Ride by Russell and Rachel

*****Ride and report by Russell and Rachel.

Theme for an autumn ride: woodland tracks, country lanes (with detours through a housing estate or two) and acorns crunching under tyres.

From Farnborough we wound through Queen Elizabeth Park and along Cove Brook to Fleet Pond for a spot of off-road excitement sliding down sandy banks and negotiating cattle grids. 10 miles through backroads took us to Redfields Garden Centre for coffee and, after stocking up on carbs, we headed into the wind towards Odiham, through villages, past a drag hunt, rising up to Well, the highest point of the ride. Downhill to Long Sutton, with powered gliders from Odiham Airfield and a red kite circling overhead.

An excellent lunch at The Fox & Goose in Greywell was followed by a spot of culture as we inspected the Greywell Tunnel on the Basingstoke Canal, now home to a colony of bats and a ‘site of special interest’, and the ruins of Odiham Castle, dating from the early 13th century. With the wind now behind us, we headed back to Fleet Pond with a brief stop to admire the view and feed a hungry swan, then skirted around Farnborough Airfield, under the arches of a restored airship hangar, and back home to feed 23 hungry riders!

40 miles, 1400ft climbing, no rain, no punctures and only a couple of misdirections. A good day out.

In Queen Elizabeth Park - Photo by Liz

Our leaders - photo by Liz

Off-road - photo by Liz

Roke Lane 1 - photo by Liz

Roke Lane 2 - photo by Liz

Roke Lane 3 - photo by Liz

Roke Lane 4 - photo by Liz

Well - photo by Liz

Down through the woods - photo by Rachel

Near Fleet Pond - photo by Rachel

In the woods - photo by Rachel

Through the sand - photo by Rachel

Avoiding the worst sandy patch - photo by Rachel

Sensible route - photo by Rachel

Odiham Castle - photo by Rachel

Final Route

Basingstoke Canal - Photo by Dave

Odiham Castle - Photo by Dave

Odiham Castle - Photo by Dave

Murray and Angela - Photo by Dave

Andy and Tish - Photo by Dave

Our leaders - Photo by Dave

At speed through the woods - Photo by Dave

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