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Alton U3A Social Cycling Group.

Report on 7th August Ride of the Social Cycling Group

In the just over 12 months since the group was formed Our Great Leader (aka Blessed Brian) has learned to be more canny in thwarting the caprices of the cycling gods, who like nothing better than to impose extreme weather tariffs on our members.
OGL first of all threw the gods off the scent by sneaking in a second group ride during July, and then when announcing the August ride not letting on as to what route we would follow, so they did not know where to direct their meteorological wrath.

Consequently the weather on 7 August was ideal as we headed out through Holybourne and on towards Wyck. OGL has a soft spot for Hartley Mauditt (which is a place and not, as it sounds, the name of a slightly shady firm of accountants) so we had a break outside the church where the regulation group photograph was taken.
From there we sped on to Oakhanger and through Kingsley to the Country Market for our coffee and cake stop. Refreshed by the food, drink and good conversation we made our way back via Wheatley and Binsted to our starting point.
It's noticeable how much progress we have made over the past 12 months; some hills that would have floored us in the early days are now scaled with hardly a puff. So many thanks to OGL for steering us through our first year - it's been great fun.

All the best, Rob See photo in Gallery.

(Did you know that situated in the fields behind the Hartley Mauditt church is believed to be the remains of a Medieval village! - Web Ed)


Report on the July 3rd Cycle Ride

The gods of cycling keep a close eye on the Alton U3A social cycling group. For undisclosed reasons the mention of the Yew Tree pub in our itinerary incites them to great wrath, so our June ride had a cold and wintry feel (to match the soaking we received when we went there in January).
But they were clearly mollified by the notification that for our July ride we would visit the Purefoy Arms at Preston Candover.

We set off in warm, sunny conditions, and a tail wind meant that we arrived there in good time, in exuberant mood and ready for appropriate refuelling. Perhaps it was the warm sunshine, perhaps it was the good company, perhaps it was the historic sound of the word "Purefoy" (old French for "staunch and true") that made us reflect on the fact that as a group we needed a motto to seal our camaraderie.
As is usual in a group we looked to our leader for guidance. And our own Blessed Brian did not let us down. He has often been heard to cry out "Ubi infernum sumu s?" as we reached some junction lacking in signposts deep in the Hampshire countryside. Being simple folk we took this to be the rallying cry of a born leader to his faltering troops... "Have no fear," the cry seemed to suggest, "I know exactly where I am and where we need to go." Except on this occasion we discovered we had with us a member of the Latin group who was able to offer a rough translation of our leader's exhortation. It appears that it has a slightly less certain ring to it (roughly it means "where the ....are we?"). But we were undaunted. Though it was uphill (and into the wind) most of the afternoon we kept going and ended up approximately where we intended (ie having a cake and tea). We had a great day out and notched up an impressive 26 miles for those who care for stats for their fitness programme.

See photo in Gallery.

Contributed by Rob Smith ( our intrepid Chairman!)


The rides are open to all Alton U3A members but if you intend to join us we will need to know in advance, with an appropriate e-mail contact address, so that notifications can be sent out if the weather, or other circumstances lead to last-minute changes.
Please send your e-mails to

We will simply need:
• Your name
• Your e-mail address
• Name and contact number of a relative or other in case of an emergency
• Details of any medical conditions or medication which might be relevant to this activity

We look forward to hearing from you.