A record of my cycling trips in Britain and abroad


Abingdon 85 mile loop

Updated - now with more accurate route


Did an 85 mile loop round Abingdon last Sunday. It was pretty flat, as is usual round here! Rounded it off with a swim in the Thames, further upriver than Abingdon, at a place called Radcot. The spot was scenic, but with a fast current - almost breaststroke pace. It would have been a great spot, except for the noisy music event at the pub nearby. Nirvana covers are not the most relaxing music to go outdoor swimming to!


Wantage Wobble

I didn’t quite go through Wantage yesterday - that was on Saturday - but I was close. But I did explore along the line of the Ridgeway. I think it was named by someone with a sense of humour, because there’s no ridge for 50 miles round. Ridges imply hills, and this place has hills like the Sahara has water. Despite that, the area is actually pretty good for cycling; from the stones at Avebury, it’s possible to get almost all the way back to Abingdon on narrow country roads, with little traffic. I’d thought I might head along the Ridgeway itself for part of the way (it’s a circa 100 km long route of mostly byway and bridleway); but the roads were so quiet that it was fine just staying on those. I’d taken my older, touring road bike rather my new carbon one, although by the sound of it even on that there are parts of the Ridgeway that would have been challenging. Probably still comfier than my commute to work though - that route’s awful. The total distance for the day was 104 miles - more, much more, than I’d been planning. By the time I was back I just about had time for a pizza (not handmade) and then bed.



It was a lovely day this morning - perhaps the summer is finally here! And I’ve measured my commute: 5 km on the nose to the site gate, and another 550 m to the bike shed outside my building. It takes me 14 min on average, for a speed of 23.8 km/hr. Not bad considering the state of the cycle path! I can shave off 90 s by going along the road, which I’ll do if I’m in a hurry, but for day-to-day commuting I think I’ll stick to the cycle path. I need to measure the distance along the river path - that isn’t cyclable really on a road bike, but would make a nice route to run in.


Wicklow Wramble

I went out for a short spin yesterday with a pal from work, heading out for a Sunday morning ride (not the Sunday morning call) from Dundrum to the Wicklow hills. The forecast was for clear skies, but a light drizzle was in order instead, and I was glad we’d committed to heading out otherwise I might have been tempted to stay in till the rain cleared (although my bike might have thanked me if I had, as it’s rather in need of a good clean and oil at the minute - one of the drawbacks of commuting being that I don’t keep it as clean as I’d like).

We did a nice little loop in about 2 hours, through Eniskerry, climbing up to the Jonny Fox pub, and then heading deeper into the hills along Pine Forest Road. I could see why it got its name!

A nice loop, and one I’m looking forward to doing again. (Apparently there’s also a steeper way up the hill - we may have to tackle that next time…)


Welsh Wanderings

From a little while ago, in a country not very far away…

Just a brief writeup of a lovely little ride I had in Snowdonia. Despite the location, this ride isn’t as hilly as you may expect; although it certainly isn’t flat. The route, which was similar to the one shown, took us down the west side of the Conwy valley. I say down, as we travelled south, but really it should be up. We started pretty much at sea level, and ended up… higher. Actually, I didn’t know how much higher until I checked on a map, just now; and it turns out that Betws y Coed is only about 50 m or so above sea level. And I suppose as we started in the town centre in Conwy rather than on the seafront, and as it’s a hilly town, we were possibly at 20 m to start with. Anyway, it felt like we were going up. Significantly so, and I suppose we just descended a fair bit too! It was a crisp, clear autumn day, with not at all as much wind as forecast, and the snow on the peaks gave an impressive backdrop to the scenery. The conditions were almost perfect, and the ride reminded me I really like Wales; perhaps after all I can feel my ancestors’ blood running in my veins!