Ride Around The Cotswold Water Park

Moulton Bicycle Club Ride Around The Cotswold Water Park – Sunday the 13th of May 2012

The weather for the previous 3 weeks hadn’t been good so it was a big relief to find the sun shining down on the 11 intrepid Moultoneers (along with two ‘big wheel’ cyclists) who set off on a Sunday morning ride to visit some of the local sites drawn by cycling artist Frank Patterson. Riders came from far and wide to take part, including a contingent from the South Bucks CTC who happened to be on holiday in the area. Most models of Moulton were represented, from a lovely F frame painted with the Union flag through to Am’s, Land Rovers, Bridgestones, Pylons, Speeds and TSR’s.

We left the start to ride to our first stop in South Cerney - this Patterson drawing caused some debate as the artist states that the scene is in Sommerford Keynes (a village some 2 or 3 miles away). We then rode via Fridays Ham Lane (I guess there was a pig farm in the area once) to a lovely view in Ashton Keynes that has remained virtually unchanged since the time of the drawing. On the way out of the village we passed two of the four stone crosses in the village that were pushed over (but since have been rebuilt) by Cromwell’s men! We carried on visiting two more ‘sites’ including one in Latton and another in Marston Meysey.

Riding on to the dinner stop past RAF Fairford caused some riders to ‘fly’ like that had a jet engine on board! We stopped for lunch in Fairford, with some opting for The Bull, whilst the teetotalers sat in the local bus shelter to eat their sandwiches (only the finest dining places will do for riders of such high class machines). The bikes attracted a lot of attention outside the pub.

After lunch it was only a short ride to another of the Patterson sites at Fairford Watermill, and with the river now in full flow after the recent rain it was a truly picturesque sight. On the way to the next stop a rumour went around that we were going to go by a fantastic micro brewery / real ale pub and when I confirmed that this was the case, the pace seemed to speed up! Unfortunately by the time we got to the pub it

had run out of beer, which was maybe just as well as we needed to push on. With the last Patterson stop out of the way (in a lovely Cotswold churchyard), we cycled to the village of Down Ampney to visit the birth place of composer Ralph Vaughan Williams. It was such a nice day that the party decided to carry on to see a local war memorial dedicated to the men and women that took off from the Down Ampney airfield in World War 2. We then rode on to the local church were there is a small display to Vaughn Williams. Unfortunately I was unable to arrange for a lark to ascend which would have finished off an excellent day’s ride!

Thank you to everybody who came along and see you at BOA?

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Roger Osborn