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First Cycling Tour 7th March 2009

North Cotswold Branch of the Campaign for Real Ale


Our first cycling tour was a great success. Here the Bourton contingent are about to set off to Stow-on-the-Wold for the start, accompanied by fine sunny weather. Here we were passed by a very large contingent of cyclists heading in the opposite direction, proving that this is a popular pastime in our area.




Fine views on the way to Stow that can only be enjoyed easily on a bike. (car stopping or parking impossible)

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The Bourton group intentionally arrived early in Stow, allowing a tour of the town on foot before meeting up with the rest of the group. Important things first. We sampled the Donnington BB in the Queens Head before setting off on the Tour at 11:30am.




Our next stop for refreshment was the Horse & Groom in Upper Oddington. Three real ales were on offer: Wye Valley Best (3.7%), Gloucestershire Glory (4.1%), and Hereford Pale Ale (4.0%). We all thoroughly enjoyed this visit.




Then we set off heading for our Lunch stop in Great Rissington. We originally planned to stop at the Westcote Inn in Nether Westcote, but at the time of our Tour it was closed. Despite the extra distance involved, we managed to get to Great Rissington at 13:40. Leading in the photo is the event planner, our new Branch Secretary.




At Great Rissington we stopped for our planned lunch. For the majority of us this was the first cycling since last Summer, and it was starting to tell! The wind was also picking up, as per the weather forecast. We decided not to return to Stow as originally planned, so that we could enjoy a pint or two, and our lunch, without worrying about several miles of further cycling. Here we are about to enter the Lamb at Great Rissington.




A couple of non cyclists joined us for an excellent lunch, washed down in most cases by Wye Valley Butty Bach (4.5%). Hook Norton Best Bitter was also on offer. The trip from here was down hill all the way to Bourton.

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By the time we arrived in Bourton (about 3:30 pm) our preferred final stop, the Mousetrap Inn, was closed, so we had a final drink at the Kingsbridge. In all we had cycled 19 miles.

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  The general consensus after this trip was that it had been pitched just right. Our learning point was that if beer stops are made en route, this reduces the distance we can cycle. The Hook Norton Beer festival cycle trip planned later in the year is about 19 miles each way (from Bourton), with a long stop in between to recover! Some of the group who did the tour above also did the Hook Norton trip last year as a trial. We all made it back. So why not consider joining us this year?


Event planned by Nicky Harvey. Report and some photos by Peter Rowe. Other Photos by Roger Price.