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  • Sun 7 August, 2022

    Sunday ride to the spokes of Brill Hill

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    Record turn out for this popular challenge – all four ascents of Brill made better/more challenging by the hot sunny weather. Lovely picnic at the windmill with donations in aid of Breast Cancer Now (£400 and counting) Thanks to all for your generosity.
    Back up ‘map’ in case Garmin confused by criss crossing route!

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  • Thu 4 August, 2022

    Micron Theatre Company, Wolvercote

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    “Red Sky at Night” by the Micron Theatre Company on Wolvercote villge green. https://www.mikron.org.uk/tour-dates-detail?show=2022-08-04-plough-inn. Show description: – https://www.mikron.org.uk/shows/red-sky-at-night Food and drink available at the pub, ticket price – donation. Don’t forget to bring your bike lights, and something to keep you warm during the evening.

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  • Sun 31 July, 2022

    Sunday ride to Brightwell-cum-Sotwell and Checkendon

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    Unusually for this summer, we had a cloudy and warm but very humid morning, previous ride leaders having used up all the sun. We made our way via Abingdon and the Sustrans route to Sutton Courtney to Root1 for coffee, where we met Christine. Service at Root 1 was extremely slow (there was already a queue when we arrived, and they knew we were coming).

    After coffee we continued past bleached parched fields with dark green trees as a back drop – more like cycling in France than the Chilterns. A short distance a lonely hole in the road wanted another hole for company, so gave one to Martin and Pauline on the back of their tandem, conveniently near a grassy traffic island where we could gossip while Martin did the puncture honours. The Black Horse was doing its usual brisk Sunday trade when we arrived, and we had a pleasant lunch in the garden. After lunch the sun appeared as we made our way back to Oxford, shedding various riders along the way as they turned off home.

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  • Sat 30 July, 2022

    Saturday off-road ride to Charlbury Deli

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    Five of us set off from the Plough in Wolvercote on a warm but cloudy morning. Jon, John and I were on mountain bikes. Leonor was on a wide-tyred gravel bike and Sophia had bravely opted for her fairly narrowly shod shopping bike, which was in need of some TLC meaning that she could not access all her hill climbing gears.

    The first portion of the ride was on the flat canal path, but we turned off at Shipton on Cherwell and made our way across fields and through woods to Woodstock. We made use of the Salt Way on our approach to Charlbury and stopped at an information post to learn about its history. The Cotswold Salt Way is thought to be one of several salt ways that radiated from Droitwich. The routes were used to transport salt from the naturally occurring brine springs in Droitwich from the Iron Age, through the Roman and medieval periods. The salt bubbled up from the ground and was 20x stronger than sea water. In Roman times Droitwich was known as Salinae and the Anglo Saxons referred to the salt ways as saelt straets. The Salt Way now provides a lovely bridleway for off road riders like us.

    We descended down into Charlbury and sat in the garden of the Deli to consume our coffee and lunch. Sadly, Sophia, who had incredibly made it to Charlbury on her malfunctioning bike, decided to leave us after lunch. She would have taken the train but the strike removed that option so she rode back on road. The rest of us set off again on some lovely tracks through Stonesfield, Long Hanborough, Bladon and Begbroke. At Yarnton we passed St Bartholomew church. Leonor suggested we might like to take a look inside because Alderman William Fletcher had donated various pieces of 15th century glass to the church which had been incorporated into the windows. William was the son of an Oxford bookseller (his shop was in Turl Street), but he was a sickly child and was therefore sent to Yarnton to be nursed by the wife of the Parish clerk. He had fond memories of the place. As an adult he was a successful banker and lived in Broad Street in Oxford where he had a museum that included lots of objects related to the local area. He donated the glass to the church at the end of the 18th century. He is buried in the churchyard.

    We all made it home in one piece, although John was not unscathed by various battles with brambles. The picture of his arm was taken as evidence of his dedication to the cause.

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  • Sun 24 July, 2022

    Sunday ride to Stratton Audley and Chearsley

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    Thirteen of us gathered on a warm but somewhat windy morning in Broad Street. We headed north via the University parks through Islip, Merton and Marsh Gibbon to reach Stratton Audley Barn for delicious coffee and cakes. They had at least 10 different ones and 4 gluten free options which for me, was very exciting. We then returned to Marsh Gibbon to head towards Chearsley with the steep hills of Dorton and Chilton on the way to give us an appetite for lunch. The wind became stronger during the day which may have slowed us down a bit as we returned to Oxford via Wheatley.

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  • Sun 17 July, 2022

    Away-day ride to Canons Ashby

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    Today due to the heat we had a shortened early ride today consisted of James and The Three Johns (check them out on YouTube!) – not a dodgy festival line up but four keen cyclists who wouldn’t let the rising mercury put them off their Sunday ride.
    NOTE – the Canons Ashby tea room is not now open to non NT members (rather short sighted as it is popular with cyclists). Fortunately two Johns were members and James a life member enabling him to take someone else in – thus the ride leader could join the party and not be waiting outside without the 3 Cs [ed:coffee, cakes and chat]……. We also witnessed John B.’s well oiled routine for raising his electric bike to the roof of his car (see pic) and yes it does feature a step ladder!

