This was two days of riding around Stroud.
On the Friday evening I went on the Noah’s Ark shop ride. This took in some new trails which I realised were worth adding to a route I was planning for MBSwindon. Due to the boggy weather I rode home down the road and quite enjoyed it. This is possibly an early warning sign of something. On the Saturday I set out a bit late with a plan to ride the whole route I’d planned for the club ride. It turned dark on me but luckily I had the lights. Then it rained a lot so I finished the ride off with another road ride.
On the Friday night there was a mist rising from the flooded Stroudwater canal which generated a threatening ambience as we picked our away along the off camber tow path. The most interesting part was a drainage channel in the path that was completely filled with water. Luckily the riders at the front knew what was under the water.
We took the road from Daneway to a new trail gem for me. This was a fast track descent that’s a lot better in real life than the map suggests. A river had burst its banks so the track had also become a river for the climb back up. I realised later that I’d ridden this track in the opposite direction on the MBSwindon Bisley ride in 2011.
We followed some lanes and took the great descent from Frances Lynch back into the valley. Sam mentioned a pub stop so we called in to the New Red Lion for beer (or sparkling water) and I realised how cold my feet were. I finished with a blast back down the road home (because I live there).
On the Saturday I ticked off a few missing sections for my recce. I took the descent to the Weighbridge Inn near Nailsworth. The water had cleared a rocky path through the mud for most of the descent.
After the climb to Minchinhampton I wimped out of the steep grassy descent on the hillside near Burleigh. I could just see myself slipping and cartwheeling down the slope. I tried walking down it and realised that riding it would have been a very bad idea. I promised myself that I’d do it when it was dry. It’s always tricky when you are on your own. A fairly minor incident could turn very serious without help.
At Cowcombe wood I tried to replicate the route from my first visit there. Basically straight down, but on my previous visit I’d ended up mud slugging along some tracks instead. Back home later I overlayed 3gpx plots and concluded that I had finally found the correct route. It shows how when you follow people you never really take things in properly.
I then followed a similar route to the Noah’s ride. I wanted photographic evidence to promote the ride. There was just enough light for this. At Bisley I decided to head for home straight down the road. This meant a fast road descent to Stroud. Not fast enough judging by Strava though. Blame the rain.
- Noah’s shop ride: Garmin | Strava | gpx 38km, 330m, 2h18m moving, 16.4 km/h, 1200KCal
- Sat recce ride: Garmin | Strava | gpx 42km, 580m, 3h04m moving, 13.7 km/h, 1600KCal