Sometimes the wet winter months can make normal trails too much like hard work – but rather than using that as an excuse to not ride, maybe it’s better used as an excuse to do something completely different. 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 Rafe has just the thing which in his words 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 (not yet verified; 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)
- A temporary one-way system – because they’re digging a gigantic hole in Oxford City Centre – which is potentially going to be completely different to when the recce was done, so has the potential to introduce a bit of making-it-up-as-we-go-along and probably some walking (especially on the bits where you will get fined for riding)
- 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’ll run this as a nice relaxed ride (walk) and you can bring a hardtail, full-susser, ‘cross/adventure bike, fattie or even a hybrid.
There’s likely to be lots and lots of dirty puddles but unlikely there will be any real mud. Coffee/cake stop in Oxford.