Heading to Hackney Central so I could get the Overground train to Richmond was my quickest and best option. As I passed my work place I heard one of my work mates calling out for me asking where I was off to. I shouted back riding to Oxford. I think I only heard a distance cry of "Your a nutter"
While on the overground train to Richmond my cycling partner in crime txt me to say that he was a train heading to Richmond as well. I figured he may be on the same train I was on but I looked down my carriage but didn't spot him. Few mins later I got another txt telling me to look to my left, then right and my partner was sitting there with a big smile on his face.
Got to chatting a little as we always do, about the coming ride to Oxford. I knew my riding had improved ALOT since then but still wanted to prove to myself and this was probably the best long ride to do it on.
We got to Richmond in plenty of time and found a few others waiting for us at the Costa Coffe just outside. Meet and greetings all round and few new faces too.
I went into the Tesco Express to get myself another bottle of water when a couple of ladies who had walked past our little group asked me what we was up to. I told them we was riding to Oxford.
The look on their faces said it all. One told me she had a Brompton but never thought about riding all that way and only used it for commuting. We had a little chat about it all and ofcourse I told them that me, Bumble B & the London Brompton Club. Assured them that we don't always do these big long rides but do plenty of smaller ones in and around the London area and handed them one of my LBC cards. They seem pretty surprised and wished me luck on our journey.
Once everyone had gathered we headed off to our breakfast stop, The Monkey's Forehead passing though Bushy Park.
|Ann P with a big smile on her face|
|Fountain in Bushy Park|
On our first short stop near a lock on the River Thames.
|BumbleB returns to The Monkey's Forehead|
|The Monkey's Forehead MEGA Breakfast|
It wasn't long before we was out of the city and riding along nice country lanes and much less traffic.
At about the 30-35mile mark we came across The Bell Pub we stopped at for lunch last time.
|Reserved Bicycle Parking|
|Tempting "Bee Sting" 7.5%|
|Bromptons parking up|
Finally we came into Oxfordshire and was on the home leg.
As we entered Hanley-on-Thames we lost Amanda O & Ann P. It was a good but long ride and always good to not push yourself to hard if possible.
The rest of us headed off towards Pishill. I remember this hill from last time and in my mind it was a hellish hill for me to get up.
Back then BumbleB was a 3 gears and now with the 6 gears I was looking forward to how we would cope but I was still a little nervous about it. At a turn off just before the long road towards the hill we all stopped and fuelled up on energy bars and water. Also making sure I took of my cycling jacket and securing my camera & mobile in my saddle bag. Last thing I want is for me to be going up the hill and something bugging me and putting me off my cadence.
I had forgotten how long this road was as it seemed to go on forever and ever. For the most part it was me and Michael B heading up this way, tried to keep up best I could but in the end I just had to slow right down to a pace I would be able to keep going.
I did stop a couple of times to just get alittle rest & water. Once I finally hit the hill properly I made sure I focused on my breathing and cadence and just kept those going. At one point the hill for REALLY steep and it was just a little too much for me, I was completely out of energy and hopped off and walked for about 5 mins or so.
The hill levelled out a little so I jumped back on BumbleB and continued on, next thing I knew I recognised the final corner of the hill. At the top of the Pishill the rest of our little gang waiting for me. I have to say I was very pleased with having ridden up pretty much all of this hill and knew the combination of higher fitness level & 6 gears saw me though to the top. Next time I will ride up it all.
Now was the fun part, the decent. Last time I came down here I think I topped out at just under 40mph, this time according to my Garmin Edge 800 I hit a massive 41.2mph this time round. I really zoomed past a few riders that where not as bonkers as me but hell after going up a big hill you have to enjoy going down the other side.
Now it was the finally run into Oxford itself and only had one other stop to get more water.
We finally made it into Oxford City and headed towards Oxford University where we took a photo ofcourse.
Distance: 64.91 miles
|The LBC at Oxford University|
|BumbleB outside Oxford University|
We finally done it. We made it and kicked BUTT :D
We all headed towards Oxford Station to purchase tickets and head back to the big smoke, London.
|Oxford Station Bicycle Park|
Most of us got our tickets and this time I got a train that we didn't have to run for, we had about 30 mins before our train arrived so had something to eat in the station.
The train back was a little packed but with the Bromptons ofcourse we never had a problem getting space. On the train I met a guy that had a CTC top on and ofcourse recognised Bumble B as soon as he saw him. I do post links to my blog post quiet often to the CTC facebook page and Bumble B is pretty hard to miss.
|Paddington Station, London|
While on the London Underground on the way home I saw these guys on the train. Fancy dress tennis stars, so funny. Hope they had a good night, it sure looked like it started off well.
|Old Tennis Champions?|
BumbleB & me have basically evolved into what we are today & evolution NEVER stops.