|Event date:||07/09/2019 7:45 am|
|Event Organiser||Sheni Jiwa|
|Start location||Chippenham Sports Club|
|Ride distance||125 miles|
|Route||Ride with GPS - UPS ‘N’ DOWNS 200KM CHALLENGE RIDE (***7.45AM START***)|
|RSS link to similar||RSS|
A new route into some beautiful countryside in the North Wessex Downs along mostly quiet roads and lanes, with some stunning views.
We head east via Broad Town and Wroughton for a morning coffee stop at the Three Trees Café in Chiseldon. The café opens at 9.30am and serves a good range of cakes and cooked breakfasts.
After fuelling up for the day we take some interesting lanes to Ashbury, where we turn onto a lovely road through the Valley of the Racehorse to Lambourn and beyond. We sneak underneath the M4 and head over to Wickham Heath. From here the countryside and villages just get prettier as we follow lanes up the side of Pilot Hill (the highest hill in Hampshire). After descending to the delightful village of Faccombe we then climb steadily over Combe Hill, close to the top of Warlbury Hill, the highest natural point in south-east England. You get an amazing view from here, and then drop down the hill for our lunch stop at the Honesty Café on Inkpen Common.
After lunch the route takes us on a gentle loop around the lanes to Kintbury and Hungerford Common, before heading back uphill for the climb of Combe Gibbet, which has a particularly gruesome past (story here). Combe Gibbet also features in Simon Warren’s book of the UK’s 100 Greatest Climbs, so you can tick one of those off your to-do list if that’s your thing! We get another downhill run from here along 10km of cruising lanes to Hurstbourne Tarrant. Look out for red kites flying in this area, we have seen quite a few each time we have ridden this route.
The ride back takes in a nice long lane through Vernham Dean and then onwards to Pewsey for a quick stop at the Spar shop for supplies, if needed. Familiar roads take us through Pewsey Vale, but then we throw in a few little ups and downs through Bromham for some added challenge to get us home via Lacock.
Optional post-ride refreshment at the Sports Club bar afterwards!
A note about Challenge Rides:
All riders should be comfortable with the challenge of riding longer distances. It’s intended to ride the routes at a steady pace, so the group can stay together. If some people prefer to ride faster and/or if there are sufficient numbers we’ll split into separate groups. All participants should be competent and completely self-contained, carrying tools, tubes, spares etc, and enough food/drink/money to see them through the day. There is no ride-leader, no back-marker, and no route sheet. Everyone is advised to familiarise themselves with the route in advance and to carry relevant maps and directions (paper or GPS, or both!). Lights are recommended on the longer rides, in case it’s getting dark at the finish. Be aware that some GPS device batteries won’t go the distance (unlike your legs!), so consider bringing one of those small USB battery chargers to give it a boost when stopped at a cafe.