Ridgeway ride

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A fun ride on the downs lead by one of our qualified mountain bike instructors, Rafe, and intended specifically for novice riders or those who want to build their confidence. Any other riders are welcome to come too, but the pace will be set for the new riders – no-one will get left behind.

Meet at the Barbury Castle car park for a 10am start. Look out for a car with an MBSwindon banner.

Bring water and a small snack (e.g. cereal bar) – the ride will take a few hours including stops.

Note that this ride will not take place if there is ice or heavy snow present, but any cancellation will be clearly posted on here the evening before (at the latest).

35 thoughts on “Ridgeway ride”

  1. Hi,

    I’ve not decided on a route yet as it will depend on the conditions up on the downs. However, expect it to be between 10 & 15 miles. As with all our rides we’ll go at a pace that suits the slowest rider.

    Sadly the club has to have a minimum age limit of 18. However, we do allow under-18s to ride with a parent/guardian on the understanding that full responsibility for the minor rests with them.

    We don’t have a maximum age limit 🙂

    Hope that helps, any other questions just ask.

  2. Michael – just out of interest why do you ask about the age limit? Are you an adult wanting to bring an under 18 with you or are you under 18 and want to come on the ride yourself?

  3. Hi Michael,

    Will drop you an email to explain things further. However, I don’t see a problem with you bringing your son.

  4. Hi there, i have been a member for a while now – i think the website is spot on – keep it up. Still not been able to attend a ride yet due to other commitments but am striving to!!. Have done several rides that i have found on this site & enjoyed all of them – thanks again. What way round will you be going on this ride – out through Barbury or out through the car park?



  5. Hi Swampy,

    Glad you like the website – it’s taken a lot of effort but we’re really pleased with it.

    I’ve not yet decided on a route for this ride, I’m hoping I’ll get a chance to ride up there beforehand and see what the conditions are like and go from there.

    Do you have a preference?

  6. Hi Rafe,

    none whatsover. Both are good. I hopefully will manage to come along & join in. I like getting wet & muddy – it adds to the fun!



  7. hi,i am not a member but was wondering if i could come along for the novice ridgeway ride with a view to joing the club.as i am not sure of my fitness level i thought this would be a good ride to find out.regards rich.

  8. Hi Rich,

    So long as you’re over 18, you’d be most welcome to come along to a couple of rides & see if you like us before joining (if not see earlier comment re parent/guardian).

    Don’t worry about your fitness level, that’s the whole point of these rides – get people out riding where they don’t have to worry about holding people up or being stranded in the middle of nowhere because they couldn’t keep up. We have frequent stops for people to regroup & never make a turning without ensuring everyone is aware of it.

    Fitness is very objective & personal opinion though – might just be that you’re fitter than most people in the club! After the ride I’d be happy to advise what sort of MBSwindon rides I think you’d enjoy given your level of fitness.

    Hope that helps.


  9. hi rafe,
    thanks for the quick reply, i am well over 18 so no probs there and all being well i will meet up on saturday 5th feb as it sounds like a good day out,cheers rich

  10. Hello Rafe
    just put down that I’d be coming along to the Ridgeway ride on Saturday – then realised that it’s my daughters birthday party!! Oops!! Hopefully I’ll make it ti the next novice ride – cheers, Chris

  11. I am looking at coming along on Saturday but I am being put off by the forecast wind and rain, Lets hope for some dry weather

  12. Yeh, weather isn’t looking great but unless it’s snow/ice (highly unlikely looking at the forecast) I’ll be there!

    A bit of rain / wind just means the shower & log fire when I get home are even nicer and a bit of exercise means the red wine is a less guilty pleasure 🙂

  13. Hi There

    Im a keen cyclist and want to try something alittle more challenging than the roads! I quite fancied joining your novice ridgeway ride on saturday but wondered if my bike would cut the mustard? I have a Carrera but its a part/ mountain part road bike, will i be able to take it up on the ridgeway?



  14. Hi Kerry,

    The route we’re going on is currently very wet & muddy and I wouldn’t recommend anything other than a mountain bike. However, in the drier months many sections of The Ridgeway are perfectly rideable with a bike like yours.

    Do you know the model? Perhaps I can find it online and therefore give a more considered opinion.

    You could also try speaking to Anna, Swindon’s CTC Cycling Development Officer, who might be able to loan you a mountain bike to try it out:


    I also think Swindon Cycle Superstore rent mountain bikes which might be another way of having a go before investing in a different bike.

    Hope that helps.


  15. Hi

    I have a womans carrera subway, i have to be honest the tyres are for the road so prob not best.

    The rental idea sounds great, i will have a look and see if i can get one for saturday!

    Thats really helpful advice!



  16. Hi Kerry,

    Just had a look on the Halfords website.

    In the summer with some trail or cross tyres, I could show you miles of track on & around The Ridgeway that you’d be fine on. But in these conditions and especially with road tyres I’d have to say no.

    I don’t think Anna would charge for the bike. Let us know how you get on though so I can keep offering helpful advice 🙂


  17. Hi Rafe

    I have contacted the Swindon Cycle centre this morning! I am going to rent a bike from them for the day! So come rain or shine i will be there on saturday morning!!!

    Looking forward to it



  18. Apoligies, can’t make it – WORK!!

    Went up last Saturday morning did the circular route out through Barbury, didn’t see a soul!! Glorious morning but very cold.

    Have a good ride.


  19. Im planning to come along with a view to joining the club

    What sort of numbers come out for these rides (just curious) ?

  20. Hi,

    That’s an impossible question to answer! I think we’ve had as few as 3 or 4 riders and as many as 30!

    I guess it depends on the weather, what else is going on, how much people had to drink the night before 😉

    Am expecting a reasonable turnout on Saturday, maybe 10 or so?


  21. I’ve made the decision to come to this, I spotted it last week and have been undecided but I’ve decided I need to get back on my bike! I had a pretty nasty crash just over 2 years ago (dislocated elbow, shoulder, lots of skin taken off etc! not nice) doing a chalky/rooty downhill section in the rain and haven’t ridden properly since. Tomorrows the day! I’ve been doing shorter and less demanding rides since but hopefully all my old skills will still be there!

    I’m hopeful my fitness (or lack of) won’t let me down!

    I’ll dig out the mud tyres and see you all there!

    (I’m kind of hoping all my old kit still fits me :s if not I’ll be easy to spot as I’ll be the one whose kit is a little on the snug side!)


  22. Add me to the list of those planning to attend please Rafe.

    Off to the pub to watch the rugby now.

  23. Maybe do it the other way round to last time – coming back up that long hill nearly killed me!! See you tomorrow.

  24. Myself and my better half sharon will be there also bringing a mate along “for the ride” sorry no pun intended Nigel

  25. Apologies that Saturday’s ride turned out to be something of an epic adventure rather than a novice friendly ride – lots of punctures (the total was seven in the end), that horrendous wind and an unexpected detour meant it was much longer/tougher than a novice ride would normally be.

    Am really hoping it’s not put any of you off! It really shouldn’t though because if you coped with Saturday then a normal novice friendly ride will be a doddle for you, and come the drier warmer months you’d find a 20+ mile ride easier than Saturday.

    Seemed to be lots of smiles at the end of the day though which is great.

    Finally, a special mention to 11yr old Lewis who definitely experienced both ends of the emotional spectrum during that ride. Much respect to you for completing that, it was a tough ride and must have been even harder on those smaller wheels! Keep that attitude up and you’ll achieve anything – best of luck to you.

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