18th Jan 2009

We (Andrew and I) set off for this roughly 58 miler to Lechlade and back around 8.30am on Sunday morning. The forecast was for a strong westerly wind so the route was designed to minimise the time spent cycling into the wind.

Using the NCN offroad route to get to Abingdon town centre we reversed the end of the previous week’s ride through Shippon, Frilford Heath and Fyfield. Crossing back over the A420 at Southmoor using the bridleway bridge we headed south to Charney Bassett before turning to the north west towards Buckland. Along this stretch we suffered our first training puncture. Andrew picked up a rear wheel puncture so we stopped to switch inner tubes and set back off. I got to the Buckland turn on the A420 looked behind and he was nowhere in sight, slightly concerned I headed back about half a mile before I spotted him repairing another puncture! A slither of flint had lodges in the tyre and punctured the new innertube. Another tube and we were off again.

After Buckland we had the fast smooth descent to Buckland Marsh and over the Thames. We cycled alongside the Great Brook (lovely quiet and smooth lane) into Aston and on to Bampton. We had a couple of miles of A-road through Clanfield before turning off towards Clanfield. This stretch was directly into the wind and was straight flat and hard work. Quite bleak. We were glad to reach the A417 where we turned into Lechlade to pick up some lunch. We retraced our steps to the Thames and had our lunch next to the lock. It was very chilly off of the bikes so we didn’t hang about too long.

We headed south to Buscot on the busy A417 and a tricky right-turn onto the minor road to Coleshill. The first and only hills on the entire route were next. The climb into Coleshill was short but steep. The second on the B4019 (which I had to push up last time I was here) was nowhere near as bad as I remember it. The 8% sign at the bottom is absolute rubbish though and should be 18% I think.

Turning through Great Coxwell and over the A420 (still not my favourite road crossing, fast busy and a bit dodgy) to Little Coxwell. With the wind now pushing us along it was fast easy cycling, especially after Baulking where we barely had to pedal through Goosey and West Hanney. The road to Steventon is not my favourite stretch, long, straight and dull and quite busy with cars. But with the wind behind us we made short work of it.

Then it was through Drayton and back home. Nearly 61 miles in total, with a couple of detours, but far flatter than anything we might experience on LEJOG. I’ve started doing some routes and the total ascent on day one will be over 1200m, today’s ride was a paltry 149m!!

Distance :: 60.91 mi
Time :: 4h34m01s
Average Active Speed :: 13.34 mph
Run.GPS Training Profile