Going the Social Distance

So a total of seven Gromils managed some bike-related exercise yesterday, without coming into contact with each other. For the benefit of future social historians (as if), this was the first day all schools were closed, and the day before the evening when prime minister Boris Johnson gave his “Stay at home, this is a national emergency” address to the nation on TV.

As luck would have it, our virtual Monday ride was already following the allowed rules for exercise – one trip outside the house, either alone or with a family member, staying at least 2m away from anyone else. On my ride I didn’t even get within less than 3m, the closest being oncoming cyclists on singletrack roads.

However only three intrepid souls managed the full route…

Alun went off in the opposite direction with Breeda, but gets extra kudos for the picture of the day

Hi all. Didn’t ride to the Barn but did a round trip ride of 55 km to Newbury with Breeda via Upper Bas, Yattendon, HN, Path to Hermitage, Oare and back gate Vodafone where selfie above taken. No cafe but picnic chocolate raisins and water. Some similarity with last week’s ride but nevertheless enjoyable. Alun


Andrew had the bright idea of doing half the distance, but with two people, and posted their stats.

Managed a later ride with Tom, the Turville route as far as Grundon turning and then Benson and Crowmarsh – ~20 miles by which time Tom was getting unhappy. Alun; you and Breda were riding down Elvendon Road as we came down Icknield…

Chris did two routes, though not both on the same day and neither going through Goring

Saturday: I’ve just done a ‘Gromilly’ ride to Ewelme (takeout coffee) via Culhan & Dorchester, then back via Wallingford, Blewbury & Harwell village, 37 miles at 11.5 mph average (on fast Moulton) Plenty of cyclists out (roadies too close, as always…) and the usual m/c crowd at H café! Big pizza tonight to avoid weight loss, rest day tomorrow…

Monday: I’m just back from my double marathon ride, 52 miles to Baydon over the Downs and return along the Vale. Roads not as quiet as expected re. cars & vans, but few cyclists or walkers. More headwind than anticipated in the vale!


Mick was one who followed the whole route and posted his stats

Bix hill is evil – I walked a bit. I did get talking to a bloke called Andy at the Barn cafe on an electric bike. Used to work in the film industry. The bench is conveniently over 2m wide. Thanks for the route. Brilliant day

Simon followed the whole route, as far as we or he knows:
I must have gone wrong – didn’t notice any road closures! Many thanks for an absolutely stunning route apart from Bix Hill.
Sad about the barn – no-one there in the sunshine and no cake left by Nev


Neville was the first to do the route, evidenced by a photo from Turville Heath at 10:30

As expected…
Here are my stats, they do include riding to the station at the start/end (as that is what Viewranger expected)

One road was supposedly closed, bit of a flood on another but otherwise it was very quiet, reckon I saw about 10 cyclists, 20 cars, 20 walkers and a dozen dogs. Swyncombe and Bix were just as steep as they usually are.

Steve would have followed the whole route, but for an unfortunate mechanical. But he did take a few pictures. Read on…

Lovely day for a virtual Gromils ride. Strange not to see any of the old Didcot Power Station now, but at least we’ll always have The Clumps.
I thought it would be a good opportunity to practise using my selfie stick. The first attempt shows that I need the practice.
Better luck second time.
Didn’t see Mr Toad (or Ratty and Badger)
Snack time at the Turvile Heath bus shelter. Here’s to absent friends.
Comunity spirit at Turville Heath. I guess the lecture at the R&R Museum won’t be happening.
Here’s the one Simon missed – the alleged road closure at Southend. The Thames Water crew fixing a broken main gave me a thumbs-up as I edged past them.
Not all went according to plan. Just after leaving the Nettlebed estate I made a U turn to take a closer look at a notice about bluebells in the woodland. I turned too tightly, the frontier wheel slid our and I ended up on the ground. Minor damage to pride, but no injuries. When I lifted the bike up, therefore was a tinkling noise as some shiny bits fell onto the tarmac. These turned out to be the tension shackle, and the tension pin in two bits.
Tool roll to the rescued. One zip tie was enough to hold the leather part of the saddle in place, though my weight was being taken by the metal rails beneath. Rideable, but not comfortable, so I needed to take the shortest way home from here.
Stopped outside Stoke Row shop to eavesdrop on their WiFi and send home my revised ETA. The shop was open, with sensible precautions. From a safe distance they told me they are thinking of closing earlier in the afternoons (eg 2pm).
…and finally the stats. Looks like coming home via Stoke Row saved me a mile or two. The average speed might have been a little higher were it not for so many photographs.

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