Oxfordshire/Gloustershire R.R

As Paul spent his weekend playing Cricket, and I had to spend saturday
night at work an oppotunity presented itself for me to take a road ride on
sunday morning to link the Cricket ground with the nearest train station
15 miles away.

Charlbury is a charming english country stations, flower beds, benches and
a regular train service from Reading ( our home town). I set off from
there under a cloudy sky, not knowing exactly how far it was to Sherbourne
( where the Cricket game was) and only having a few notes from a road
atlas map to guide me ( go west, and a list of villages I would go
through). I know this is very poor planning on my part but its not exactly
wild country round there and I was cokering on road.

The first road seemed to go on for ever in an undulating fashion, , pretty
veiws but lots of short up-hill sections, I ploughed up them muttering " a
hill is just a slowed down flat" The harvest is coming in in that part of
the world so the fields were a mix of gold and stuble with tractors
buzzing away and big round bales dotting the hill sides. At last I reached
my first crossing point with an A road and enjoyed a brief off saddle rest
as I waited for a gap in the traffic. My route then took me up a single
track lane ( more climbing) and through a couple of isolated farms ,
thankfully I didn’t meet any tractors as the road was too narrow to allow
even a coker to pass one of those monsters.

Eventully I pulled over the top of the hill and started to drop down into
the Windrush valley, now I was in the right valley but on the wrong side
of the river, so I knew my climbing wasn’t over yet. I bowled through
Taynton, a chocolate box pretty place with a scattering of yellow/grey
local stone built houses in big gardens. Then onto Great Barrington, a
slightly larger village, not quite so pretty but still very nice with its
stone built and stone roofed houses and cottages seeming to grow out of
the surrounding fields, so similar is the colour of the stone to the late
summer colour of the sun baked earth.

The road took me down to a narrow bridge across the river Windrush, I
could hear a tractor coming toward me and uped the speed to ensure I got
across the bridge before it reached the far bank. Then I bullied a car
driver into letting me past the pub car park before he turned out. A
couple of short steeep climbs and another section of single track ( this
time with two cars behind me) brought me up to the village of Windrush
where pauls parents live, I decided not to pop in as we would be seeing
them later.

Now I knew I was on the final strech, I’ve driven between Windrush and
Sherbourne a number of times so I was surprised at how much FURTHER away
it seemed on a coker. Sherbourne suffers from tourists so I saw more
people in the last two miles of my ride than I had done in the first
twelve. The final hill up from the village to the park ( former grounds of
the big house now National Trust owned) proved to much for me and was the
first one I walked up, remounting when the time came to head across
Sherboune park in serch of 20 men in White. I found them quite easily and
spent the rest of the afternoon and early evening watching Aldsworth and
Sherbourne CC ( Pauls team ) beat The Plough by the narrow margin of 4
runs with 4 balls remaining.

A good ride and one I’ll no doubt do again at some point during next years
cricket season.

sarah

British Muni Weekend September 14th-16th Bracelands Campsite, Forest of
Dean http://www.vimes.u-net.com/bmw.html