Past Ride

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Sun Nov 9th 2014
Ironstone Country 3*
John Talbot
Start Time:
9:00 am
Start Location:
A special away day ride in the Ironstone hills of north Oxfordshire.

Starting from the free car park next to the library off of Hensington Road in Woodstock (MAP this ride explores the rolling countryside of north Oxfordshire.

We set off initially heading westwards to Charlbury before we turn north to Hook Norton where we will take a short break at the coffee shop at the
Hook Norton Brewery Great Rollright where we will take a short break at the tea room at Wyatts Cotswold Farm Shop, if people are up for it we can take a short diversion to see the Great Rollright stones.

The ride then explores small villages nestled in the north Cotswolds to Edgehill and its magnificent views. Descending steeply the ride crosses the M40 and almost immediately climbs the fabulous hill to Burton Dassett Hills Country Park. You have no doubt seen the tower on the hill to your right as you drive north on the M40!

By now we will have dipped our toes into southeastern Warwickshire and before we return to Oxfordshire we will stop for lunch at the National Herb Centre in Warmington.

After lunch the ride heads south to the west of Banbury past Broughton Castle, through the tranquil Barfords (birthplace of my paternal grandmother), Bloxham and the Bartons back to Woodstock.

The ride is a decidedly lumpy 100km on mainly minor roads and lanes and we will aim to finish mid-afternoon before sunset (which is at 16:20). Option for an additional coffee stop at the end in Woodstock.

I won't run the ride without support so please let me know if you intend on riding. Lights and warm clothing recommended for this autumnal ride.
Andy Butcher
Andy Newell
Chris Walters
David Smith
David Talboys
Derek Boutle
Des Higgs
Hugo Pile
John Davies
John Talbot
Katherine Boyce
Lyn Taylor
Nick Dunton
Nick Stokell
Nicole Pethybridge
Richard Pethybridge
Ursula Hallam
Riders = 17

An interesting ride. A large group of 17 riders gathered in the mist at Woodstock, a few more than I was expecting.

We headed off to Charlbury finding our feet regarding pacing, unfortunately there was some tension at Enstone which saw us lose a couple of riders who turned back. Apologies for being a bit quick to defend, it's quite stressful managing such a large group and hard to keep it right for everyone.

Anyhoo, the remaining 15 riders found the correct pace for the ride and we headed off to Great Rollright. Once the mist had cleared and the Sun came out we were greeted with fabulous views as we approached the tea-stop which is very popular with cyclists it seems! After a short break we continued to Edge Hill and IMO some of the finest cycling roads in Oxfordshire. We were hugely lucky with the weather, a perfect autumnal day, sun and little or no wind.

After descending the hill we had the reward of climbing up to Burton Dassett and more fantastic views. Another short sharp climb through Warmington got us to the lunch stop at the National Herb Centre. This turned out to be really very good with excellent food and service. Recommended.

We were a bit behind schedule and the air had definitely got cooler as we headed south back towards Woodstock. Chris suffered a valve failure in Bloxham and as he fixed it the curator of the local museum tried to persuade some of us to visit the last day of their WWI exhibition!! We declined but had an interesting chat with him nonetheless!

The Sun was setting as we headed through the Barfords, and the gated road to the Bartons. After the final climb out of Middle Barton it's pretty easy cycling back to Woodstock and we arrived back in deep twilight around 5pm.

Maybe a tad ambitious for November, we were about 45mins longer than I had planned for. I hope everyone enjoyed it anyway. It's a lovely route and maybe we can try it again in the spring or summer?

Massive, massive thanks to Richard P, Nick D and David S for sweeping sections of the ride. An invaluable and essential role on today's ride. I owe you all one.

110.30 km (68.54 mi)
Ride Details:
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Ride Filter
Start Locations
Wantage Market Place
Old Mill Hall, Grove
1* - Suitable for irregular, social, beginner or family riders, pace will match the slower riders. Not hilly or long. Expect rides up to 3 hours. Gentle exercise.
2* - Suitable for regular riders who prefer to cover some distance but at a more relaxed pace. Likely to be half-day rides. Solid exercise.
3* - Suitable for experienced riders, may be hilly, long, quick, or any combination! Likely to be half or full-day rides. Challenging exercise.
4* - Suitable for athletic riders who can ride safely above the 3* standard. Quick rides for the fit.
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