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  • Sun 28 November, 2021

    Sunday ride to Benson and Didcot

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    A bike ride to the “scenic south” through villages on the outskirts of Didcot. 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 21 November, 2021

    Sunday ride to Frilford and Aston

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    It was a lovely sunny day but with a very chilly northerly wind that was in our faces for most of the way home. We went up to the top of Cumnor Hill via a back route that kept us away from traffic and with the odd few yards of flat respite along the way. The tandem on the ride had a squeeze to get through the slowing barriers at the top but James’ skill made it look easy. Later we turned up at Millets Farm Shop cafe via a permitted route that is closed every year on 1st and 2nd January so they can keep control of how it is used. It saved us having to go along the A415 which is not the nicest road in Oxfordshire but if you want to follow this route make sure you don’t do it at the start of the new year. After that it was a more or less flat ride to Aston Pottery and then back to Oxford via Cote, Yelford, Stanton Harcourt and the A40 cycle path.

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  • Sun 14 November, 2021

    Away-day ride to Hermitage

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    We had an away-day ride leaving from Lambourn. We started with coffee and cakes at Goodies Cafe in the centre of Lambourn which conveniently has a free car park behind it. It was a dull but dry and windless day for the seven riders who headed off across the Downs along pretty country lanes with minimal traffic. We did encounter a rogue ram in the middle of one village which we skirted round to find the farmer a 100 yards or so beyond. He headed after it on his quad bike with the sheepdog balanced behind him. Lunch was at the garden Centre in Hermitage where it took ages to order but the food arrived quickly. The route back to Lambourn was fairly flat and a complete contrast to the route out.

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  • Sun 7 November, 2021

    Sunday ride to Brightwell-cum-Sotwell and Checkendon

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    There was plenty of conversation at the start – unusually we congregated right in the middle of Broad St. We headed south through Kennington and entered Abingdon via the Sustrans route for a change. A flat (mostly) route saw us arrive for coffee at Root 1. The short stretch of old road through the trees that avoids a short stretch of the A 4130 was much improved, with the accumulated debris having been cleared back to make a wider path. Quiet roads got us to the Chilterns. Although there was some autumn colour, a lot of the trees were still mostly green. When I was young, at Bonfire night all the leaves were already on the ground. Evidence of a changing climate, I guess. We had lunch outside at the Black Horse in Checkendon, not super warm but there was some sun. Who would have thought back in 2019 that 2 years later we would have been having our November lunch outside. A route through Ewelme, Chislehampton and Garsington saw us back to Oxford.

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  • Sun 31 October, 2021

    Sunday ride to Frilford and Aston

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    We met in torrential rain in Radcliffe Square to greet Iraj back from his Tehran adventure.  The weather seemed to get even worse but we decided to give the ride a try.  As we were going up the Botley Road there were dangerous gusts of wind and when we pulled off to go on the cycle way from Osney Mead there was a lot of debris and branches on the route.  After just a couple of miles we decided to go to a cafe in Botley and discuss our options.  The sun was out by then but the wind was still raging. The forecast for winds for the rest of the day was the same so we decided to cancel the ride and rode our separate ways home.  There were two huge tree branches cutting off the Botley Road on the way back which confirmed that we had made the right decision.  We believe the ride qualifies for our shortest ever ride to coffee in the UK.

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  • Sun 24 October, 2021

    Sunday ride to Waterperry and Bicester

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    This was our last British Summer Time ride this year. The weather was mild, but the summer meadow in Broad St had been cleared away, leaving a few small planters by the café seating, and lots of curvy flowers painted on the road. We made it to coffee at Waterperry via the usual Horspath route where the weather was warm enough to sit outside. After coffee we made our way around the northeast edge of Otmoor with a helpful tail wind to lunch at Bicester Avenue, our fist visit here as a lunch venue. Food was good and it is a busy enough place you don’t need to prebook. We then had to negotiate our way through the south side of Bicester with its numerous long winded cycle crossings and undersized traffic islands (unnavigable on a tandem, and only just on a solo bike) before escaping Bicester towards Bucknell. After that is was a run down to Kidlington and back into Oxford.

