Over the long weekend we rode from home in London to Oxford. The map said it was 99 miles and we were going to tackle it in 2 days.
After a bit more of a sleep in they we had planned (you can’t rush these things) we headed off about 10am Saturday morning. Today was going to see us ride from Clapham to Putney, through Richmond park, past Teddington lock, past Hampton Court, cross the river on a ferry at Weybridge, through Windsor Great Park into Windsor and Eton, climb Knowl Hill and freewheel down the other side into Henley-on-Thames where we would spend the night.
And what a ride it was. Slightly longer than expected, we notched up 94km on the first day. Needless to say, after dinner it didn’t take long to fall asleep.
Sunday started strong with a cereal, bacon and eggs at the B&B and then straight into a few miles of climbing. We stopped with fellow cyclists at the top for a well earned break for a pint before heading back down onto the flats and crossing the Thames through Wallingford, Didcot and Abingdon. Finally we were on the home stretch along the Thames to Oxford. In addition to the many people out along the river, there were rowers on the river with their coaches running or cycling along the tow-path, there was cricket being played on a riverside pitch, and there was croquet in a private back yard.
And at the head of the river was The Head of the River pub. We had made it.
Monday was our day to spend in Oxford taking in the sights. We went to Joe’s in Summertown for brunch (and comes highly recommended) and then spent a couple of hours walking around the town and touring the Christ Church College. In addition to being an Oxford College, Christ Church is also the towns cathedral and made an appearance in a couple of the Harry Potter movies. The dining hall was the main attraction for us and and we found many of the inspirations and reminders of Alice in Wonderland as Lewis Carol was a former student of the college.
Fittingly, the last pint we had was at the first pub we saw in Oxford and after a couple of drinks at The Head of the River we headed to the train station.
After taking 2 days to ride to Oxford, we took a 1 hour train ride back to London Paddington and cycled home. All up we clocked just over 103 miles, or 167km, for the weekend.
We had a fantastic time on the ride, the countryside was great and getting out of London and spending the time cycling by the river and through the country trails was excellent. The routes were well marked and the map was mainly used to find out where we were on the path rather than which way to go.