Back in February six cyclists met at Brookside on a Saturday, at the normal time. This could have been mistaken for any regular old ride, but no. Not that day. That was the start of the much anticipated CUCC Touring ride to Oxford!
We set off a shade after 9:30, and it was clear from the start that there was going to be a slight headwind all day, as if cycling the 130km on its own wasn’t enough… but we pushed through, setting a decent pace, and the first 30 miles flew by. Rob got a puncture soon after, and whilst this was being fixed, Emilie took out some peanut butter filled dates and offered them around, which means it’s time for the return of my food blogging; so strap in boys & girls because here it comes:
With the appearance of, well, dates with peanut butter smushed in, I was not convinced at first. But I was wrong. Who knew such a simple combination could be so good?! Would recommend, even just for the insane amount of calories in them: 10/10. Food blogging over.
Anyway, we were back and away in no time.
Shortly after, we stopped in Woburn and settled in to a nice café for some lunch. After figuring out there was a button on the table to call over the waiter (wtf), we eventually got served. Back out on the road again, we now had less than half the distance left, with the sun shining nicely over head, we were well on our way to the Other Place.
The last half of the ride was tough for most of the group with the fatigue of the first half firmly in the legs, on top of the seemingly increasing hilliness towards Oxford. Joe hit the deck on a corner with some badly placed gravel not far from Oxford, but he dusted himself and got back on with only minor grazes thankfully. It wasn’t long after that till we were in the heart of Oxford, weaving our way in-between ancient buildings and tourists to snap a quick pic in front of the Bridge of Sighs.
We were a bit behind on our schedule but we eventually met up with some of the guys from OUCC at ‘Peloton Espresso’, a lovely little cycling café on Cowley Road. After a lovely chat and some much needed food we disbanded to get showered and changed for dinner. The Banana Tree was our reservation for dinner, and the large portions were heavenly after a long day in the saddle. After dinner we were lead by OUCC to the famous Turf Tavern, ending a great day both in and out the saddle.
Big thanks to the Oxford Guys for their hospitality, hope to be back soon! Thanks to Emilie as well for organising it!
(Shoutouts to; Rob & Sam for completing the longest ride they’ve done yet; Emilie for riding it with effectively one knee; and James & Joe for riding back the next day as well! Well done guys!)