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  • Sun 17 October, 2021

    Sunday ride to Bampton and Aston

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    Starting point confusion, grey skies with spots of rain and a pre-coffee puncture on a new tyre! did nothing to dampen the spirits. It felt quite warm and the sun shone later. Coffee and cake at the increasingly upmarket Bampton GC was very welcome and a nice lunch at Aston.

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  • Sun 10 October, 2021

    Sunday ride to Watlington and Nuffield

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    Possibly the last time we’ll start from Broad Meadow, as I suspect they’ll turn it back into Broad Street this week. On a bit of a chilly and misty morning, the day cleared up and by the time we reached the Spire and Spoke In Watlington for cake, it was a lovely sunny day, requiring clothing adjustments all round in preparation for the attack on Watlington Hill! Our efforts were rewarded by a spectacular descent into the Stoner valley, the trees just starting to show some autumn colouring.

    A very steep climb up to Bix preceded a cruise along a fully paved traffic-free bridleway through National Trust parkland on the way to a visit the Maharaja’s Well for the photo shoot and our first taste of the Maker Space Café in Nuffield for some homemade soup.

    All downhill after lunch, as promised, except for that Garsington feature.

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  • Sun 3 October, 2021

    Sunday ride to Waterperry and Chearsley

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    Two new riders came out with us today – welcome to Richard and Adrian.  Hopefully they won’t be put off by the leader’s chatterbox style that resulted in missing the turn in Stanton St John and not realising until we had gone a mile downhill and had to turn round and go all the way back up to Stanton!  It was a hilly enough ride anyway on a day that got windier as it went on.  But it was also a sunny day so the hills rewarded us with some stunning views.

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  • Sun 26 September, 2021

    Sunday ride to Watlington and Nettlebed

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    A fairer late September day for a bike ride could not be recalled by most of us! We had a few climbs and mostly quiet back roads before coffee and superb cake at the Spire & Spoke at Watlington. Ten of us headed up the Christmas Common climb and into the Chilterns for lunch at the Cheese Shed while nine had an easier, flatter but no less sunny ride back to Oxford. Thanks to everyone who came along!

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  • Mon 20 September, 2021

    Lymington Oxford over 2 days

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    A 2 day return to Oxford after the IOW ride on the 19th Sept, camping near Pewsey. Book direct with the camp site and let James know you are coming on this return ride. If you are returning with James, you will already have booked your campsite at Pewsey. Pewsey campsite (arrive 20th) https://brucearms.co.uk/camping/ (booking on line seems to work!)

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  • Sun 19 September, 2021

    Sunday ride to Arreton, Isle of Wight

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    Changes to the ferry timetable left the ride leader with a quandary – make the early start even earlier or make a later return a likelihood – the latter chosen.
    Grey skies and spots of rain met our arrival but the weather improved as the day progressed with blue skies and sunshine during the afternoon and a stunning sunset as we got the later ferry back (watching the previous ferry leave just as we approached Yarmouth). The usual route was amended for the non operation of the Cowes chain ferry and again for the new site of the festival in a Newport park we wanted to ride through. Apart from one very busy road, the festival seemed to divert the whole island’s traffic to our choice of alternative route. We mostly stayed on the beautifully surfaced roads round the island cycle route with lovely views and all the usual hills in the usual places! – still not sure which direction we prefer – clockwise or anticlockwise.

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  • Fri 17 September, 2021

    Oxford Lymington over 2 days

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    A 2 day ride to join the IoW ride on the 19th Sept, camping near Pewsey and Lymington. Book direct with the camp sites and let James know you are coming (and also if you intend to ride back with him). Pewsey campsite – book for 17th and for 20th (unless you decide not to ride back) https://brucearms.co.uk/camping/ (booking on line seems to work!) Lymington campsite (arrive 18th book for 2 nights if intending to ride back with James) http://www.hurstviewleisure.co.uk/contactus.html…

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  • Sun 12 September, 2021

    Sunday ride – an Abingdon meander

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    In keeping with our love of fresh air, the comments as we passed at least four sewerage plants have been redacted 🙂
    The weather, particularly in the morning, was beautiful so even though it clouded over in the afternoon, it did not spoil this enjoyable ride.

