Friday night Oxford-London, 20th August

Possibly the final instalment for 2010. The new southern route is slightly more obvious; we gain a scary dark 1 in 7 descent into West Wycombe and miles and miles of gentle downhill for which there isn't any real payback time.

As usual there is wildlife galore - last week we had owls, badgers, a fox cub, a deer, rabbits and ducks galore and all sorts of vaguely exotic birds.

Paulo's Cafe opens at a Dun Run-challenging 0530, if we get to London that early, and you can join me in a victory lap of Hyde Park afterwards if you so wish. Bacon, sausage, egg, beans and chips with two slices of toast AND tea is £4.95
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I am working on a hot drink option for the halfway stop, but for unlimited food options and proper toilets Tesco works perfectly well.

Train fares from London to Oxford are, as usual, stupidly cheap; it's four quid if you book now, or even vaguely in advance.

Please note: I'm told this is a bit more challenging than FNRttC and some of the road surfaces are very bad, especially West Hyde Lane, where in places there is a choice between man-eating potholes or deep gravel. On the other hand, it is do-able on fixed gear if you're very strong.

Who's in?
 

Fab Foodie

hanging-on in quiet desperation ...
No promises, but wife, 17 y/old partying kids, holidays and work commitment notwithstanding... I'd like to join you whilst the weather is good!
 
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rogerzilla

rogerzilla

Guru
64 miles from station to station. I suppose we were doing 17mph on the flat, but I noticed I was doing 3.5mph up Chinnor Hill ;-)

EDIT: we did 64 miles in under 4 hours of actual riding, so the average was about 16mph, and that includes the hills. Sheesh.
 
rogerzilla said:
17mph on the flat

*must* get a cycle computer!! Still have no idea how fast I pedal...

Mr SHK and I would probably come along to one. I think ATM I'd just hold you up though as I'm not so good (esp with hills...) but am getting better. If this is the last for this year, see you next year perhaps!
 
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rogerzilla

rogerzilla

Guru
I'm taking the Brompton again in August, so 15mph on the flat is a bit more realistic with Marathon Pluses. The small wheels don't roll so well, but they are up to the potholes:

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rogerzilla

rogerzilla

Guru
No, it's just a silly demo of how strong they can be, inspired by a Jobst Brandt story about a little Italian wheel builder who used to walk over his wheels to stress-relieve them. A crank wedged into the spoke crossings and levered hard is much more effective.

If you try this with a Brompton factory wheel it will probably wreck it - they're not built very tightly.
 
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rogerzilla

rogerzilla

Guru
Update: it appears there will be a mini tour of Oxford at the start, prompted by a complaint last time that there was an absence of dreaming spires (as if the Mini plant at Cowley isn't enough). There may be cobbles.
 
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rogerzilla

rogerzilla

Guru
Update: it appears there will be a mini tour of Oxford at the start, prompted by a complaint last time that there was an absence of dreaming spires (as if the Mini plant at Cowley isn't enough). There may be cobbles.

Quick bump for this one so you can still get cheap train tickets (usually £4 if you only need Paddington to Oxford). The pace will be fairly easy - not 17mph moving average like June - as we have some less experienced riders coming and I'll be back on the Brompton.

Although the first 20 miles are relentlessly flat, the Chilterns are quite challenging. There is one very long climb, two screaming descents and a short climb that nearly everyone has to walk. Racing tyres are OK but there is a lot of gravel in Chalfont Lane.
 
I'm interested in this - Oxford is where I lived when I started riding road bikes!

Not sure about this cobbles and gravel malarkey though... Is there no alternative?
 
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