Rutland Water bike ride (any bike)
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We will spend our day on a circular ride around Rutland Water enjoying the sites, sounds and scenery of the reservoir with its wildfowl and watersports. The terrrain is suitable for any bike at any time of year. The 23 mile circuit will take us via the villages of Edith Weston, Whitwell, Upper Hambleton, Egleton and Manton, avoiding most roads except along the peninsula into Hambleton.
Our journey will start at the Normanton car park where it is possible to hire a bike in advance. If you wish to hire a bike rather than bringing your own you must book the bike through the website here: https://www.rutlandcycling.com/pages/cycle-hire-normanton/ and then collect it on the day. Please arrange your collection for 9:30am so you have time to sort out any details with the hire desk before our group gathers.
The reservoir was built in 1975 by flooding the Gwash Valley. The villages of Nether Hambleton and Middle Hambleton were lost beneath the surface of the waters and only Upper Hambleton survives on the peninsula. Normanton avoided flooding although its church did not. The lower part of the building was supported against water damage so that its upper part could be retained as a public monument, which has become an iconic symbol of the area.
The lake and shore is a Site of Special Scientific Interest and a Special Protection Area for wading birds under EU law. Much of the foreshore is an internationally important wetland site, managed by the Leicestershire & Rutland Wildlife Trust. Keen bird watchers will want to bring their binoculars and camera.
In 2013 archaeologists excavated a Roman cult shrine to the Goddess Minerva during creation of a new wetland habitat on the western shore near Egleton. The site gave us fascinating insights into cult activity. Inside, discarded animal parts were left decaying on the floor alongside scattered treasures and a curse tablet. The ruined shrine became a tomb in the 5th century, when a shallow grave was dug within its walls, shortly before the roof collapsed.
What to bring
Winter has come! Prepare against the cold, wet and mud; so you remain warm and dry. You must wear a cycle helmet for this event.
Bring safety glasses, unshaded for winter cycling to protect against the mud flicking off your tyres.
Bring a spare inner tube, tyre levers, bike pump and any specialist gear your bike needs for repairs.
Bring a small rucksack for your lunch and kit.
Wear some outdoor walking shoes, old trainers or trainer boots and expect it to be muddy underfoot.
Bring some dry socks and trainers to change into at the end.
Expect the potential for rain and wear quick drying clothes.
Bring a waterproof jacket that you can fold down into your daypack.
It is likely to be cold and the wind can be bitter, so wear layers of lightweight clothes over a base layer.
Bring plenty of water, a packed lunch and some energy food (chocolate, sweets etc.).
Carry some money for the pub.
If you carry important medicines, please let me know privately.
Food & drink
Bring a packed lunch, there are a couple of cafes along the way but they only serve light bites. We will stop at a picnic spot to eat lunch and take a couple of breaks for coffee when the opportunity arises.