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  • Sun 27 November, 2022

    Sunday ride to Twyford and Launton

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    A fairly flat ride to the community run Twyford Village Stores. A short loop north before pub lunch at Black Bull, Launton and a ride over Otmoor back to Oxford. 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 20 November, 2022

    Away-day ride to Bourton and Burford

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    Start from Woodford Way car park in Witney for a ride into the Cotswolds and back along the Windrush valley. Most of the hills are before lunch leaving a flat ride back. Make sure you bring your lights as it will be dusky by the time we finish. 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…

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  • Sun 13 November, 2022

    Sunday ride to Abingdon and Berinsfield

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    Quite a turnout for a fairly gloomy start, 17 riders set out from Broad Street, picking up another couple en-route. Although the plan was to arrive in Abingdon Market Place before the 11:00 remembrance stop, we were running a little behind schedule so we pulled off the road by Abingdon College for a couple of minutes, although we still arrived at the Market Place in good time to watch the Parade pass by. By now the sun had come out and we set off along Route 5 through Sutton Courtenay, Appleford and Brightwell cum Sotwell towards The Wandering Kitchen at Oxford Wet and Wild, near Berinsfield where we enjoyed a lovely lakeside lunch in the sun. Unfortunately this was marred by an excessive wait for everyone’s lunch to arrive and a dearth of anything gluten-free. A relatively short ride home through Drayton St Leonard and Garsington still enjoying the sunshine and feeling not at all like mid-November.

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  • Sun 6 November, 2022

    Sunday ride to Bampton and Aston

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    Twelve riders set off from Broad Street in our waterproofs but the rain had stopped by the time we reached the top of Cumnor Hill, so we stopped for a clothing adjustment. We picked up two additional riders before coffee at Bampton Garden Centre. As we tucked into our scones and cakes we heard the rain starting to pelt down on the roof. Several riders left to return back to Oxford, but 7 intrepid souls decided to brave the weather and continue on a beautiful loop round to Aston. The rain was not too bad as we set off but after a few minutes, the rain became a deluge. Fortunately, Jackie then had a puncture in her new performance tyre. We huddled under a tree whilst Jackie worked on her wheel. By the time we set off again, the rain had stopped and as we continued on small, quiet back lanes the sun started to make its way through the clouds. We arrived at Aston Pottery a little after the time I had told them but our table for 10 awaited us. I apologised for our reduced numbers but they did not seem
    to mind. After a delicious lunch, we all set off on our different journeys home and made it back to Oxford before it was dark.

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  • Sun 30 October, 2022

    Sunday ride to Witney and Finstock

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    The forecast was for rain at times, occasionally heavy but we rode the whole ride with just 2 drops of rain and lovely sunshine. The roads were awash after lunch so it had obviously rained heavily just previously. We had coffee and cakes at Cogges and went onto the Plough at Finstock for lunch. The photo was taken at the back as the front was scaffolded.

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  • Sun 23 October, 2022

    Sunday ride to Waterperry and Bicester

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    The start was delayed from 9:30 to 11am as there were very heavy downpours for the first part of the day. It turned out to be a good decision as the Met Office forecast was correct with torrential rain followed by beautiful sunshine by the time we set off. Due to the late start, the ride was shortened to cut out the coffee stop at Waterperry and we made our way more directly to the Bicester Avenue GC for lunch. Maybe it was the weather forecast or the lack of a coffee stop but our numbers were down to just 6 of us. We hadn’t been riding for very long before I had a puncture in my back tyre but luckily it was in a beautiful spot with great views out over Otmoor in the sunshine with hardly a car on that small road. If we had left at the right time, that puncture would have needed repairing in the pouring rain! But Barbara said I may not have had a puncture if we had left at the right time. So were we lucky or unlucky? Despite the small turnout and the puncture, we still enjoyed the ride in the lovely sunshine.

