Thornbury is a good place to start a day's riding, with free parking and plenty of opportunities to eat.
An unassuming flat run in to this ride lulls the legs into a false sense of security, but the rolling lanes that gradually climb up to Wotton Under Edge give some idea of the hills to come, overshadowed as they are by the escarpment's monuments to Tyndale & Somerset.
A fast drop through the village and a left towards Tetbury is the first of the enticing and entertaining descents that are paid for by the climbs.
The hills themselves are like mini Pyrenees, steep, rising to 12% and above, strenuously twisting on to the pastoral tops. The first half of the ride relies heavily on this theme, hard work with rewarding views across the Severn and up into Gloucestershire.
Tetbury is the best place for a coffee stop, with a plethora of coffee shops, including Veloton (coffee, cakes & bikes), just behind the market building in the centre of town. The road out of Tetbury isn't of the nature to recycle your expensive snack on to the bars of your trusted steed, with a roll down into the lanes back towards the Cotswold escarpment.
Through the fields the prospect of the ride opens before you and the chute into Alderley is the start of the return to the river flats. A chance to reflect on the endeavours of the day or to rue the over exertion of the earlier part of the ride.