Day 1-2, Arrival, Unpacking, Bike Fitting.
The first day of your holiday will be about getting you to Leamington, settled into your accommodation, bikes unpacked and assembled, then hopefully we can start the Bike Fitting process. In the evening we will hold an informal welcome dinner here at our premises before getting some well needed sleep. It is unlikely we will get all the fittings done on the first day, spilling over into the following morning. I would hope to be ready for our first ride by late morning, which we will keep to a relatively short 'familiarisation ride' as described below.
Day 2-6, Riding, Touring, Shakespeare.
Rides 2-6 shown below are not a fixed itinerary, merely examples of the sort of routes we can take and the opportunities for any non cyclists. Our group breakfast each morning will make the final decision on destinations and meeting points. All the rides will incorporate at least one stop around lunchtime, getting back mid afternoon for tea and cake. Bikes will be stored securely here at our premises. You are on your own each evening to rest, recuperate and or enjoy the towns bars and restaurants as you will.
I would hope you will want to take advantage of our proximity to the world famous Royal Shakespeare Theatre, with a mid-week trip over to Stratford for dinner and a play. We may keep that day's riding to something less strenuous so as to fully enjoy the play without falling asleep. Snoring is frowned upon in the theatre!
Day 6-7, Riding, Packing, Onward Travel.
Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. After the final days riding we will need to start packing the bikes up for onward travel. We will have continually monitored your bike fits during the course of the week, with now the time to accurately record the position for future reference and to make sure it goes back together properly on re-assembly. We will ensure you are transferred to your airports or train stations in plenty of time.
Ride 1 - Lowsonford Loop
25-35 miles 1500-2000ft climb. This will be your first familiarisation ride, with a new bike position, hire bikes, the local roads, the other riders and the tour guides. Staying on local quiet Warwickshire lanes this will be a realtively short taster of the days to come. Back into Leamington to meet at the Aviary café for afternoon tea.
Ride 2 - Whichford Pottery
45-60 miles, 3000ft climb. A thoroughly pleasant ride through typical rolling Warwickshire countryside to reach one of our favourite cafes. Non cyclists will drive there, watch the Potters at work, browse the shop and meet the cyclists at the café for lunch. A few more miles could take those interested in the Neolithic age to the Rollright stones, or Gin lovers may prefer a visit to the nearby Cotswold Distillery
Ride 3 - Local Hills
50-70 miles 3000-5000ft climb. Explore the local hills, Edge, Burton Dassett, Sun Rising, Lady Elizabeth’s Hill, Winderton. This could be a good opportunity for the non cyclists to explore the nearby County Town of Warwick. Visit the magnificent St Mary’s church or the Historic Castle.
Ride 4 - Cotswold Hills
60-90 miles 3500-7000ft climb. The local hills served as a nice warm up for the more challenging climbs in the heart of the Cotswolds. Typically 10% but up to 17% in places. The delightful villages of Stow on the Wold, Chipping Campden and Broadway serve as both an intersting destination for the non cyclists and perfect lunch and coffee stops.
Ride 5 - Shakespeare Country
40-60 miles 1500-3000ft climb. A relatively flatter day in and around Stratford upon Avon, birthplace of William Shakespeare. Cyclists and Non Cyclists can visit the town, Anne Hathaway's cottage, Shakespeare birthplace, Mary Arden's House or Hall's Croft, with plenty of opportuniites to meet up along the way.
Ride 6 - Blockley, Cotswold Lavender
50-65 miles, 2500-3500ft. Riding in the Cotswolds does not always entail 10% gradients, with a relatively flat route available to the lovely village of Blockley. A steady climb from there can take us through the Lavender fields to Snowshill. Non cyclists might enjoy the Lavendar farm shop, a National Trust property in Snowshill or visiting Broadway Tower.
As discussed, the rides shown above are examples of those enjoyed by myself and local cyclists, but we are blessed with easy access to many more options that you may be interested in e.g.
100 Miles 5500ft. For those that feel a cycling holiday should include at least one 100 Miler, the destination Cafe Ventoux is perfectly placed. This time skirting around Rugby and heading northeast into Leicestershire.
Winchcombe - Bushcombe Lane
91 Miles, 6000ft. South again through Warwickshire before edging into Gloucestershire. Test yourself on the 30% gradient of Bushcombe lane before stopping in delightful Winchcombe.
95 Miles 5000ft. Oxford is a days ride there and back, with some delightful roads on the way but getting a little busier as we get into the city.
90 Miles, 6000ft. A one way trip so requires some logistical support, but a lovely ride down through Bourton on the Water, through the Slaughters and on past Cirencester.
A two hour drive, but a very different landscape and some serious climbs.