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  • Sun 16 October, 2022

    Sunday ride to Watlington and Nettlebed

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    A chilly start from an unusual location, by Carfax Tower, due to the Half Marathon selfishly closing Broad Street. The day quickly warmed up as we were treated to blue skies and sunshine most of the way. Whilst enjoying our coffee and cake at the bottom of Watlington Hill, a mutiny developed enforcing a change of route and lunch venue from The Cheese Shed in Nettlebed to The Maker Space Café at Nuffield – which in fact offered a far more varied menu with a south facing back garden in which to relax. We still had to conquer Watlington Hill first, however. After lunch, a gentle cruise back to Oxford on a lovely sunny Sunday afternoon.

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  • Sun 9 October, 2022

    Sunday ride to Frilford and Uffington

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    It was probably the chilliest morning of the autumn so far, but warm in the sun. We set off with a clear blue sky. As the day went on, cloud gradually appearing, enough to keep the sky interesting, but not to block the sun. A route over Boars Hill through Marcham got us to Millets for coffee. Millets was very busy with pumkins and things spooky in the run up to halloween. A route through the Vale of White Horse and West Challow got us to lunch. The pub had wanted numbers in advance, we had 10, 5 cancelled (2 due to post flu/covid jab queasiness) but 3 late-comers (if there is space) asked to join lunch, so we had 8, which kept the landlord happy. After lunch, we stopped to answer the lunch time query of “What is the blue plaque across the road?” – it was where Sir John Betjeman lived for some years (he grew up a bit further south on the downs). After passing through the pretty village of Woolstone, we turned east for the long fairly straight run back to Oxford in the autumn sun.

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  • Sat 8 October, 2022

    Saturday off-road Charlbury Leafield

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    It was a beautiful day to be out and riding off road. The ground conditions were great, not overgrown or boggy. We stopped for lunch at the pub in Ramsden and it was even warm enough to sit comfortably outside. Autumn colours were starting to shine through and combined with the sunshine, the views were stunning. The cycling gods were with us as my rear tyre needed a couple of pumps and then the sealant worked and Helen’s front tyre was completely flat when we got it off the bike rack at the end of the day yet it had been fine right up to the end of the ride.

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  • Sun 2 October, 2022

    Sunday half-day ride

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    A smaller group – poor forecast? Late arrangements? We were pleased to welcome some new riders. Fortunately the weather forecast was very wrong and we rode in increasing sunshine and almost warmth. We decided to stop at the lovely Cogges Farm café where a goat has taken our favourite table (see photo).

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  • Sat 1 October, 2022

    Saturday off-road ride to Piddington

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    Fantastic weather and great company made this ride, and of course the amazing woodland tracks and scenery as the leaves start to turn. Having to walk up a couple of the steepest and roughest parts and a couple of punctures couldn’t detract. It was felt that this should become a fixture in the ride calendar – perhaps twice – in Spring AND Autumn. Nice pizzas at a new pub in Piddington (Bucks!) and a cuppa back at the Spire & Spoke just added to the overall experience.

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  • Sun 25 September, 2022

    Sunday ride to Aston and Lechlade

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    A bright but chilly start to the day, with a cold north wind, but quite warm in the sun out of the wind. We made our way west out to Aston Pottery via Eynsham and Yelford. Aston Pottery’s flower beds were looking particularly good. After coffee, we continued west, I was navigating from memory, and due to an “extra” turning everyone had a sunny scenic extra few miles diversion before lunch. In these situations I assume someone will alert me saying their device says off course. At lunch everyone said, oh yes, our devices have been saying off course for ages, but no one said anything! We had lunch in the garden by the river, food arriving after about 10 – 15 minutes, despite a notice on the bar saying 45 minute wait for food. Passing the time at lunch was helped by a couple of swans going by, keeping to groups of 4, imitation being the best form of flattery. Also the dog at the adjoining table, the owners put a tablet on the ground in front of the dog, and the dog watched it quite happily. We were told it had You’ve Been Framed on, which was the dog’s “favourite” program. I wondered if in fact we’d been framed, but no one came to spill the beans on us. After lunch we skirted Faringdon via the Tythe Barn at Great Coxwell and returned via the Vale of The White Horse.

