Viewing 16 posts - 1 through 16 (of 16 total)
  • Riding the ridgeway
  • mrdobermann
    Free Member

    Want to escape London for the day and thought riding the ridgeway sounds fun. The plan would be to leave early morning on a train heading to Salisbury ride to stone henge, along the ridgeway and finish at Goring on Thames then the train back to London. I see you can use ncn 45 from Salisbury to stone henge. Is that a good option? Anyone know a better route or more convenient station from London?
    Also what’s people’s general experience of the loop?

    weeksy
    Full Member

    Chippenham, it’s 500m of no cars until the railway, follow that along to basically Avebury, then jump on the Ridgeway from Avebury to Goring… Throughout the whole ride you’ll do less than 2 miles of roads, the roads you do, you’ll do well to find a car.

    thisisnotaspoon
    Free Member

    If you change at Reading you can change to the train to Bedwyn which is a nice ride to the start. Bit of road, some nice off-road (Savernake Forest, Treacle Bolly), and only one busy climb upto the start of the Ridgeway from Marlbrough.

    Makes it logistically easy too as you’d get a return to Reading, single to Bedwyn, then ride back on the Thames path from Gorring to to Reading.

    I can recommend a slab of the Court Hill Center flapjack in your pocket to get you through the last 25 miles into Reading, it’s propper flapjack that turns a paper bag seethrough. They do simple food, ice creams, cake etc too. We had lunch there although it’s a way into the ride so take snacks and the lunch menu is nothing special (£7.50 for a jacket potato and beans).

    d42dom
    Full Member

    check the King Alfred’s way route from Salisbury to the Ridgeway, it’s quite a nice route which passes Old Sarum, Stonehenge, Avebury etc…

    llama
    Full Member

    There’s the king Alfred way obvs

    DougD
    Full Member

    A few ales and filled rolls at the Bell in Aldworth before the downhill into Streatley too.

    mrdobermann
    Free Member

    Thanks all. Think thisisnotaspoon suggestion is taking my fancy at the moment. Is the route well marked out, will be taking the GPX route on the Garmin but nice not having to worry about it.
    Gravel or MTB is the next question.

    ampthill
    Full Member

    I can’t remember if it’s marked but following the ridge way is like following the M4, it’s quite big

    petec
    Free Member

    A walking blog, but a lot of photos of the route you want. https://www.macadder.net/walking/ridgeway/

    following the ridge way is like following the M4, it’s quite big

    definitely this near us – 10ft wide chalk path, against a green border. You can (and we do) follow it in the pitch black with no issues.

    thisisnotaspoon
    Free Member

    Most of the Ridgeway is signposted, there’s one or two T-junctions and crossroads where the Ridgway goes left/right and a farm track carries on so you have to keep an eye out.

    If going into Reading (rather than the pub), turn left in Whitchurch to continue following the Thames Path and it goes all the way to St Peters in Caversham. Then Just follow either the road (horrible) or the cycle path signs (too well hidden, but mostly traffic free goes over the new cycle bridge) to the station.

    https://strava.app.link/oKJPbWadfAb

    The first few miles of Ridgeway you will question your sanity as it’s deep narrow chalk ruts in the grass and you’re just concentrating on not going over the bars whilst pedaling hard uphill and can’t even look up at the stunning views. But after the first couple of small hills it does open up and you can relax a bit!

    mrdobermann
    Free Member

    That’s great and you have recently done it. Did you find a pump track? lots of squiggly lines in a small area :D

    anagallis_arvensis
    Full Member

    Gravel or MTB is the next question

    Either is fine, MTB but more comfortable. There’s no technical bits of downhill. If on gravel bike just watch out for the humps in front of the drainage ditches on the descent into Streatly,although they have smoothed out a lot over the last few years.

    thisisnotaspoon
    Free Member

    That’s great and you have recently done it. Did you find a pump track? lots of squiggly lines in a small area 😀

    Haha, no just multiple refills of cake, icecream and lemonade 😂

    Gravel or MTB is the next question

    Our group had everything from CX bikes, custom gravel exotica, to Scott Genius’s. The correct answer is probably an XC-Race 29er hardtail or a very efficient FS, but there’s enough smooth bits to make you want a gravel bike and enough mile after mile of continuous overlapping potholes to make you wish for some cushioning too. The guys on the Genius’ were super strong, and I’m not so it worked out well enough that we all stayed together, albeit them cruising and those of us on CX bikes in less comfort. There’s definitely no downhill that can’t be taken flat out on a gravel bike, and no climbs where you’d wish for a 32/52 MTB bottom gear either. Mines a 34/28 bottom gear and while I could have used a lower gear if I had it, it wasn’t bad enough to make riding all day a struggle. So really it’s just a question of pick a bike you’ll be comfortable on for 5 hours riding time.

    TheGingerOne
    Full Member

    I would say it depends what size gravel tyres you run. I’m preferring the comfort of the MTB on the South Downs Way at the moment as opposed to 38mm gravel tyres, but I know they are road biased gravel tyres.

    cookeaa
    Full Member

    Interesting I’m Reading based and have a Ridgeway out via Goring to just past Farnborough, head south to pick up the Kennet tow path from Hungerford and then just follow that back (NCN 4) which is a nice 100km-ish loop that I like to do sometimes on my Gravel bike.

    But I’d somehow not spotted before that NCN 45 has an option to jink across from Hungerford, that’s got me wondering about extending that loop and tackling it the other way round.
    i.e. Ride along the Kennet from Reading to Hungerford, cut down to Stonehenge on NCN 45, and then back up via Avebury to head along the ridgeway back to Streatley then on to Reading(Basically the KAW route?), it’s probably more than doable in a day but at a relaxed trundle pace, I’d maybe have an excuse to find a spot to bivvy down somewhere along the return leg which Could be fun.

    shermer75
    Free Member

    As good a reason as any for some Stan Ridgway

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