Ride Report – 1st May 2016 : Once around Glastonbury Tor

This May Day, Weston Wheelers Cycling Club had Glastonbury Tor in its’ sights for the regular Sunday morning ride. Nine riders departed from Priory School and headed out of Weston-super-mare via the quiet roads through Bourton and West Hewish, before turning east towards Congresbury. Taking a southerly track, the group warmed up on the climb into Shipham, before enjoying the rapid descent into Cheddar.

Heading south, the club enjoyed rapid progress through Clewer and onto Rodney Stoke, where they briefly joined the main road toward Wells, as far as Easton, again taking to the quiet roads of Somerset.

This first section and the subsequent route into Glastonbury forms one of the Weston Wheelers Time Trial competiton courses. And, although riding as a group, the individual riders were intent on setting a good personal time for the 30 mile Time Trial.

As they headed south-west away from Easton, the riders encountered a stiff headwind that somewhat spoilt the possibility of breaking any club records, but the level and, in places, arrow straight roads allowed them to get into a good rhythm, making short work of the track into Glastonbury.

Entering Glastonbury the riders were treated to a display of floral head dresses, as is traditional for May Day and were inadvertently ushered onto the roads closed for the Glastonbury Road Run. The novelty of using closed roads was not wasted on the riders, but they cleared the course rapidly and headed toward the Tor.

Although not long, the ascent up and around the Tor, is a good test for anyone’s legs. Having spun their gears up the road around the tor, the group reassembled at the top before heading down the other side and setting off iin search of a cafe.

Unfortunately, the Road Run crowds dictated that the club abandoned any hope of a reviving beverage and the decision was made to continue on the return leg of the route.

More by luck than design, the group found themselves passing a cafe near West Hay, as one of their number suffered a minor mechanical problem. Whilst most of the riders enjoyed a momentary respite and refreshment, a demonstration of puncture repair was given by one unfortunate member of the club. The concensus of the group being that ‘coffee and cake’ was a fairly civilised way of waiting for a puncture to be rectified.

With innertube replacement and inflation completed, the group set off again across the Somerset Levels and onto Brent Knoll.

At Brent Knoll the riders split into two groups. One heading home and the other heading out on a ‘bonus’ segment, in preparation for the Somerset 100 charity ride being held on the 15th of May.

Skirting Loxton, the course now took the riders into Winscombe, before turning towards Puxton, where they turned south and passed through Banwell. Now on the homeward stretch, the riders ascended into Hutton and onto the Weston-super-mare seafront. Now down to four riders, a diminished group took the old toll road into Kewstoke and returned to the start point.

The longest distance covered by the riders on this ride measured 90 miles with a total ascent of 2100 ft, the shorter route was just under 60 miles. More information about the Weston Wheelers can be found on their website http://westonwheelers.cc

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