Ride Report: Novice Night Ride

Words by Phil Allum

So it rained, and rained, and rained. For the 3 weeks leading up to the ride, thats pretty much all it did. 

But then it stopped. Far too close to the day for any of it soak away, but it did stop falling from the sky. 

Artist’s impression of Phil and the gang in the dark.

Being a novice friendly night ride, the intended route changed many times in the run up to the actual day, as more and more of the byways & bridleways became impassable due to the weather.

What we did have, in the end, was a great loop of 16 miles. We did the first half of the Croft trail, which was holding up well against the weather, before heading around Coate Water, which strangely enough was a mud bath.

We then followed Sustrans route 482 towards Malborough before cutting down a byway opposite the radio mast climb.

This byway started off promisingly, but the puddles were deep, vast and numerous. It’s safe to say no one had dry feet after this section.
We followed a short stretch of tarmac, then from Chiseldon we retraced our tyre tracks back to Coate Water, before finishing up with the second half of the Croft Trail.

Back in the car park, it became clear just how wet and muddy were were. The conditions were fairly awful, but we had a good laugh slipping and sliding around in the mud for a couple of hours.

Night riding, in the worst muddy conditions imaginable? Yes, that is a great way to spend a Saturday night.

Thanks to all for joining me.

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