So this weekend is the big test – two full days back to back with the intention of covering 90 miles each day. I sorted the route earlier in the week – the plan was to make a 90 mile route to Oxford then back the next day, as we know someone we can stay with there. Off I set this morning, in all honestly probably not 100% given the stressful week I’ve had with chip tapeouts and the like. The morning leg was to Marlborough – which turned out to be pretty straightforward. I’ve discovered that perversely, if you cycle further from the edge of the road then the cars give you a wider berth. Its a weird one, but always works. Marlborough itself is a very pretty town – shame it rained hard just as I rode into it, so doing the quick change in the car (Tasha was already there) was a bit of a mess. Had lunch in a little sandwich shop – its great to have an excuse to eat all the chocolate cakes in sight – gotta pile on the calories!
Set off again towards Oxford and it all went a little pear shaped… I took what Google said was a road, but it soon deteriorated into a gravel track, then to a bridleway then to a field (see photo on route). Not ideal when you have 23mm tyres. Still, I managed to emerge eventually through some farm or other and accelerated away before anyone noticed (true ReubiMax style).
I had decided at lunch that I would attempt to break through 100 miles instead of 90 as it was going well so far. This was also fueled by Tasha wanting to spend longer in Bicester shopping village (!)… So I extended the trip beyond Oxford and up to Bicester, a total of 103 miles – my longest ever ride. Amazingly I still felt I could have added another 15 – 20 miles, but we had already planned to head to a restaurant at a certain time and anyway I didn’t want to push it when I had another 90+ miles to ride tomorrow.
Some of the villages through Oxfordshire are truly amazing. Those houses must cost a fortune!
So here is the route – 103 miles and 16 mph average: