Friday saw a total of seven rides head out on a bright but chilly day in to the South Downs on Alan’s ride to Swanmore. We headed out through Allbrook, Colden Common, Hensting and skirted Owslebury to avoid the taxing climb of Whites Hill. Alan decided to avoid the usual route of taking the whole of Baybridge Lane and instead took the group on an untried route off to the left at Baybridge. After a descent to a farm, the group with then confronted with around 900m of an unsurfaced track. The first 75m or so was quite muddy but the surface soon improved and everyone stayed upright and puncture-free. We thought it would be better in the summer when (if?) the muddy party dries out.

Alan’s planned route included another off road section with a view to avoid the ascent of White Hill into Upham but decided to revert to the known route of White Hill. There was a stop from a group photo and then it was on via Ashton into Bishops Waltham. The original plan had been to go to Barnaby’s in Swanmore for essential refreshments but time was getting tight so instead we stopped at The Anvil in Bishops Waltham.

Gordon joined the group there and we were pleased to see that although his injury prevents him cycling, it does not affect his ability to eat cake (he knows the importance of carrying on training). We then carried on through Swanmore, Waltham Chase, Durley, Horton Heath and Bishopstoke before finishing the ride at Fleming Park.

L-R: Gilly, Paul R, Paul J, Kathy, Margaret and Grahame.

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