Ride by Russel and Rachel

*****By Russell and Rachel Wiles. Despite blustery November weather and more than a hint of rain to come, 10 tandems set off from Farnborough at 10 o’clock. We followed the Blackwater Valley Path south to Aldershot, startling the occasional heron and angler along the way, taking in the Basingstoke Canal aqueduct and some interesting chicanes. Lovely autumn colours although fallen leaves made for careful cornering. We headed for coffee at the Rural Life Centre in Tilford, passing the Hog’s Back Brewery on the way and tackling our first couple of hills. Brian and Helen joined us at coffee after which we headed off, up and down a hill or two, reaching a high point just after Binstead with spectacular views and incredibly stiff breezes, before heading down again for lunch at Upper Froyle.

A severe climb after lunch took us up to Well, the highest point of the ride, where some of us were able to catch our breath while we waited for Rob, Ruth and helpers as they dealt with an unfortunate puncture and an obstreperous resident. On under darkening skies with a fast descent to Crondall and a slow ascent the other side (sorry folks!) then more or less downhill to Farnborough, taking in a rolling route alongside Tweseldown racecourse. No race meeting but we could see the lights of the runway at Farnborough Airfield twinkling away in the distance.

A dark and wet end to the ride but a good day overall, roughly 37 miles with 1800ft of climbing, followed by well-earned tea and cake back at the leaders’ house.

At the start - Photo by Rachel

Blackwater Valley Path - Photo by Neville

Negotiating a barrier on cycle path - Photo by Rachel

They could make these barriers easier for tandems - Photo by Rachel

Basingstoke Canal aqueduct - Photo by Tricia

Rural Life Centre in Tilford - Photo by Tricia

Pretty foliage just after coffee stop - Photo by Rachel

Stopped by River Wey at Frensham Manor - Photo by Liz

On route to lunch - Photo by Liz

Careful on the leaves! - Photo by Liz

Regrouping by Binsted Place - Photo by Liz

High point just after Binsted with spectacular views - Photo by Neville

Lunch 1 - Photo by Liz

Lunch 2 - Photo by Liz

Ready to leave the pub - Photo by Rachel

Under darkening skies - Photo by Neville

the route

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