Just Andy and Tony were available for this weekend’s ride from Birdlip to have a go at doing one half of the 17 mile “figure of eight” route described in Nick Cotton’s “Cycle Routes in Gloucestershire” book.
The recent dry spell gave us some hope that the usually horribly muddy Climperwell Woods section would be rideable, and it was – with care taken to avoid some patches which were still wet, and churned up by horses hooves.
Climbing up from Climperwell to Caudle Green was made a bit easier by the dryness of the track, and from there it was on to Winstone, where we turned back towards Brimpsfield, rather than continue on the complete route towards Duntisbourne Abbots.
The only downside of the ride was not mud, but the disgusting state of the single track in woodland at the rear of the A417 layby at Gloucester Beeches. It looked as if people from parked vehicles were in the habit of slinging their rubbish into the trees, and there were lots of carrier bags and other filthy rubbish (including lots of plastic bottles containing suspicious looking yellow liquid!) strewn everywhere. A terrible mess and health hazard – definitely one to avoid.
Once past that blot on the landscape it was once again pleasant countryside through Brimpsfield Park and back to Birdlip along the road. I had forgotten how every ride from Birdlip always involves a climb to the finish!
Leaving aside the layby stretch, this was a great ride in excellent conditions, and (almost) mud free bikes at the end. I’m looking forward to doing the full figure of eight in the near future when time allows.