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  • Tue 20 September, 2022

    Return to Oxford day 2

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    Avoiding the hills near Marlborough, I went via Burbage and then on familiar roads near the Kennet and Avon Canal, passing the pumping station that feeds the canal at its highest point. Chilton Foliat with its road works left me wondering why Berkshire’s contractors can lay their tarmac patches flat and flush with the road, and Oxfordshire’s cannot. Quiet lanes soon got me to the fast descent into Lambourn where I had lunch. A cyclist and motor cyclist were chatting outside over coffee, I locked my bike to “I doubt he lifts that up very often”, referring to my camping load (which is quite modest compared to some loads I see). A gradual ride up, past the Seven Burrows burial mounds was the last climb of the day, followed by Blowingstone Hill with its annoying give way line at the bottom. The lanes via Goosey and Tubney saw some nice skies, and me home in time for afternoon tea, and to air the tent and sleeping bag.

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  • Mon 19 September, 2022

    Return to Oxford Day 1

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    The north breeze was still blowing, so it was a touch cool all day. A bit cool for shorts and short sleeves, but too humid for extra layers, so I stayed a bit cool all day. It was the day of the Queen’s funeral, so almost no road traffic at all. I stopped by the road for a bit to eat mid morning. Two other cyclists had stopped nearby looking at a phone, I could hear bagpipe music coming out – so obviously they were getting a quick glimpse of proceedings while they were stopped. Making my return pass through Salisbury, the streets were almost empty, businesses shut. I had gone 47 miles to Bulford just north of the A303 before I found a business open, and was able to top up with food for the evening. As it was, I rode the whole day on dried dates and water! I left the Avon valley before Upavon, and headed up across the army range to Everleigh, a bit along the top followed by a fast descent brought me back to Pewsey, and a bit further on the Bull pub campsite. Having had cloud from mid morning, it was nice for it to clear to get a good sunset.

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  • Sun 18 September, 2022

    Special ride to Arreton, Isle of Wight

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    Despite the favourable weather forecast, a smaller than usual turnout for our annual visit to the Island for the challenging ride around the fantastic cycle route. Ice cream available at Niton Down, a lovely lunch at The Fighting Cocks, Arreton and more ice cream in Cowes. The route was slightly shortened at the end as the 7 o’clock ferry time beckoned and none of us fancied a 2 hour wait as the Wightlink ferry autumn timetable kicked in. As a bonus we also saw ‘The Waverley’ the only existing ocean-going paddle steamer.

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  • Sat 17 September, 2022

    Ride to Lymington Day 2

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    It was a cold but bright morning, soon warming up to be a touch on the cool side. After Upavon a lot of the day was spent heading down the Avon valley through picturesque villages punctuated with tank crossings. I also passed a poor bike accident on a bend who was there when I used that road a year ago. After Ringwood the scenery changed as I headed across heath land and some of the New Forest – easily recognised by the many horses and threadbare cropped grass. The campsite at Pennington was very busy, surprising for mid – late September. After a couple of circuits round the site I eventually chose a spot to camp. A bit more light pollution, but overhead, there was still a pretty good view of the stars and the Milky Way.

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  • Fri 16 September, 2022

    Ride to Lymington Day 1 to Wilcot

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    It was fairly cool but sunny to start, with a cross tail wind. I ride across the Vale of White Horse and over the Downs got me to lunch at the cafe on Lambourne. As elsewhere, many places had flags and pictures of the late Queen, outside on the pavement was a statues of a dog with a black hat on its head, so the dogs were mourning too it seemed. On the way, the clouds were lined up in lines, quite unusual. After lunch at was a short ride to Marlborough ie, a bit early for afternoon tea. That didn’t stop me from having tea, though at £8.50 not the cheapest I’ve had. Surveying the expensive cars parked along the main street sort of explained the price of the tea.I avoided a stretch of main road leaving Marlborough by using a quiet stretch of Sustrans route,
    after which it was narrow scenic but hilly lanes to the Bull Inn west of Pewsey. It was a camp site I have used before, and it was quite fine (pub doesn’t do food though, if you are thinking of going there). The original camp site/pub I was going to use didn’t reply to various e mails/phone calls/messages, so I played safe and went to the Bull (who did answer the phone). I was asked to camp somewhere “in the middle” to avoid using the powered pitches – I was hoping to camp near the edge under the one big tree to reduce the amount of dew and condensation on my tent over night, however, he must have read my mind, as he then said “or near the big tree”. The big tree also had the benefit of being covered on lights, so I had plenty of reading light when it was dark. A nice rural area, with a good dark sky making the Milky Way easily visible.

