Tag Archives: Cotswold Water Park

Ride Report: The Lakes at Leisure

Words by Debbie Davies    Photos by Debbie Davies and Rafe Aldridge

I have led ladies-only rides for the last four years but this one was going to be my first ‘open’ club ride and, as befits that event, it was preceded by a sleepless night. The MB Swindon Facebook page showed there were three people going (and one of those was me!) so I thought it would be a nice gentle introduction, and ideal for anyone new.

The weather suggested sun most the day and as I set off to the meeting place it was already warming up. I’m happy to say that the ladies’ ride weather appears to be transferable.

Mountain bikers in a car park.

There were cycle helmets visible from the trail as I pedalled towards the car park so someone had turned up; in fact, ten turned up which was lovely but a little unexpected. Everyone signed in and we took a quick group photo before we set off down the track towards the road that links both parks. It’s a shame there is no off road section to cut out the tarmac but we split into two groups to keep everything rolling and were fairly quickly at the first part of the cycle way.

The Thames path had been impassable for a part of the winter with the usual flooding – with some very deep mud sections – so we attacked the area from the opposite side. With a brief warning about the churned up track, we instantly lost one to it.  All well and no damage done, we rode into the nature reserve and whizzed along the gravel path and then out through the kissing gate at the far end with some nifty gate handling skills.

We headed along to the café stop where we took over two picnic benches in the sun. Ladies’ rides usually involve cake; this mixed ride seemed to be a bacon-fest. Rafe demonstrated his ‘flying trivet’. Apparently it wasn’t a standard drone, but it did a good job of photographing us and we spent more time relaxing in the sun as we watched it fly.

Turning out of the café, a short paved section led us back to the old railway line and a straight return back to the Cricklade Sports centre. Those speedy ones amongst us took the front and pushed for a Strava section; the rest of us just chatted in the sun as we pedalled. A slightly longer detour, agreed by everyone to take us off the busier road and via a lovely country lane, took us finally back to the car park.

Many thanks to the four ladies and six gents that joined me on the ride and especially to Sarah for back marking for me.

The ‘Lakes at Leisure’ Ride

Debbie Davies will be leading this gentle, easy ride to the lakes at Cotswold Water Park. We will make our way to Cricklade along some roads and well laid trails to the Thames Path, here we can wind our way around the lakes to the café and our stop. From there we pick up the old railway path back to Cricklade and then retrace our route to Mouldon Lake.

The ride is flat but there may be some mud, depending on the weather.

The route is totally suitable for novice riders or those returning from injury. The pace will be casual and no one will be left behind. 

Please be aware that the car park has an overhead entrance barrier of 2m high if you carry your bike on a roof rack. Meet in the car park to be ready for a 10.30am start.

Thames Source Ride

Tom Scott will be leading this unusual ride – unusual due to the flat nature of the route, which is unusual for a mountain bike route!
We will venture out to the Cotswold Water Park and beyond, to seek the well at the source of the river Thames, near Coates, west of Cirencester. We will be using as much of the Thames path as we are allowed on bikes, and getting as close as possible by road on the bits we are not allowed.
Please bring food, drink, spares and tools, as usual. Please be aware that the paths are prone to flooding so there may be a bit of getting wet involved, depending on whether the weather plays a part.

Kat’s Water Park Wander

Kat is leading this ladies only, novice friendly ride to the Cotswold Water Park. This ride has been a favourite on the calendar in the past and is ideal for those looking to join a club ride for the first time.

For an idea of what to expect, read this previous ride reports:

Happy New Year Ride

Tom on a bike
Tom Scott will be leading this ride from Lydiard Park, out through West Swindon then on to Cricklade and the Cotswold Water Park.
There will be a chance to visit the cafe at the Discovery Centre on Spine road, but feel free to bring your own food and drink as picnic benches are available.  The cafe stop will be followed by a spin round the water park and the return to Lydiard.
This is a novice friendly ride which will run at the pace of the slowest rider.

Kristian’s Water Park Wander

2012_02_19 Cricklade Tim 01

Kristian Price is leading a novice friendly ride to the Cotswold Water Park. This ride has proved very popular in the past and is ideal for those looking to join a club ride for the first time.

For an idea of what to expect, read this previous ride report:


Ride report: Cotswold Water Park Ride

Words and photos by Kristian Price


Sunday morning dawned bright and breezy and, as usual, I had an entirely dry ride planned for the 17 riders who turned up for this ride out to the Cotswold Water Parks. Dry, that is, from the sky; I never said anything about the condition of the paths around the Cotswold Water Parks!

cotswoldwater1After weeks of heavy rain, the fields, former gravel pits and River Thames had amalgamated into one massive lake. The path through the Water Park was completely submerged and not safe to ride as the depth was unknown, and the location of the river banks and deeper water a complete mystery.

This route is a good introduction to those who want to ride as a group, being fairly flat and ridden at a gentle pace up to Walters Cafe at Wickwater Lane. This cafe is always popular with cyclists, and on speaking to the owner, he is thinking of adding more bike racks closer to the picnic tables this summer.

cotswoldwater3On the ride were quite a few regulars, a few newcomers, and some of the other ride leaders taking a break from their leading duties. It’s great to ride in a group with the usual banter associated with MB Swindon. Today’s topic appeared to be puncture related puns. Apparently, puncture repair kits are not a patch on what they used to be. (© Tommy Scott 2014.)

Cutting the route short due to the flooded paths, we returned via the same Route 45 cycle path we’d taken on the way out. Somehow we’d managed to collect 6 and a half punctures today throughout the group with Phil Rollinson having the half puncture  and the eternal will it / won’t it go flat and do I leave that thorn alone? question. Recent hedge trimming had left a plentiful supply of thorns on the old railway line from Cricklade to the Cotswold Water Parks.

cotswoldwater4In the end, we covered 15miles in total with only 72ft of climbing over that distance. Possibly the flattest MB Swindon ride ever!

Thank you everyone, and I hope to see you on another ride soon. Remember, it’s the North Wilts ride on Sunday 9th February starting from the Smallgrain Picnic Site between Devizes & Calne.

View the route: OS Map    GPX – right-click and select “Save As” to save to your computer

Cotswold Water Park Ride

Cyclists on Sustrans Route 45 near CrickladeKristian Price will be leading a ride of approximately 19 miles to the Costwold Water Park. There will be some road riding to get to the old Swindon to Cricklade Railway line to Cricklade, then a cafe stop on the Spine Road before heading around the lakes and back to Swindon. It’s a very flat route. 

Although we may have to adjust the route depending on amount of flooding around the lakes, the plan is to follow the same route as we rode last July.

See the ride report from a similar ride in February 2012.