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  • Sun 22 May, 2022

    Sunday ride to Woodstock and Hook Norton

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    I was keen for us to visit Kizzi’s Bistro, but it has yet to re-open post lockdown so it’s Woodstock for coffee and cake. Then we’ll head north to Hook Norton for a pub lunch – drinking a pint of the local isn’t compulsory. The map is an embedded link from Ride with GPS. You can zoom in to see the route in as much detail as you like. For example, you can zoom in (using the + sign) to see exactly where the start is. If you’d like to see the distances, go to the Ride with GPS website…

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  • Sun 15 May, 2022

    Sunday ride to Brightwell-cum-Sotwell and Checkendon

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    After a fairly bright start and through the beautiful villages of the Baldwins, the weather deteriorated a little and we were donning rainwear before we got to coffee at Brightwell. Following our Heineken tour of Wallingford (reaching the parts others cannot reach), the rain came and went throughout the day but that didn’t dampen our spirits. Mark had an unwelcome visit from the “P” Fairy despite his brand-new tyres – this was relatively quickly fixed with the aid of a Dynaplug and a CO2 cartridge. We eventually took a short cut to the Black Horse for lunch, fearing we may arrive too late for food, cutting about 5kms off our route.
    A fairly uneventful ride back to Oxford, the weather improving steadily, finishing a great day out in nearly decent weather.

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  • Sun 8 May, 2022

    Away-day ride to Evenley and Wardington Garden Centre

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    The planned 9:19 train from Oxford Parkway was cancelled (as was the one before that even though it had people, including James, on it!)

    So we had half an hour, or an hour for some, to wait till we could group up in Bicester. The exit from Bicester is similar to Oxford but once we were out we were on lovely quiet and pretty lanes with the day gradually warming up with lovely sunshine for the rest of the day. Our first stop was at a cafe recommended to us by Graham and John (old friends of our club) and they were not wrong, it was in the village of Evenley which is a picturesque place anyway with a village green and cricket pitch in the middle and the post office which also housed the lovely cafe with great coffee and choice of food. 

    We set off feeling very happy, thoughts of the cancelled train were well banished, and we were heading away from the Brackley area and more towards Banbury way. So we found ourselves at the Barn Farm Garden Centre in Wardington for lunch which was a fantastic stop again. The only trouble was that most of us had to make use of the ‘Bank of James’ as their machine was broken and they were only accepting cash. 

    The sun was still shining when we left and our ride home was the hilliest bit of the day but we had a target of the 15:50 train and that spurred us on. We made it with about 10 minutes to spare even though the traffic in Bicester was terrible. And luckily the train wasn’t cancelled this time.

    So nice to be back out on an away day with less familiar roads.

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  • Sun 8 May, 2022

    Morning ride round Otmoor

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    A morning, clockwise circuit of Otmoor, home via Wheatley and Horspath. One short, steep stretch (Pans Hill) before Horton-cum-Studley. Pace: stately. The map is an embedded link from Ride with GPS. You can zoom in to see the route in as much detail as you like. For example, you can zoom in (using the + sign) to see exactly where the start is. If you’d like to see the distances, go to the Ride with GPS website by clicking on “View Full Version” (top left of map).

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  • Sun 1 May, 2022

    Sunday ride to Frilford and Lechlade

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    Broad Street was full of stalls and caterers due to it being May morning, still with quite a lot of people walking about. Alas we did not have quite a few people for the ride, just the 4 of us. As there was a Ghost Tour posted where we were, I considered opening the ride to ghosts, but no ghosts appeared that I could see. It was a grey ride with some drops of rain (it was a bank holiday weekend after all) to coffee at Millets. After coffee we had a head wind all the way to lunch, with what little rain there was clearing. John asked if the pub at Lechlade was the one with flamingoes. Not that I remember I replied, but when we arrived, John said look, flamingoes. Indeed there were, you could not dispute it….The ride back after lunch was brisker than the morning’s ride, due to the generous tail wind.

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  • Sun 24 April, 2022

    Sunday ride to Watlington and Thame

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    We were all delighted to see John Blackie back with us on this chilly but sunny-ish morning for a familiar ride, with just a small detour through Pyrton, to Watlington for coffee and cake at the Spire and Spoke. After coffee, as always is the case at the Spire and Spoke, its off up “that hill” again, this time turning left at the top into the real Chilterns. Through some spectacular rolling countryside following unfamiliar and fairly traffic-free country lanes towards Princes Risborough before picking up the Phoenix Trail to Thame for an excellent lunch at the recently opened Black Goo Café. A gentle cruise, then back to Oxford on a sunny and a bit warmer sunny summer-ish Sunday afternoon.

