycled portions of the Ridgeway in May 2000, in a fairly heavy
    > rainstorm.
    > > As I recall, the ruts left by 4 wheel drive vehicles were so deep that I could not ride in them
    > > without hitting my pedals against the sides,
    which
    > > made riding rather difficult. I also remember that the clay surface that
    I
    > > was riding on became extremely slippery when wet, adding to the difficulties. A guide book to
    > > the Ridgeway that I read made reference to this problem, and advised against cycling the
    > > Ridgeway for this reason. HTH,
    >
    >
    >
    > errrr, thanks!
    >
    > Which bits did you try?
    >
    > pk My memory is a bit hazy, as it was a few years ago, and it was not the
    high point of that trip. But I believe I started near Avebury, which would be the western end of the
    path. I don't recall getting too far before getting back on paved roads.

    Sorry if I've put a damper on your enthusiasm.
    --
    mark
     
  5. Paul Kelly

    Paul Kelly Guest

    "mark" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:p[email protected]...
    >
    > > > pk
    > > My memory is a bit hazy, as it was a few years ago, and it was not the
    > high point of that trip. But I believe I started near Avebury, which would be the western end of
    > the path. I don't recall getting too far before getting back on paved roads.
    >
    > Sorry if I've put a damper on your enthusiasm

    Ah, a few years ago. I've seen comments about improvements to the surface in parts..... more
    research needed!

    pk
     
  6. On Mon, 28 Jul 2003 15:24:07 +0000 (UTC), Paul Kelly <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > Ah, a few years ago. I've seen comments about improvements to the surface in parts..... more
    > research needed!

    I've walked the Ridgeway and there is no way some of those ruts are going to be repaired so easily.
    From what I remember Avebury to Goring is not too bad (although there are some bits that are public
    footpath only). From Goring I remember the bit along the river had numerous kissing gates - but
    there is probably a reasonable route along roads. There is a steep slippery hill just after Princes
    Risborough that I wouldn't want to ride up on a bike either.

    --
    Andy Leighton => [email protected] "The Lord is my shepherd, but we still lost the sheep
    dog trials"
    - Robert Rankin, _They Came And Ate Us_
     
  7. "Paul Kelly" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > Having done the south downs twice (October last year and a couple of weeks ago) a group of us
    > are planning to do the Ridgeway - starting at the Western end, train to Swindon and the road to
    > the start.
    >
    > Anyone got any experience/advice - in particular wrt sensible overnight stop. We managed 40 mile
    > per day on the south downs with reasonable comfort.
    >
    >
    > pk

    A few years back I did Swindon to Streatley twice with the kids. I camped overnight at White House
    Farm (right on the route about 0.5 mile from the Ridgeway Youth Hostel above Wantage). The cafe just
    over the bridge in Goring does good all day breakfasts (and more). Wantage might be too close if you
    are doing the whole length of the Ridgeway (to Ivinghoe ? - but isn't the route after Goring aimed
    at the walkers with loads of stiles etc.?).

    I can also recommend Streatley youth hostel (which acts as a base for the annual Ridgeway walk - the
    non-stop from Avebury). The Easter before last I did a leg from Salisbury to Streatley with the last
    section along the Ridgeway on my touring bike. I was just wondering if the tyres would stand the
    abuse from the flints - when they didn't ! I'm afraid that although I had the means of repair I
    welcomed the chance to get out of the saddle and ended up pushing about five miles to Streatley YH.

    Who was it on the group who achieved wonders in the Iron Man race earlier in the year ?

    Tim

    I think the state of the route changes dramatically with the weather and seasons
     
  8. Paul Kelly <[email protected]> wrote ...
    > Having done the south downs twice (October last year and a couple of weeks ago) a group of us are
    > planning to do the Ridgeway - starting at the
    Western
    > end, train to Swindon and the road to the start. Anyone got any experience/advice - in particular
    > wrt sensible overnight stop. We managed 40 mile per day on the south downs with reasonable
    comfort.
    >

    I did Wantage (B4494) to Ogbourne St George about 3 weeks ago, riding down from Gloucester via
    Witney overnight, for a crack of dawn start. I have also done Barbury Castle to Avebury and Wantage
    to Compton (missed the left turn for Streatley) previously. (all on an Audax bike) The
    Wantage-Ogbourne leg took about 3 hours. Someone has recently been repairing/upgrading stretches of
    this section, up to about the standard of a new Sustrans path. It was bone-dry so no problems with
    slippery clay. Ruts - there are a lot, but you just have to stop and change rut on the odd occasion
    - watch what happens as far in front as possible - often the "sump rut" between the 2 main wheel
    ruts is the best place to ride, or you can take to the grass on the wide sections. There are also
    some shortish sections that are a bit overgrown, so you may get nettled. I don't remember any
    footpath-only sections, and the two (short) sections marked as such on one OS map are bridleway or
    RUPP on another.

    There used to be a cafe at the farm near Barbury Castle, and there's a good pub in Ogbourne St
    George (unless you go via Chiseldon). Any other refreshment stops will mean an off-route detour
     
  9. Caher

    Caher New Member

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    Hi,
    Yes a group of about 80 of us (yes 80 –a company event) did the stretch from Avebury to Goring in June. It was very hot so bring lots of water. Also the ruts can be annoying after a while, as they tend to bring you to halt or knock you off as happened to several of us.
    It took us from 10 until 5 with plenty of stops due to the less experienced.
     
  10. Paul Kelly

    Paul Kelly Guest

    In news:[email protected], Caher <[email protected]> typed:
    > Hi, Yes a group of about 80 of us (yes 80 –a company event) did the stretch from Avebury to Goring
    > in June. It was very hot so bring lots of water. Also the ruts can be annoying after a while, as
    > they tend to bring you to halt or knock you off as happened to several of us. It took us from 10
    > until 5 with plenty of stops due to the less experienced.

    Thanks for that - and the other replies - I think we will go ahead and make the plan!

    pk
     
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