Rafe has the honour of being allowed to lead the ladies round his “Something Different” loop. Something you perhaps wouldn’t bother with during the summer months when dusty singletrack beckons, but is still fun in it’s own way and goes like this…
Starting at my offices in Steventon, the route takes a mix of road, gravel tracks and and tow-paths into the centre of Oxford. Highlights include:
- Passing right by Oxford Bike Works (lush handmade bikes)
- A road called Peep-O-Day Lane which may or may not be named such due to the large sewage farm along it
- The church I got married in
- One of the most ridiculous bits of cycle route planning ever (best walked really)
- Abingdon Abbey (well a map showing where it would be if King Alfred’s men hadn’t destroyed it as a result of him having a hissy fit, and a couple of follys which may or may not have some relevance or include stones from the ruins of the original building)
- Crossing locks (more walking)
- A really naff large plastic owl which doesn’t really add much to the £300,000 flat it’s attached to
- A church wall where a lovely lady introduced me to the concept of a porkless pie (really, it’s not an innuendo)
- The Oxford University boat houses on the cleverly named Boathouse Island (and if you’re lucky you’ll see some big strong people in a skinny boat with a little person perched on the end shouting at them)
- A Bansky (which may or may not actually be by Banksy (probably isn’t), and may or may not be pointed out as Debbie told me after the recce and we’ve no idea where it is)
- Potential for a bit of making-it-up-as-we-go-along and possibly some walking depending on Oxford road works
- The Devil’s Backbone (if that conjures up a mental image of some mysterious, mythical place a la Harry Potter or Lord Of The Rings, then I promise you’ll be utterly disappointed) which involves yet more walking because it’s a footpath
- The narrowest byway ever (not yet verified)
We’ve done this route a couple of times and everyone has always enjoyed the fact it’s something different.
It will of course be run as a nice relaxed ride (walk) and you can bring a hardtail, full-susser, ‘cross/adventure bike, fattie or even a hybrid. Note whilst it is marked as “novice friendly” that’s down to the flat and benign terrain, it is still 30 miles!
There’s likely to be lots and lots of dirty puddles but unlikely there will be any real mud. Coffee/cake stop in Oxford.
If you want to know a bit more about the route, take a look at the video from the time we went out in January 2016. Thanks to Michael Duller for this.