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  • Sat 16 April, 2022

    Mountain bike ride to Berinsfield

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    Six set off on this off-road ride to Wet n Wild at Berinsfield and then doubled back and up to Shotover for the lovely tracks and views. Five of us were on Mountain Bikes or large tyred gravel bikes but Matthew came along on a 30 year old Dawes town bike. The tracks were really dry though, amazingly so for this time of year, and Matthew took it in his stride. It cannot have been the most comfy of rides but he got up all the hills and, even more impressive, down them safely. (His rear mudguard didn’t make the full trip unfortunately). We had the most perfect weather for this ride, sunny and warm with hardly any wind and it was wonderfully quiet on the tracks with no worries about traffic.

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  • Sun 10 April, 2022

    Sunday ride to Bicester and Westbury

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    A longer ride to a new venue for lunch – the cyclist friendly Westbury Community Shop & Café. A few ups and downs but no challenging hills. The map is an embedded link from Ride with GPS. You can zoom in to see the route in as much detail as you like. For example, you can zoom in (using the + sign) to see exactly where the start is. If you’d like to see the distances, go to the Ride with GPS website by clicking on “View Full Version” (top left of map).

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  • Sun 3 April, 2022

    Sunday ride to Benson and Checkendon

    3 photos

    After some mild weather, it was back to cold weather on Sunday, but with a lot of sunshine. We left Oxford via Cowley Rd and Watlington Rd, to go via the villages to coffee at Benson, where we met Martin and Pauline with their tandem. After coffee there was a query on the route, I had chosen a closed up section of old main road which last time we used it was getting a bit overgrown (there was an easy road alternative if needed). I asked John as he is fairly local, he said probably worth avoiding but instead took us via some bridleways past a golf course and North Stoke, so avoiding a longish stretch of A and B roads. Nearing the end of the bridleway Julian got his front wheel tram lined, and took a slow speed tumble. Barbara took the opportunity of the resulting stop to top her slowly leaking rear tyre up. As often the case, my pump was called for, and, a bonus for Barbara, Adriano was feeling cold, so offered to pump her tyre up to warm himself up. An offer repeated later in the day. After Littlestoke we had a gentle rise up to the Chilterns. After a pleasant ride through some woods we came to lunch at the Black Horse at Checkendon. The usual rolls and fries were had. We were joined by Lana and Quentin at lunch. After lunch Julian’s elbow was painful, so end up up phoning home for a lift (with a later diagnosis of a broken arm).

    We continued via Ipsden and Ewelme where we saw the remains of the thatched roof fire that closed our route a few weeks earlier. A route via Chalgrove and Cuddesdon got us back to Oxford.

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  • Sun 27 March, 2022

    Annual General Meeting postponed, but rides took place

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    Unfortunately the AGM had to be postponed. We will rearrange shortly. The ride still went ahead with 6 of us setting off from Broad Street. We called in to see John B on the way to see if he had heard the AGM was off, he had, but it was nice to see him anyway. Then we called round to the Cricket club to see if anyone was there waiting for it to open but we didn’t see anyone. Then we made our way to the café I had used a few times as a takeaway during lockdown in the square in Eynsham. After that Julian and I returned to Oxford and James led the remainder of the ride to Witney and around.

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  • Sun 20 March, 2022

    Sunday ride to Nuffield

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    A lovely sunny day saw a good number meeting in Broad St. We were joined by Ernst and Eva Hafen on their tandem, the same Ernst who cycled with Iraj from Hungary to Istanbul on his epic Tehran trip. Leaving Oxford via Barracks Lane saw us going via Garsington, Ewelme and Nuffield to the food stop at the Maker Space. Some peeled off near Benson for a shorter ride with coffee in Benson by the river. After a run along the top of the Chilterns we had a rapid descent down Britwell Hill, the poor tarmac making it better to keep the speed down a bit. We deviated from the original route in Brightwell Baldwin to use the mostly surfaced bridle way to Chalgrove, with the final run into Oxford via Cuddesdon and Horspath.

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  • Sun 13 March, 2022

    Sunday ride to Aston

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    A windy ride but not so cold, with the beginnings of spring showing though and a slightly warming sun putting in a few guest appearances. The route included some sections previously un-pedalled by many, including about a mile of the old A420 between Fyfield and Kingston Bagpuize. Hoisted by his own petard, the rider leader’s plan to get to the pottery cafe before the 12:00 lunch rush failed with a spectacular tyre blow-out a couple of miles before Aston. The puncture was fixed with a helpful boot from Sue.

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  • Sun 6 March, 2022

    Sunday ride to Waterperry and Haddenham

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    A ride into a stiff headwind for the first half with welcome stop to restore energy for coffee and cake at Waterperry. Eight riders continued to Haddenham GC for a good lunch at a stretched cafe. A welcome tail wind helped us home via Wheatley and Horspath with the odd glimpse of sunshine.

