New Horizons Motorcycle Training and Tours

Combining Motorbike Touring with Training


December 2014

Goring Gap and the Red Kite playing chicken

New Year’s eve, and the frost has thawed enough to get out for the final run of the year.

Some of this route had been done before when we went via Wantage, but this time I wanted to go further still. Goring and Streately were calling!

As it turned out, it was a nice ride. Sun was shining and surprisingly warm too.As it was mostly behind me, my back was kept nice and toasty.

I knew this route from using it many times several years ago when we lived in Tilehurst in Reading. Nice long straights and bends with some interesting and testing twists thrown in for good measure, coupled with fabulous views to boot too. Unbelievable number of Red Kites and Buzzards about today! One flew directly at me in some sort of strange game of “chicken”!

Arrived in Goring where we slowly burbled through, and back again, turning left towards Pangbourne. (Next time I come through, I will bring the rest of the Gentlemen Bikers and stop for a coffee either at Goring or Pangbourne). Again, I know Pangbourne reasonably well and parked up in the car park nearest the river. I wanted to take a picture of the toll bridge linking Panbourne to Whitchurch.

IMG_1757 (692x800) IMG_1755 (800x410)

Heading home, we went back through Pangbourne heading in the direction of the M4, turning right to go up the hill past Pangbourne college. Following this route we headed for Chieveley. Watch out for some un-signposted roads! From there we headed to Wantage and then followed signs for Faringdon. At the A420 we headed for Swindon and our old friend, the A419.

Back at the A419 we turned towards Cricklade.

Great ride all by myself. Didn’t stop for a coffee as it isn’t the same when you are “billy-no-mates”. Got home just as the light was beginning to fade.

Approximately 100 miles covered.

Route can be found here

Red Lion Ride – on a bar stool!

Unplanned session! Got a text from Richard suggesting a beer after work. Why not I thought? Tae-Kwon-Do almost killed me on Wednesday what with this stinking cold, so perhaps missing a session would be good for me. And, of course, Sally was also there with her work colleagues from school.

So, yes, that’s how the Gentlemen Bikers came to have their first “AGM”. Biking was discussed; new ones, old ones, new routes and the such like. Possible weekend away in Wales too was mentioned.

The best bit though was the beer. The beer in the Red is always good, so much so that I quaffed 5 pints; though I have to say Richard got through 6 of his favourite beers.
The other good thing about the Red Lion is the meat raffle that is held there once a week. A quid a ticket and the opportunity to win loads of meat from the local butcher. Richard, the miserable sod, declined a ticket – all proceeds to charity – but I purchased one.

Next day, I got a call saying I had won some sausages – and I tell you what, the word “slab” of sausages came to mind. The weight of them was amazing! All different types, from Cumberland, to Welsh Dragon and Cricklade finest. (If you are a local reading this, then you will now know which butcher donated them)!

You know what, this cold is now abating. I think missing Tae-Kwon-Do on Friday was a good thing which is unusual for me to say that as I do really enjoy it!

Anyway, Merry Christmas!

PS it was my son’s 13th birthday yesterday and we took him and a friend to see the film Paddington – well worth a look!

Quiet this time of year!

Not been too good recently for getting out early in the morning. All the frost on the ground has made riding rather more “fun” than what I really like – I must be getting old! Never mind!

Anyway, Saturday, nice bright sunny afternoon. Got KES out and went for a spin with Richard G. Nice ride, one we’ve already done, just to blow some cobwebs away and to escape Christmas shopping.

Headed down to Common Head roundabout, up through Liddington to Aldbourne. Onto Hungerford, turning right to Marlborough. Home vie Chiseldon, Hodson and my in-laws, who live in Swindon, for a cuppa coffee. (Sorry ladies, I am very happily married!)

I will be posting some dates for rides for 2015, so watch out for this in the coming days/weeks!

In the meantime, have a Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year!

Sunday spin – Minchinhampton Common

It looked dry! About time too! So, Richard G and I headed out for a spin – unplanned, just needed to get out on the bikes. It was about 2.30pm on Sunday afternoon.

We headed to Cirencester, and took the road to Stroud. Only turning left at Minchinhampton Common and headed back to Tetbury.

Nice route this one. Roads between Cirencester and Stroud are easy going with some nice vistas. After Minchinhampton they are a little more technical with some hairy bends. The good news is that the leaves that were laying on the road surface have mostly gone now.

Back through Avening, on through Tetbury Upton and into Tetbury itself. Parking up for a few minutes whilst we decided which route to take back, we admired some of the driving skills of cars going past – some were actually doing the speed limit – how unusual!

Anyway, we headed to Cirencester along the A433 which is a nice fast road. Relatively safe too. Sitting at the max legal limit we burbled through to Cirencester main square. Parking up in the centre of the road we had stopped right opposite a coffee shop. Stroke of luck :DD

By the time we left it was getting dark, so we headed back home.

Short ride this one, but a nice one all the same!

Route can be found via this link:

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