Sunday, 11 May 2014

Cotswolds Ride Out: May 2014

As the weather was pretty good last weekend, and with temperatures expected to rise by the bank holiday monday we decided that rather than go for a cycle ride, we would take the motorbikes out instead :).

So, as suggested by myself ages ago, and to avoid the rush of bikers heading to Hastings, we decided to head west to the Cotswolds District. We followed the main roads mostly, along the A40 to the other side of Oxford and then went off down the back roads. With Emma leading, we made it up mostly as we went along although it was a little colder than we expected.

As we got nearer to Cirencester my blade had done 140 miles... 150 miles... and then  160 miles with no petrol station in sight and no reserve light coming on, which started to make me worry that perhaps it wasn't working. However, the light did come on at 163 miles (pretty good going for a fireblade!) and as it did we passed a sign notifying of services in half a mile - well timed! Although there would have been about 20 - 30 miles in the reserve should I have needed it.

After filling up at the services we bypassed Cirencester, heading via Daglinworth and the back roads towards Stroud. We went through Minchinhampton and saw a nice pub known as the Ragged Cot that we thought we could stop at for lunch. However, after going through the hassle of locking the bikes up in the car park we then found out they were fully booked and were an incredibly popular place to eat. The guy there told us of a nearby place called The Old Lodge and even offered to call them for us but we decided to just try it out and see if they had places.

The Old Lodge is located off the common, a nice large open space where locals can eat, walk their dogs, fly kites and so on. The view from the table was amazing and spread right across the Cotswolds region.

After lunch (after putting our hoodies on) we headed south towards Nailsworth, encountering our first (and only) hairpins of the day. Then, rather than heading back towards home we went further west to Nympsfield before navigating back past Nailsworth towards home.

We ended up in Tetbury and stopped for a quick bathroom break. There was a racing event on at the village, with children and their self-build cars. As we continued east, we saw parents and their sons walking with their cars towards the start of the race and even received a wave.

Emma then tried to get us lost around Castle Eaton but we eventually found ourselves on the A420 and saw signs for Abingdon, where her friend Charly lives. So we headed there for a cup of tea before shooting home.

I took the lead as we left Charly's but couldn't think of the best place to get home from the A34. So we headed up to Bicester and then A41 back to Aylesbury. We then shot down the A41 coming off at Tring and back up to Dunstable.

Its a shame we didn't get down more of the smaller lanes on our ride out, but it was a nice day and local enough :). You could always mix this in with the Dunstable Downs as this is on the way.

Please note, the map is a rough idea of the route we took as I have drawn this after we went out and can't remember the exact way!

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