Tour de Friends Ride 13 – Tales of the South Cirencester Loop

by Joanna Hammond

Tour de Friends Ride 13 – Tales of the South Cirencester  Loop

Well, today it was extremely windy! So now we have cycled in boiling hot temperatures, torrential rain and gusting winds across these rides – just your usual British weather really! Started off today in Cirencester where Gary Selwyn lives, our Trustee and a Councillor for Cotswold District Council. Gary is also a volunteer driver for Cotswold Friends and told me a little bit about what why he really enjoys the role. Since launching in Cirencester, the Transport Service has grown rapidly and we need more drivers to help keep older and vulnerable people connected to medical, practical and social appointments. Do get in touch if you might be able to help in this flexible and sociable role.

I headed out through some of the areas that our Transport Service can help, including Siddington, South Cerney and then Ashton Keynes. I realise that I am going to have to cycle down the main A road to go on the direct route from Ashton Keynes to Somerford Keynes, but with the gusting winds and the size of the lorries this is not an option I want to take…….so a slightly meandering detour via Minety and I am back on track safely! Stop in Somerford Keynes for a rest, food and drink and then on to Ewen and Kemble before heading back to the starting point.

Ashton Keynes

Once the cycle loop was done, I had an appointment to head to Westonbirt Arboretum and met Oscar there who kindly showed me around the stunningly beautiful site. A large section of woodland has had to be removed at the Arboretum due to the devastating effects of ash dieback. Oscar is pulling together a community project to help re-instate the area and Cotswold Friends are hoping to get involved – more information to follow on this shortly!

Just the South to North finale now, this Friday 20th October. Looking forward to it but slightly scared - I have only ever cycled 50 miles once before, so this is going to be a big challenge with some big hills! If you could donate a pound or two to help reduce loneliness and isolation for older and vulnerable people in the Cotswolds, please visit

Thank you and watch our Instagram and Facebook pages to track my progress on Friday!

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