The President led a select group of four on a B route that proved to be challenging, beginning with Horsepools Hill and then striking across the Painswick stream to tackle Stepping Stones Lane for some glorious views across the valley to Whiteshill and Randwick. Looking at his watch the ride leader realised that the planned diversion over Rodborough Common was not on and instead introduced his remaining two followers (one man down already) to the climb from North Woodchester to Selsley Common. The unanimous view was that tough though the climb through Selsley village was, it would have been preferable. No matter, for the climbing was over and a fast pace past the Gliding Club and down Crawley Hill took the group through Uley and on to the Leaf & Ground coffee stop where they were pleased to be at the front of the queue for coffee. Return was though Coaley and Frocester, with Ed powering ahead even though he had received his second corona virus vaccination only the day before.
An alternative ‘B’ ride to the Leaf & Ground near Dursley was intended to follow the same route as that of the President, however the leader inadvertently loaded an older course for Dursley into his SatNav computer (luckily by all accounts – Ed), and so the group headed out on a glorious Spring day via Haresfield and Stonehouse. At Frocester the leader’s suggestion to climb Frocester Hill was met with widespread mutiny from the entire group, so the chastened and much humiliated leader was forced to push the group on via Coaley and Upper Cam, whereupon he had the last laugh by taking them up Stouts Hill, or more correctly Lampern Hill, to much grumbling and general discontent. The alternative brutal 25% climb to the top of Lampern via Owlpen Manor was briefly mooted, but the leader quickly recognised an opportune time to cut one’s losses and common sense prevailed.
From there it was downhill all the way to Dursley where the leader’s home garden stop was rejected in favour of the Leaf & Ground (much to the relief of his long-suffering spouse). Fortunately, the queue for coffee was not unreasonably long.
The A ride split into two. Led by the Treasurer and Rob, who took the second group. Both followed the same route initially Haresfield, Stonehouse, Cam then Alastair took his over the hill to Stinchcombe and down to Berkeley where we were welcomed for coffee etc. We picked up a young lad; we reassured his anxious Dad that we would look after him and he came with us all the way. The return was all together to Saul, where Jane, Jack and Rob headed for Gloucester. The remainder went down to Arlingham to view the Severn opposite Newnham and found the Passage Inn to be a cafe open every day for coffee and cake, and later for meals. The Club will undoubtedly use it again as the hostess was very welcoming. A final stop at the Ship at Arlingham found it to be thriving: excellent ale and terrific service at the table outside. It was just like old times.
The sport ride was reduced to four, most of the regulars having gone to Maisemore to compete in or support the T.G.Hall 25 open time trial.
The smallest group of all was the Tyndale section whose sole representative showed his face at the Square on a tricycle before heading off on his own mission elsewhere.