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  • Sun 11 September, 2022

    Sunday ride to Ramsden and Duns Tew

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    A surprisingly small group of 6 of us gathered in Broad Street. Although it was a bit chilly with mist, the forecast was good. This proved to be the case as it reached the predicted 22C by lunchtime. Lovely quiet roads through both the Tews and the Astons with only the odd fast car driving to close to us. A good lunch in the White Horse in Duns Tew where we ate outside in the sun.

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  • Sun 4 September, 2022

    Sunday ride to Waterperry and Cherwell Valley Services

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    The weather stayed dry and warm for our picnic in Stoke Woods near the Cherwell Valley Services. There are some lovely quiet roads out that way too. It was great to see Gill back out after the operation on her foot.

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  • Sun 28 August, 2022

    Sunday ride to Aston and picnic lunch at Stanford

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    A dry, if cloudy, start in a light wind, saw us speeding towards Aston in good time for coffee and cake with the sun coming out to greet us. On then via the almost deserted country lanes north of Aston towards our almost complete circumnavigation of the airbase at Brize, passing through downtown Carterton where Sue’s bike suddenly veered off the road to visit its birthplace at The Road Room bike shop.We enjoyed an enhanced picnic lunch from the Coop in Stanford in the Vale – enhanced by Mr Blackies kind provision of fresh strawberries, before a gentle cruise back home.

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  • Sat 27 August, 2022

    Boaters and Blazers, Linen and Lace

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    A small select group took advantage of the nice sunny weather to meander round the sights of Oxford before heading to Port Meadow for a picnic lunch. “What’s the occasion?” asked a pressganged passerby photographer”….”Who cares!” was the considered response.

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  • Sun 21 August, 2022

    Away-day ride to Great Rollright and Todenham

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    Chipping Norton away day always means a number of big hills so we hope the riders were not too disappointed with only 5 major climbs. Beautiful weather as with most of the summer greeted people at Chippy. Wyatt’s garden centre for coffee saw us all sitting outside and enjoying the view with the exception of Jackie who was stung by one of the many local wasps. Onwards to our house in Todenham for a picnic lunch, teas, coffees and ice creams before departing on a somewhat easier route back to Chippy. Our thanks go to all who came; we hope they enjoyed the day as much as we did. Special thanks to Clare Greenhill who provided some lovely food and had the kettles hot on our arrival. Also spending time playing with the dog.

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  • Sun 21 August, 2022

    Sunday morning ride to Thrupp

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    A gentle, predominantly flat, ride as an alternative morning ride for the away-day. Going out via Woodstock, we’ll benefit from Annies outdoor seating for our coffee stop.

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  • Sun 14 August, 2022

    Sunday ride to Charlbury and Witney

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    It was a very hot day, about 35C was forecast, and so just 9 of us set out from Broad Street with only 5 going on for the full ride. The start of the route revealed the terrible design of the new crossing points of the A40 cycle lane near the Wolvercote roundabout. They are extremely tight for a road bike, any cargo bike or tandem will struggle to get through, especially when cycle traffic is two way there. We made our way to Charlbury for coffee in very pleasant temperatures with everywhere looking white and brown from the lack of rain. The Charlbury Deli doesn’t open on Sundays so we made our way to the Community Centre which was serving. We said goodbye to the 4 going back from coffee and took off towards Sarsden and Bruern via Spelsbury, Chadlington and Milton u Wychwood all on lovely small and very quiet roads. Finally remembered to take a couple of photos as we got to Sarsden so I missed getting one with all the group in. We then went through Swinbrook, Asthall Leigh and Minster Lovell to reach Witney where we had lunch in Huffkins which was air conditioned and much appreciated by us by then. It was a short and flat, if boring 15 mile ride back to Oxford after lunch.

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