Distance: 28 miles;
Hills: Moderately hilly, long flat section at the beginning of the second half of the skate;
Surface Quality: generally good – some rough parts;
Time: Start: 10.15, Lunch: 12.30-1.30, Reading: 4.30pm.
The route starts with an uphill stretch out of Pangbourne, with some traffic. We turn right at the village of Upper Basildon, onto a road which is much quieter. The route flattens out and we have nice views from the lane. Continue to Aldworth which had an old fashioned feel – perhaps it was the little 1930s car parked out in the street. Shortly afterwards, we take a cool leafy lane, down hill, towards Hampstead Norreys.
At Hampstead Norreys we stop in the White Hart for lunch. One of us has a steak, and the other had a roasted vegetable baguette and chips – suitably filling!
A couple of miles further on and the road flattens out – and we had several miles of flat skating alongside the river Pang – wonderful!
A mile before Tidmarsh, we could have headed back up to Pangbourne, but instead decided to carry on until Reading. A steep and busy hill just beyond Tidmarsh would have taken us into the back streets of Reading – but we didn’t fancy that. An idea was to take a gravel track and then a footpath up the hill (on foot) to avoid this hill – but due to some miscommunication we ended up going all the way down the track reaching the A4 – M4 junction. We then followed the A4 into Reading – some of it had a good cycle track – in other parts a very narrow pavement – with bushes that could have done with a trim. This final stretch wasn’t particularly pleasant – so returning to Pangbourne as originally planned would probably have been better.