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  • Sun 27 February, 2022

    Sunday ride to Nettlebed

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    After 3 rides cancelled due to wind, it was good to get out. The wind hadn’t gone away though. In fact it was still coming – strongly in our faces all the way to Nettlebed! To made up for it, it was a lovely sunny day and literally not a cloud in the blue sky. The hills in Garsington and Cuddesdon woke everyone up. While regrouping after Cuddesdon,
    Jackie became dog rescuer in chief, and carried a small puppy back to the house just round the corner. Three peeled off in Watlington for an early stop at the Spire and Spoke. The rest of us tackled Howe Hill out of Watlington on the B481 to get to the top of the Chilterns. Lunch at the Cheese Shed was welcomed by all, after the head wind all morning. There was some discussion as to whether the Howe Hill climb out of Watlington
    was harder than the climb up to Christmas Common. The answer is (according to rwgps) Howe Hill tops at 224m and Christmas Common at 241m. Howe Hill was deemed the harder – it might be a bit lower than Christmas Common, but it has a steeper gradient in the steep section. After lunch we had a good descent from Nuffield. In Ewelme we had to take a diversion. There were quite a few fire engines and a couple of ambulances blocking the road, with much smoke not far ahead. A thatch roof house fire. The road was blocked as the fire crews had pulled a lot of the thatch onto the road. Our planned straight route via Newington was thus moved a bit north, with the advantage of the quiet bridleway between Brightwell Baldwin and Chalgrove. The B480 soon brought us into east Oxford.

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  • Sun 13 February, 2022

    CANCELLED: Sunday ride to Aston

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  • Sun 30 January, 2022

    Sunday ride to Ramsden

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    Nine riders braved the cold start to enjoy a sunny ride. Service much improved at Charlbury Garden Centre. Chat varied from fungus to films, bread making to new Highway Code. We were rewarded with warm thanks for our horse passing, but endured an unnecessary far too close HGV pass on Farmoor Rd.

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  • Sun 23 January, 2022

    Sunday ride to Bicester

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    It was a cold and dull day for a ride but there was still a very good turnout. Two sections of bridleway didn’t put anyone off, although both were probably smoother than the road down past Panshill Fisheries which is worse than ever. We had a nice lunch at Bicester garden centre, which is still selling Christmas decorations!

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  • Sun 16 January, 2022

    Sunday ride to Waterperry

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    Very foggy at the start and we kept thinking it was clearing, only to go up another hill and more fog. By the time we got to Waterperry it was lovely and sunny and about 5C and we sat outside for our brunch

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  • Sun 9 January, 2022

    Sunday ride to Witney

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    Despite concerns about potential icy roads (thankfully not so during the ride) we enjoyed a nice sunny ride on some familiar roads. An early puncture could not deflate our high spirits. Coffee at Huffkins where food service was a bit slow (it was busy to be fair) but enabled leader and sweeper to enjoy a second coffee – so no one was leaving!

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  • Sun 2 January, 2022

    Sunday ride to Benson

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    The weather was coldish but dry and bright, less mild than recent days, but not too cold. We headed south east via Barracks Lane and the Haseleys to Benson with a head wind most of the way. Julian joined us about half way to coffee. Benson was fairly busy, but they still managed an efficient service. We braved the outside for our food stop. A bit like when I first started with the club, outdoor picnic lunch all year around – but without the complaints I heard years ago of no longer being able to leave one’s primus stove in the middle of the road as there was too many cars!

    With some benefit from the tail wind we headed back via Berrick Salome, Chislehampton and Garsington. A faster group had gone on ahead, which with hindsight might have been a good move. As we progressed, it started to rain which got heavier as we approached Oxford, ending up as a biblical deluge. The road through Sandford along with Sandford Lane in Kennington were just a torrent of water and debris.

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  • Sun 26 December, 2021

    Annual Tweed Ride

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    We had a record turn out – 20! – for the 4th annual Tweed Ride. For the first time it wasn’t raining and we rode about Oxford for a few more of the lesser ridden roads (including the cobbles!) – creating great interest with tourists and sale shoppers – before repairing to the Turf Tavern for coffee and mulled wine.

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  • Sun 19 December, 2021

    Sunday ride to Waterperry and Wheatley

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    There was a good turnout considering it was the Sunday before Christmas. It was a very foggy and murky day with our lights needed for safety and cold fingers and toes being a common complaint. Normally our efforts up Chilton Hill are rewarded with stunning views but we could only see about 15 yards max today. It was very atmospheric though.

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