Hilly Loop

I wanted to get out today, whilst the weather is good. Previously I’d put off going out on the Sundays I work, because… ah… yeah… I was quite frankly being lazy. Going spinning has helped, as I’ve said before, and I’m at that point I have so much energy that sometimes I don’t know what to do with myself. This usually means I get irritable, and probably the best description: arsy (or arsey, or assy)!!!

So, I’d had it in my mind since yesterday, that the bike needs riding. I finished work by half 9, and finally persuaded my Dad to come out for a ride. He invariably suggests the Ashbury Loop. Now I don”t actually mind going up Ashbury hill, even though I find it a long, long way from easy. What I don’t like is the top road, the B4507 from Kingston Lisle crossroads, to Ashbury crossroads. It’s steep ups and downs, coupled with hairpin corners, is not an ideal stretch to warm my legs up. Alright, I’m just being picky, but there is ALWAYS a strong headwind along there, and today it really had my legs burning. And had me doing a credible impression of a steam engine.

I let Dad decide at the crossroads in Ashbury which way he wanted to go. He said up the hill, so we went up the hill. He’s 70 and riding steady away, if not slowly. I keep going, surprisingly strongly, although very slowly in bottom gear. Coupled with that sneakily strong crosswind, it isn’t easy. But I do it a hell of a lot easier than back in the summer when I last tried.

It’s a nice long gradual descent into Lambourn, passing Ashdown House and we see quite a few very early lambs! (pic to follow)

It’s a road well known to both of us, and it’s wide and nicely surfaced until we get into Lambourn itself. We swing around past The Wheelwright Arms – one of my favourite watering holes, and turn onto the Wantage road. As we cross the bridge over the stream, I say rather wryly ‘It’s all uphill from here.’


This is demonstrated very well on MapMyRide – although the link won’t post on here currently, I may be able to screenshot it on my phone later. It doesn’t feel like uphill, until we pass Faringdon Place – where I work. Then it’s up onto the Faringdon Road (all still the same road – B4001). Our gallops run parallel to the road on the West side (or left as I’m heading). Nicky Henderson’s gallops are parallel on the East side. A nd it might look flat, but believe me, it”s not. Just ask Chris Snook (Madison Genesis last year).

Finally, a turn to the left at the top of Sparsholt Firs, and down the hill towards Sparsholt, then a left at the crossroads and back toward Kingston Lisle.

It’s not a hard route, but it made me feel better! And if anyone finds my appetite, send it back will you?!

Another thing to point out – no Garmin, no Strava. I don’t eat before I ride, and only take water with me. I do take enough to grab a coffee should I need it, but dad won’t do coffee rides…


Anyway, I feel a lot better. For everything. Who knows, I might take up running next. At least it’ll keep my over active mind from thinking of excuses to not do anything. I have 3 spin classes next week too.


Keep smiling!



Not a typical weekend!

Saturday morning, I once again joined up with https://www.facebook.com/breezingstoke (part of the Breeze network). Meeting in the War Memorial Park at 8.45, one of the ladies informed us that there was part of the cycle path cordoned off by police. This happened to be the way we were going, so we duly set off to investigate. No, we were not allowed through, and I still don’t know what had happened, but there was a police car and it was certainly off limits. We were redirected back past the tennis centre to rejoin the cycle path further down with much wondering what had happened!
Did I also mention there was a Park Run on? Ah, yeah, there was people EVERYWHERE!!
This was only a social ride, and road bikes probably shouldn’t be used going up through Crabtree plantation (far too gravelly really!) but I survived! A short run sort of around Old Basing and back via Eastrop Park (where Breeze leader Ruth took a lovely piccy of us ladies!).
On the smoothest, loveliest piece of road I switched to a higher gear and my sodding chain came off – cue mortification!
Honestly the weather and company was perfect for a short ride! I thoroughly enjoyed it, but once home I was soon bored!

After a quick wander around town, I decided to take my bike over to my parents (Kingston Lisle in Oxfordshire) and go for a short ride around there. Dad wondered whether to join me on his Eddy Merckx but he’d already been out for a long ride in the morning, so I thought that @v_girlracer might like to join me! She did an it was a lovely easy ride until we got to Common Hill.

Common Hill. Yep, for two not very fit people, it is a bast**d of a hill to climb as it’s steep enough, it twists and turns and the road surface isn’t great, but we both managed to stay on our bikes and get up it! Needless to say I was pretty damn pleased with myself. Thank god once up Common Hill we were back in Kingston Lisle, and only a short ride back to my parents.

Then still in lycra we decided to play tennis (although ‘play’ wouldn’t describe it as there was certainly no scoring – unless you count hitting miscellaneous objects as points). We had a whale of a time, even if the odd ‘Oiiii’ from mum (yeah we might have hit the window ;S ) made us calm down a bit.

So back to Basingstoke and Sunday morning meant putting together a flat pack (fabric) wardrobe, set of shelves and a bedside cabinet. And not doing any TdF planning (unless you included talking)!