As touring is tricky this year, certainly anything longer than a weekend, it doesn’t stop me from riding with friends. It was even better that the weather stayed dry and warm too.
This particular ride is again from Simon Weir’s Biker’s Britain book, called the Salisbury Loop. We rode most of it, but tweaked it in a couple of places. I say tweaked, we missed a couple of turns!!
Starting at the Three Trees Cafe in Chiseldon, we headed north across the M4 towards Wanborough. Following the road that leads to Wantage, turning off at Uffington.
This road was the only tricky one due to it being narrow, gritty in places especially on bends and in some places, steep turns. But, still great fun.
Heading along country lanes we went towards Burford, Bibury and stopped for coffee in the central square in Cirencester.
From here, we headed through to Devizes and out towards the Haven Cafe, Firsdown near Salisbury for lunch.
Then, time was getting on, and as I was supposed to be cooking dinner, we headed back up towards Swindon via Marlborough. But avoiding the boring A419, took the long way back via Wroughton, Wootton Bassett and Purton.
The route (almost) is shown below. Some strange things went on heading to Devizes and from Marlborough!!
Next ride is back into Wales, so looking forward to that one – that’s in a couple of weeks! Time to get the Tiger cleaned and prepped!!
It’s been a great July to be honest. Now out of lockdown I’ve managed to pop to France for five days touring around Normandy; spent four days riding in Wales with four friends staying near Aberystwyth and even managed some one-on-one tutoring too.
The trip to France was with a chap who had never ridden there before and eventhough he had driven on the wrong side of the road, he asked me to go with him just to show him the biking ropes as it were. We spent a couple of nights in B & B Hotels in Amiens and Lens, with the other three nights under canvas in La Fleche, Evreux and Honfleur. Covering around 1,300 miles all told on all sorts of roads, major and minor whilst avoiding the peage toll booths.
Wales was fantastic too. Can’t believe how lucky we are to have such scenery and great roads right on our doorstep. Went with four friends and we rode, and rode and rode!! For three of them it was their first time covering more than 120 miles in a day. Each day we rode in excess of 200 brilliant miles. The best day, though, has to be Sunday where we rode the Aberystwyth loop, Tour 25 in Simon Weir’s Biker’s Britain The Tours Book – a whole 7 hours of fun! See the Relive link for a sense of the fun we had.
What’s next? Well, planning trips for next year as this year may be a little uncertain we don’t want to risk organising something that could be cancelled. So, keep checking back, or “like” this site to receive updates.
Friday 3 July popping to France to see if we can and what’s involved with getting in and out of the country. Taking a chap over who has never ridden there before, though he did drive back in the 1970’s but that’s another story.
Plan is to leave early morning, hop on the Chunnel, arriving in Amiens for dinner. Avoiding toll roads as best we can, we will follow good main roads for the most part burbling through and past many small villages and towns stopping only for coffee and pain au chocolats!
First night staying in a B&B chain hotel.
Saturday, heading to Le Mans and then onto La Fleche to camp over night. From there, who knows. The Loire perhaps? No rush.
The Friday will be the longest day of riding; the rest will be easy 4 hours max. Coming home on Wednesday July 8th, we will stop Tuesday overnight within an hours ride of the Tunnel though this day will be quite hard getting round the M25 again – a road I never enjoy to be honest!
Home for tea!
The great thing is, combining touring and training in one! That’s not bad is it. Our intention is to have fun and learn at the same time. Can’t wait!
Map of intended route, but likely to change depending on how we feel.
Looking forward to 5pm tonight, 19 June, out tutoring a chap who hasn’t ridden in a few years. So, taking it easy and heading out towards Bibury I think, on nice roads with a few gentle corners. Its also a great place to stop, debrief and carry on again from.
Things I look for on a first ride such as this:
Rural and Urban riding
I also consider the 4’S:
Lots to think about, but really looking forward to it.
Planning for next year
Touring is a bit of a write off this year, but Stuart and I were chatting this week about trips next year. Got some ideas forming so please pop back soon, with the first one around Easter, or even earlier in March! Mix of continent and UK based.
If you have an idea of a trip, let us know what you like to see and do and we can sort out the planning for you.
Not a fast ride, but we had fun going round some interesting corners. Lyneham Banks, Ford, and leaving Stroud seemed to be either downhill or uphill where the most fun was had.
The intervening roads between those that are shown also had some great corners too – these were much faster and smoother. Often, you pick the best line through a corner (using the system of IPSGA) but that line is thwarted by the road surface!
Route was from Cricklade, Purton, Wootton Bassett, Lyneham, Chippenham (A420), Bath, Stroud, Cirencester and home again.
What a great day it was today! Went back to Adlestrop following last week’s route through the back end of Fairford and along those quiet narrow lanes overlooking the Cotswolds! Plenty of cyclists, walkers and horses out enjoying the June air.
After Adlestrop, we stopped in Bourton on the Water to buy a couple of pasties and headed back to the Rollright stones – https://www.rollrightstones.co.uk/ – a collection of neolithic stones, around 3,800 years BC so older than Stonehenge and Avebury, and the most easterly stone circle in the UK.
Northleach back to Cricklade – set the sat-nav to “windiest” route so we could explore and it didn’t disappoint! We did go through Stow-on-the-Wold four times in the end with our to-ing and fro-ing, and at one point I was leading a group of bikers on their club rideout!
This is a nice ride, not too fast as the roads are narrow, but very pleasant. Some pot holes but but not as many as I would have expected so all good from that perspective. Not a ride for everyone I guess as its more of a pootle than a blast, but I do enjoy exploring whenever I can and there is so much to see on our doorsteps!
Only around 100 miles or so all told, maximum.
But fantastic to go for a leisure ride and spend it with Sally! Happy days!!
Update 6 June – already been out a couple of times in the evenings. Making a difference! Feels great!
Update 3 June – training back on!! Limit to two people at a time though; available for evening sessions or whole day. We can help you prepare for the Advanced Riding test, or coach you for any areas you want to improve upon such as cornering and even just a return to riding tune-up.