Training 1st Feb

Riders John & Andrew
Distance 57.80 mi
Time 4h35m44s
Average Speed 12.58 mph
Ascent 600 m
Run.GPS Training Profile

After several flat rides recently it was time to take in some hills so we started from Andrew’s house in Middle Barton for this round trip to Buckingham and back.

There was a stiff easterly wind forecast so we planned to head east to start with. It was also cold with the odd snow flurry during the journey. We cycled through Duns Tew and North Aston to Somerton with the steep drop into and climb out of the Cherwell valley. Then on towards Ardley and Bucknell on quiet lanes. We planned to bypass north of Bicester but we went wrong somewhere and ended up on the A4095 and A4421 for a short while before diverting to Stratton Audley to get back on to quieter roads. Very small quiet lanes took us north to Tingewick where we used the cycletrack to cross the dual carriageway and into the village.

We continued north to Stow Park with it’s undulating roads and we joined the regional cycle route number 70 into Buckingham. We tried to find (unsuccessfully) somewhere to have a coffee but Buckingham is clearly not a Sunday town or expects many visitors in early February. So we found a bench in the sun and had a coffee from a flask instead.

After the break we were now heading south towards Gawcott, on reflection we may have been better to follow the cycleway signed at several junctions as the road south of Gawcott was very uneven and busy, not very pleasant to cycle along. We were glad to turn off to Twford and Poundon where we joined NCN route 51 to Bicester. We tried to follow the NCN signage to get us into Bicester and to start with it went OK, it took us through Launton and alongside the A4421 and towards the town centre. It was then impossible to follow as there were a plethora of cycle paths heading in all directions. We ended up in a housing estate using our sense of direction to get us towards the centre. This is another of my NCN bugbears, the signage in towns is usually far from adequate.

We stopped for lunch at a caf