With a group photograph of the Club planned for the Cathedral precincts this morning a larger crowd than usual gathered and we took advantage of the steps to the cathedral’s western door to tier the membership. Fortunately, rain forecast for the morning had come and gone, leaving the road glistening with moisture and the air felling fresh and clear. Once the picture was safely taken it turned out that many had no plans to join the planned hilly ride to Tetbury, so two smaller groups headed east into the Cotswold hills.
GCCC ride leaders aspire to finding different routes to our destinations, and the route chosen today by the President for the B ride certainly met that criterion. After taking the usual “easy” route up Nut Hill to Cranham Corner and across the valley to Foston’s Ash and the Calf Way some riders overshot the unexpected turn to Oakridge Lynch, so he who was last became first for this poorly surfaced and rarely used descent into the Frome valley. Careful gear selection at the bottom was required to avoid walking on the steep ascent to Frampton Mansell. Once across the main Cirencester to Stroud road a gradual descent encouraged a good speed to the Trouble House. So called in the firs place because of its poor quality and habit of flooding, the pub truly earned its name in the eighteenth century when one early landlord, John Bird, lost ‘several’ wives who died young, and another, Richard Reeve, lost many of his regular customers when they were forcibly abducted by His Majesty’s press gangs to fight in the American Revolution. Perhaps it is no surprise that it is also said to be haunted. Fortunately, the riders had no trouble here, nor on the popular old railway line, now the Tetbury Trail, which had a better surface than some roads, and took us straight to refreshments at the Tetbury Goods Shed.
A fairly direct route back from Tetbury saw some sprint on the A46, while others took a more leisurely return via Slad.