News updates

From Brian Good

Hi Folks

As you may know, there is a move afoot to set up a group to be called Cycle Alton. I know there are quite a few different cycling groups in Alton, but Cycle Alton would have a particular role. Last November there was a meeting in Winchester involving cyclists from all over Hampshire, representing areas such as Basingstoke, Rushmoor area, Waterlooville, Portsmouth etc. Thus we have Cycle Basingstoke, Cycle Waterlooville and more already established. The purpose of the meeting in November was to establish a Cycle Hampshire group to act as an umbrella in dealings with Hampshire County Council. (HCC have said they are planning a Hampshire Cycling forum this spring.)

Fitting in with this, we have been asked to ensure that as many local cyclists as possible take note that the EHDC Walking and Cycling Implementation Plan consultation has become public now and it would be good if as many people as possible look at the draft and complete the survey. The closing date for the consultation period is 22 March this year. You may well know all about it already, but if you have not yet done so, please take a look at this link, and also pass the information on to anybody you know who might be interested.

For those of you who couldn't make it on the February U3a Social Cycling Group outing, our ride to The Star at Bentley on 4 February was a pure delight. By popular request, an extra loop was added on to the route to make it 18 miles rather than the 15 miles advertised. The weather stayed dry, but with a stiff-ish breeze, and we managed to arrange matters so that the tail wind followed us uphill on the outside leg of the circuit, and the headwind was encountered mostly on the downhill sections coming back into Alton. The coffee at Bentley was pretty good, too. Just to prove that we were there, the obligatory photo taken out side the pub is attached.

Don't forget that we are due to go out again on Tuesday 3 March, with out usual 10.00am start outside Alton Community Centre. Further details nearer the time.

Meanwhile, if you have not yet done so, you might like to take a look at Rob's account of our trip, on the Alton U3a website. Almost every word of it is true..... .

See you on the 3rd if not before.



Our Great Leader's defiance of the Rain Gods continues. February 4 was a dry day and the worst that the six cyclists had to contend with was wind (bearing in mind that the six were all men of a certain age, this was probably not totally inappropriate).

Despite the breeze we made our way up Old Odiham Road and sped across to Long Sutton. Richard, who revels in these matters, discovered there that our route took us along what is (allegedly) one of the oldest lanes in the country and that somewhere in the vicinity was an ancient yew (allegedly) 2000 years old.

Buoyed by this historical information we made our way past Well and through remote lanes (ancient or otherwise) to reach our refuelling point, The Star at Bentley. There we magically converted ourselves into the team to represent Alton U3A at the District Quiz in March. Chris A promised to brush up on pop music and Bernard on soaps and Our Great Leader is already an expert on ships of the Royal Navy. Whether this will be enough to see us through, only time will tell.

We made our way back through Isington and Holybourne, and ended up having done a total of 18 miles at an average speed of....well it must have been the headwind that slowed us down....



Not content with taming the Rain Gods, quelling a rebellion and finding excellent refreshment stops to cycle to each month, Blessed Brian, Our Great Leader, finished 2019 in grand style by leading a team from the Social Cycling Group to a nail-biting victory in the December U3A quiz. Showing great tactical acumen and a vast knowledge of Royal Navy ships OGL steered "the Chain Gang" to an amazing one point win (and a successful defence of the title secured in 2018). As the exhilarated team members left the event clutching the chocolate Santas their efforts had earned them they could be heard asking "Is there no end to the talents of OGL?" (For the record Mrs OGL is rumoured to have answered that question in the affirmative).


Hi Folks
Today's U3A Social Cycling group outing lived up expectations, with good company, excellent coffee and cakes, and pretty good weather for the time of year.
According to my records, we covered 16.5 miles at an average speed of around 10mph. Not bad!
Just to prove that we were there, here is a copy of the photo I took at Kingsley.
Don't forget to reserve the slot for the February ride in your diary - Tuesday 4 February starting at 10.00am outside the Community Centre.
Best wishes

SOCIAL CYCLE RIDES will be on the first Tuesday of the month throughout the year. They will start at 10am and will be at a leisurely pace of a distance that the riders are happy with. As far as possible, routes will follow quiet roads, and occasionally, firm off-road tracks.
No one will be left behind!

Although a reasonable level of fitness is desirable, these are social rides, strictly for
pleasure, and are not intended for racing or intensive exercise.
Riders do not need to be super-fit, and it is OK to get off and push when we reach the steeper sections.
All participants must have an e-mail address so that we can keep in touch in case of any last-minute change of plans.

If you are interested in joining this ride, please email:

Please also ensure that your bike is roadworthy.