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Peter Genet

Gentleman Biker of Cricklade

Month

May 2014

Quick evening spin

Nice evening last night and fancied a bit of fresh air so took KES for a quick jaunt down the B4040 to Malmesbury. Yes again!

Anyway, I’m doing the Advanced Rider Training so now putting into practice the things I have been taught which I am hoping will make me a better, smoother and safer rider.

The B4040 to Malemsbury is a great little ride – and one I know it rather well! There are some nice twists and turns and dips especially leaving Charlton so be careful there.

At Malmesbury and turning left at the first roundabout towards the M4, we then turned left at the next roundabout taking us back to Wootton Bassett on the B4042. Passing through the longest village in England, Brinkworth, (is there a pub here that is, or used to be, very popular for eating at?), we burbled onto the outskirts of Wootton Bassett.

Not sure what to make of Brinkworth really. Yes it is long, but we didn’t stop to see it or take any turns off to really appreciate what it may have to offer.

This is a great biking route for it’s long sweeping bends so you can get your speed up, safely of course, and also put into practice some of the advanced rider stuff too. There are some slower sections, but all in all, a nice training route.

At Wootton Bassett, turned left towards Purton and headed home.

Nice little jaunt to warm up on and practice the Advanced Rider techniques in a relatively safe environment. The scenery was rather pleasant as are the smells coming from the fields – countryside smells! Not very busy with traffic at this time of day either.

Total mileage – approx 25 all told.

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Faux Bath

Saturday 10 May – bit of a miserable wet’n’windy day. So much so, we didn’t think we would get out on the bikes today. Richard G has a new FJR1300 and he was itching to take it for a long spin. 8.30 came, our usual start time – too windy. So, eventually, at 3pm we hit the road!

Our plan was to head along the familiar B4040 to Malmesbury, and over to the M4 to fill up at the Murco garage. From there, I suggested we go into Bath via Chippenham and Box along the A4. In Bath, we would grab a coffee and chat about the best way home. That was the plan anyway!

At the M4, junction 17, we headed over to Chippenham on the A350. This section is a dual carriageway and relatively straight with only a set of traffic lights or two to contend with. As we arrived at Chippenham we took the right turn at the roundabout, into Cepen Way, and which I presume is also the Chippenham by-pass. We followed this – and promptly missed the A4 turning to Bath via Corsham! We ended up heading towards Melksham which I didn’t think was right, so we pulled into a car park in Lacock for a quick chat.

Yes, I made a mistake – but as I’ve said before, is it really a mistake? Never mind. Lets find a coffee shop and have a laugh!

Turning right out of the car park we headed for Devizes. This actually took us along some very interesting roads, climbing up and down hill. Not a fast road for the most part but it gave us time to admire the scenery.

Once in Devizes, we meandered through until we saw a coffee shop and parked up.

Bath is famous for it’s Roman baths and ancient history. Devizes is well known for the Wadworth’s Brewery which makes 6X beer and the nearby Caen Hill set of locks. In my defence, I am pretty certain though that the Romans must have visited here at one time or another.

After the coffee, as we set off to return home, the rain started to come down again. This time it was rather torrential and very windy. We were very exposed up on the downs so had to keep the speed down.

Passing through Avebury, the sun came out so we could admire the standing stones from the road.

After Avebury, it was a short ride back into Wroughton to Cricklade via Wootton Bassett and Purton.

Route: Cricklade, Malmesbury, Chippenham, Lacocok, Devizes, Avebury, Wroughton, Wootton Bassett, Purton and home. Around about 68 miles all told.

Northleach – for an evening ride

Northleach – for a pleasant evening ride out (apart from that rain shower!) – 48 miles or so.

Decided to have a burble on KES this evening. Thought we’d do a run up the Fosse Way to Northleach and back via Burford and Lechlade.

Northleach was once an important wool town of the area standing just off the crossroads of the old Roman road, the Fosse Way. Its Church of St Peter & St Paul’s will prove this with its collection of memorial brasses. The town itself is very traditional in it’s appearance with honey coloured Cotswold stone in abundance.

This route also provided me with some great long sweeping bends and a mix of small single lane riding. Challenging in many ways as I’m trying to ride correctly whilst admiring the scenery which two activities are not necessarily compatible.

Leaving Cricklade, we used the A419 to the Cirencester junction with the A429 (Fosse Way).

Turning right at the roundabout, then straight over at the next, and taking the left at the lights, we started a nice ride on the Fosse Way. Being a Roman road, this was nice and straight for the most part with some hidden dips – so be careful when overtaking. 9 miles later, we turned right at lights into Northleach.

This was my first time in Northleach and I can’t understand why I have never been here before. I was pleasantly surprised at how pretty Northleach was. The high street turned into a typical Cotswold main square. So much so I think I will have to bring the other Gentlemen Bikers here, Richard W and Richard G, very soon for a cuppa tea when we are en-route on one of our longer rides together.

Burbling through Northleach and following signs to Aldsworth, this turned into a “follow your nose” trip as the signs were not always obvious to me anyway. Luckily, following signs for Burford got us to Aldsworth, and then meandering through some little country lanes we ended up on the right road.

At the top of Burford, unfortunately we didn’t go through this pretty Cotsowld town, turned right to take the road to Lechlade. En-route we passed one of my favourite places, Cotswold Wildlife Park – I’ve been coming here since we moved to the area back in 1974! I now bring my children here at least once a year – whether they like it or not.

Then from Lechlade we headed towards Fairford along a nice road, then turned right at the petrol station along one of my least favourite local roads, due to its condition which is a shame as it passes through some very pleasant villages, to the A419 for a short stretch back to Cricklade.

All in all a rather nice evening jaunt with KES.

The route I used – Cricklade, Northleach, Aldsworth, Burford, Lechlade, Kempsford, Cricklade. There is plenty of opportunity to “go wrong” on this route so unless you are short of time, allow yourself to “go wrong” and take some side roads or lanes – just to see what is down there.

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