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  • Sun 5 September, 2021

    Sunday ride to Benson and Chalgrove

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    There were 22 on the ride on Sunday, 14 meeting in Broad Street and 8 being swept up at various places on the way to coffee at Benson. The weather was the nicest we have had since probably July and the views were enhanced by some sunshine for a change. 15 of us went on the full ride with a group going back together from coffee. Our planned lunch stop at the Red Lion in Chalgrove was changed to a picnic because the pub was full with a classic motorbike rally. We had the picnic at Julian’s garden in Chalgrove which was very kind of him. Our route home was altered at the last minute after an innocent question was asked about cycling over Shotover instead of our usual way up through Littleworth and Horspath. It was certainly dry enough to cycle that way, but bumpy for a road bike on one part. Probably won’t become a regular route!

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  • Sun 22 August, 2021

    Sunday coffee ride to Witney

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    A shortish ride centered around my home village of Eynsham.

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  • Sun 15 August, 2021

    Sunday ride to Brightwell-cum-Sotwell and Checkendon

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    The ride was due to start at 9.30, but we all turned up before 9.00 in Radcliffe Square to see Iraj off on his cycle ride to Tehran in aid of the charity Mind. There were about 35 – 40 people there, including Dave G, Steph C, Sophia, Lana U, Quentin M, Stephen Tuohy and Jon A who didn’t join our ride. Also there was Adrian Rosser who rode with Iraj through Thame and as far as lunch in Great Missenden. Iraj managed 120km to Greenwich on his first day.

    After Iraj set off, we divided into 2 groups for the run to coffee via Abingdon and Sutton Courtney. The weather was warm enough but dry. There was a short delay in getting to coffee after blood was drawn due to over hanging brambles on the cycle track.

    After coffee we continued as 1 group, tsking is some lovely summer Chilterns scenery. From Checkendon we did a loop south through the beech woods before arriving at the Black Horse. Times have moved a little at this pub, which now has chips on the menu and chip and pin/contactless payments as well. Otherwise all the things that make the pub as lovely as it is remain in place, including the compulsory vintage motor bike turning up. 1950 apparently, a nameless member of our group seems to have a specialist knowledge of number plates!

    After lunch we continued along the top of the Chilterns before the long descent down to Ewelme. After that it was the mildly hilly run via Cuddesdon and Garsington to east Oxford.

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  • Sun 8 August, 2021

    Audax 200k to Stratford

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    Six of us met at Broad Street in trepidation about the day ahead, hoping that the forecast wind and rain would not be as bad as predicted. We picked up Daisy at Eynsham and Jon set a consistent and fast pace along the Windrush valley to Burford, then through the Barringtons and Sherborne to our first control at Northleach at about 54km. Jon’s pacesetting had got us to the village square for coffee at least 20 minutes ahead of schedule. We tucked into coffee and various types of savoury turnover while Budgen provided a good supply of bananas. We stood in the square to eat and made use of the excellent public toilets, although there seemed to be some confusion since there was a man in the ladies and a very confused lady in the gents.

    We set off again knowing that we were ahead of time and our next stop would be Stratford sometime after 2.00pm for lunch. The wind was strong and we hoped that at some point it would be a tail wind in compensation for battling the headwind. We travelled mainly north through pretty villages. My heart sunk as I saw signs to Winchcombe, hoping that I had not routed us up a hill I had encountered on another audax and particularly disliked. Fortunately, we skirted above Winchcombe and had a fabulous view of it as we sailed on past without encountering that particular hill. We parted ways with Daisy near here as he had decided that he did not want to do the full route. We then turned into the picturesque village of Snowshill but a sharp hill then ensued, made worse by a junction half way up. We stopped briefly in Chipping Camden for a photo opportunity.