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  • Sun 3 July, 2022

    Sunday ride to Waterperry and Quainton

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    It was lovely weather for our ride out to Waterperry and then Quainton for lunch and this tempted 16 of us out. The planned road to Quainton before our lunch was closed for HS2 work and so a 2 mile diversion was taken. It will be so good when the road closures plaguing Buckinghamshire come to an end, hopefully they will repair all the damage done to the surfaces by the heavy vehicles but I somehow doubt it. We sat outside at both Waterperry and the George and Dragon in Quainton and enjoyed the sun. On the way back we rode to the top of Waddesdon Hill by cycling through Waddesdon Manor on a permissive path that was probably the smoothest road surface we had all day and of course it was traffic free. The grounds were empty of tourists too as they were preparing for a concert that evening by Michael Buble – luckily we were too early to catch any of it!

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  • Sun 26 June, 2022

    Sunday ride to Lower Heyford and Ramsden

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    A mostly sunny day though quite windy at times. It was lovely to have coffee in Kizzi’s which had only re-opened on the Queen’s Jubilee weekend.

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  • Sat 25 June, 2022

    Saturday MTB ride Woodstock to Great Tew

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    A nice ride on the bridleways north of Woodstock. The weather was kind but for a bit of a breeze and an ill-timed shower when we were eating our lunch on the green. A few too many nettles and a puncture couldn’t spoil the enjoyment of being out on our bikes.

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  • Sun 19 June, 2022

    Sunday ride to Stanford in the Vale and Frilford

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    Eight of us met in Broad Street on what was quite a windy day with the strong northerly making it feel quite cool. Overall it was a very flat ride but of course the trip up Dragon Hill is a toughie. We all made it easily though and were rewarded with the lovely views from the first car park you come across. We set off back to have lunch at Millets and were all feeling quite hungry by the time we were getting near when the dreaded shout of ‘Puncture’ was heard. So we had a little rest while John and Iraj got on with fixing it. We were ready for food by the time we got to Millets which was just as well as our orders arrived so quickly we had hardly sat down. The ride ended with just enough rain spots to feel damp but you don’t mind too much at the end.

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  • Sun 12 June, 2022

    Sunday ride to Aston and Eastleach

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    A day of really fresh weather, warm in the sun, a tad cool in the shade. After a tyre pump stop on Botley Rd that delayed the inevitable, we had a puncture stop at the top of Cumnor Hill. We had a fair head wind all the way to coffee at Aston Pottery, and all the way to lunch. After Clanfield we had miles of narrow country lanes with lots of warm sun and almost no traffic, it made for a lovely ride.

    There was a mis-communication/vaguely written menu at lunch, so we were allowed to pay our £8 for the “Roast beef” we had ordered, but were served the £23.50 beef sirloin. The menu should have stated the £8 option was the child’s menu, but that was not mentioned on the menu. Julian had the “small fish and chips” (unstated as child menu), he saw the size on an ajoining table, and deemed it good.

    After lunch we had more quiet country lanes but with a tail wind. We deviated off route onto a closed quiet road which avoided going through the middle of Carterton. We returned to Oxford via Eynsham and the A40 cycle track.

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  • Sat 11 June, 2022

    Saturday ride to catch Women's Tour

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    A group of 9 set off from the Elsfield turn off the ring road on Saturday on a mission to get to Charlbury in time to see the Women’s Tour of Britain go by on their way from the start in Chipping Norton to the finish in St Giles in Oxford. It was a beautiful day, if a bit windy, and we made good enough time to stop in Charlbury and buy provisions and have a takeaway coffee before cycling on through the town and past the railway station and plonking ourselves on the verge halfway up Forest Hill waiting for the Tour to come by. The build up was interesting – we should have started counting the number of police motorbikes that came through before the actual race – I think it must have been over 20. Then from our vantage point, we could see the riders coming. As it was on a hill, they were tightly bunched but still seemed to speed by. They were followed by all the team cars and we tried to work out the value of all the bikes on the cars, let alone on the road – too many noughts to put here.

    Then our mission was reversed and we had to get back to Oxford before the Tour. We had a slight advantage as we were going direct via Fawler, Eynsham and the A40 while they were going through Burford, Faringdon, Wantage, Wallingford, Didcot and Abingdon! So we made it in plenty of time and managed to find a spot at the finish that also had the big screen available to watch. It was great to see them riding on our local roads and trying to pick out exactly where they were.

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  • Sun 29 May, 2022

    Sunday ride to Woodstock and Rousham Gardens

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    We had a chilly ride with NE wind but it was a good route on some lovely lanes through picturesque villages. After coffee in Woodstock we headed for Rousham gardens for our picnic. Time to wander round and appreciate the lovely gardens – definitely worthy of a longer visit.

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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

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    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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