First time out with the riders from RoADAR; a little apprehensive as these guys know how to ride and I’m a newbie. But, anyway, the best way to learn is through experience.

Meeting at the southern meet up point, Budgens just outside of Marlborough, we headed back into Marlblorough turning right halfway up the hill at the crossroads. Plan was to go towards Newbury, Alton, Basingstoke, and home again via some scenic country lanes and a tea stop or two along the way.

Our first stop was Nelson’s diner where we had coffee and tea. This is a ‘50’s style diner with the look and feel of an American diner as it would have been; including the music and the girls dressed in their ’50’s stlyle skirts and make-up. I don’t really know where this was, but somewhere halfway between Newbury and Basingstoke.

From here we followed the back roads to our next stop a BMW garage – ok, now I know what I want next! Next stop a garden centre for lunch and some really good homemade food. Think we were now near Winchester.
And from here, we headed back home. I did recognise some of the place names, such as Crawley but must admit the exact route we took is still a mystery to me 

All in all, there were six of us. We used the drop off routine which was explained to me at the start, though I must admit I need to get used to it a bit more. Similarly, I need to get used to being in a convoy of bikes. I found it hard to see sometimes where the leader was and which turning he took. By trying to follow too hard and keep up and not ride at my own pace and style, I made many riding mistakes. This will improve with experience.

All in all a thoroughly enjoyable day’s ride with some very nice people most of whom I had never met before. Julian, Jo, Jed, James and Mike.

Total ride in miles was approx 125 by the time I got home. Time in saddle – who knows – it doesn’t really matter!

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