S24O Ride Report from 2011

Several of us had talked about doing an S24O at some point and by arranging this one just a couple of weeks ahead of the York to Peterborough tour, it would make a good shake down ride for our touring setups.

The campsite at Wing Hall was chosen because it’s a decent distance away and generally just looked like a nice little campsite. More importantly there is a pub in Wing too.

Pete, Phil and Maggie and myself (JT) arranged to meet on Oundle Road while Ian, who lives North of Peterborough, would rendezvous with us at the campsite. Sadly Norman had some important family businesss going on and couldn’t make it despite being desperate to try cycle camping.

wing-s24o-jtThat evening the weather was fantastic – very warm and sunny and the ride over to Wing via Elton, Nassington, Kings Cliffe, Barrowden and South Luffenham was hugely enjoyable – personally one of my favourite rides this year. We all quickly got used to the extra weight of the camping gear on our bikes but you could really feel the difference going uphill. In the leafy, high-hedgerowed lanes approaching Wing, Pete and I discovered it wasn’t quite as dark as we thought as we realised we were still wearing our sunglasses! Around this time our route and Ian’s diverged so we rode the last couple of miles together.

wing-s24o-campArriving in Wing village, we encountered a noisy young group doing D of E who asked for directions to the campsite. We led the way for them, needlessly worrying they might be keeping us awake later but they were good as gold. After paying our fees for the night we setup camp. Pete soon got pitched and had a brew on, closely followed by Ian. I borrowed a mallet from a neighbour as the ground was rock hard and it was difficult getting pegs in with just your foot. Once we were all pitched and sorted out, we went to the pub. The evening was still warm enough for us to sit oustide the pub and we stayed there chatting until about 11:30. We’d taken our heard torches for the short and very dark walk back to our tents where we retired for the night.

Overnight the weather changed considerably and it was grey and damp by the time we were all up and about in the morning. Phil and Maggie made breakfast for everyone (a trial run for a morning of the York to Peterborough trip where we’d have to make breakfast for 14). You can’t beat bacon butties (or veggie sausages for Pete) and coffee for a camping breakfast. There was a heavy rain shower before we’d even got our tents down but it didn’t really bother us as we knew we’d soon be on our way home. In fact there were persistent showers for most of the (different) route back but at Elton the sun came out and we were almost completely dry by the time we were back in Peterborough.

So for all of us that was our first S24O. We all enjoyed it immensely and vowed to do more.

JT