6th Dec 2008

This was a good ride, the weather was a huge improvement over the previous week’s. Sunny, cold and little wind. I headed north from home through Abingdon town centre and out towards Cumnor on the B4017 through Wootton. I crossed the A420 at Bessels Leigh and climbed steadily to Cumnor and rejoined the B4017. During the fast descent to Farmoor and past the reservoir I remembered I had to cross the Swinford toll-bridge and I had no money with me. I hope cyclists were free otherwise I was going to have to blag my way across. It was free!

I cycled into Eynsham and turned southwest on the B4449 as far as Sutton where at last I could join quiet country lanes. Sutton was the birthplace of my paternal grandfather and he lived in Sutton and Stanton Harcourt as a boy. There are several relatives buried in the churchyard in Stanton Harcourt. Just a short distance later I cycled through the tiny hamlet of West End which was where my paternal grandmother lived as a girl. I continued along the long curve through Northmoor and into Standlake.

A short distance on the A415 followed before I turned towards Aston. I turned off this road onto a very beaten up road to Old Shifford, more a farm track than a road in places, a bit rough and muddy but isolated and pretty.

The road then had an excellent new surface alongside the Great Brook, a side channel of the Thames, this was an idyllic stretch of lane cycling. Probably the best bit of the ride. I turned south onto the Buckland Road which was pretty busy and to Tadpole Bridge where I took a breather and found Flush Bracket 112 and took photos. The only real hill on the entire route into Buckland was next but pretty easy, didn’t need to drop to the granny cog for this one.

After Buckland I had to cross the busy A420 again, took a while for a gap in the traffic to appear so I could scoot across and to Charney Bassett. I was onto roads that have become familiar now, I used the handy bridleway bridge at Southmoor to recross the A420 and the secret tunnel at Fyfield to go back under it again!

I was cycling well as Tubney, Frilford Heath, Gozzards Ford and Shippon followed. A small distance of town cycling through Abingdon was left (isn’t it odd how as soon as you get to the towns cars no longer give you any room when they pass, yet in the country most follow and pass slowly and carefully). I used the NCN route on Peep-O-Day Lane to get back to Sutton Courtenay.

My longest solo ride, nearly 50 miles when I add on the bits that GPS-Sport decided not to record. I really enjoyed the latter half of this ride, the B-road cycling early on was less good but necessary to get to the good bits.

Distance :: 46.17 mi
Time :: 2h58m08s
Average Active Speed :: 15.55 mph
Run.GPS Training Profile

Published by

John Talbot

The main protagonist behind this nonsense. The website title is inspired by the lyrics of the B-side to Lily the Pink by The Scaffold. "The buttons of your mind were difficult to find and my fingers far too clumsy."