    We travelled along a disused railway as we approached Stratford but cut off to approach by road in order to avoid the one way system. We had planned to have lunch in Sheep Street, but it was extremely busy and the Forties Tea Room had a queue extending out onto the street. We were hungry and did not want to lose the time advantage we had gained so made a quick decision to continue on along the route a little further to the old railway carriage where Jon had taken a ride a couple of weeks ago. We sat outside hoping the parasol would keep the worst of the rain off our tasty lunch.

    We set off again encouraged that we already had more than 120km under our belts and that our next stop was now less than 50km away and we were still ahead of time. As we travelled on, the villages had a slightly different character being built from ironstone which is much darker than that further south. Jon warned us of the hill at Traitor’s Ford but I still managed to be in the wrong gear and Camera John avoided any incorrect gear problem by cycling straight through the water with his waterproof socks on.

    After the route had been approved by James and lodged with Audax UK (although I was the only audax member and the only one wanting to have audax validation of my ride) Jon, who lives only a stone’s throw from the final control of a garage stop in Bloxham, offered to provide us with homemade cakes and cheese scones with lashings of hot tea if we made a brief detour to his cottage. How could we refuse – garage? Home baked cheese scone?

    Once we reached Jon’s the weather seemed to improve. We sat at his picnic table and scoffed his baking. We were all tired now but we only had another 39 km to go and the evening sun shone on us.

    We made it back to Broad Street with a few minutes to spare on the estimated time and an hour before the audax time limit cut off and a ride of 210km confirmed on our GPS machines. We celebrated our achievement with a pint of lime and soda and a packet of crisps.

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  • Thu 5 August, 2021

    Evening theatre trip

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    Showers were predicted for the evening (it was an outdoors production). The worst rain we had was on our ride from Oxford to Eynsham via the A40 cycle track. At the production itself, we got away with some brief drizzle, fast moving clouds and for a while, the low evening sun providing a very low but bright back light to the stage. Most of us had brought along some food for a picnic, but Jon and Clare definitely got the (none existent) best picnic food award.

    The production was about Mr Cruft, who it seems was a slightly dubious character. At least Mr Cruft had real dogs to deal with. Mikron’s usual creativity saw actors coming on making woofing noises, while carrying stiff leads with an empty collar on the end!

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  • Sun 1 August, 2021

    Sunday ride to Stanford in the Vale and White Horse Hill

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    We had a really good turnout for a run of our Mince Pie route which is usually held just before Christmas. The scenery is very different in the summer with the wild flowers on full show. We had a nice coffee stop in Standford in the Vale – they served an aptly named luxury hot chocolate as in the photo! We went back to Uffington after our hill effort to buy lunch at the local shop and picnic on the green there, where the ride leader failed to take a photo.

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  • Sun 25 July, 2021

    Sunday ride to Abingdon

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    While the cycling, the chat and the cakes were, as always, a highly prized memory, catching a glimpse of a Linnet singing in a bush topped it all.

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  • Sun 18 July, 2021

    Sunday ride to Chadlington

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    Thirteen riders set off from Broad Street collecting a couple on the way, on what was billed as probably the hottest day of the year so far, with a forecast of temperatures soaring to 30 degrees. The weather made for stunning views across the Cotswolds. The heat made for several unscheduled ice-cream and cold drink stops. Jon made the effort to join us briefly before pedalling off to his cricket match. Thanks to Liz for magnificent sweeping.

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  • Sun 11 July, 2021

    Away-day ride to Stratford

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    Lovely ride on Warwickshire lanes to Stratford upon Avon. Briefly making an appearance (!) at the Royal Shakespeare Company building before a nice lunch at railway carriage café near racecourse. Harder ride back into SE wind with all significant hills in the last 15 miles so not sure why ride leader went a bit faster…… back to Milton for restorative cuppas and vegetarian paella. Two riders then cycled home as well!

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  • Sun 11 July, 2021

    Sunday morning ride to Woodstock

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    A gentle, predominantly flat, ride to restart morning rides as an alternative to away-day rides for those who prefer a half-day option. Going out via Woodstock we’ll benefit from Annies outdoor seating for our coffee stop.

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