A group of riders from Newbury Velo recently took a three day, 250 mile tour from Newbury down to Dorset taking in some of the wonderful scenery that West Berkshire, Wiltshire and Hampshire has to offer along the way.
With some staying in a hotel and others camping, riders rode together around Poole, Corfe Castle, Lulworth, Abbotsbury & Dorchester. Happily, everyone had a wide range of gearing, suitable for the long, and sometimes very steep, coastal roads. Chief amongst them the 3½ mile climb up to the Hardy Monument which put every rider to the test.
At the heart of such trips are the people you’re riding with and the journey we all take together. Many of the riders had not spent all that much time together thanks to the pandemic, so not only were the roads new, so were the conversations and the friendships. Thanks to a beautifully curated set of routes, the riding was balanced and gave everyone a stretch of their legs (regardless of their level of fitness), whilst all the while showcasing the incredible countryside around us.
There were lanes with barely a car on them, sweeping descents and landmark climbs; the trip was a wonderful workout and a staycation all in one! The pink club colours always seem to draw positive comments from the public and the courteous riding of the group whilst on shared roads hopefully goes some way to promoting a more positive image of cycling amongst walkers and motorists. The finale of the ride was a return to the top of Walbury Hill: the tour’s end point for a sense of real achievement (and the knowledge that a washing machine and hot bath weren’t too far away!).
All credit to the tour’s founder, Kevin Hurley, whose enthusiasm for touring, his surroundings and local history is matched only by the size of his grin when he is riding his beloved Mercian. Plans are afoot for another tour before the end of the year – wherever it is, it’s bound to be a great experience.