I’m in the awkward position of having two upcoming things to talk about, but they will have happened before you read this.
The first is the Tour of Britain passing through our county. On the 13th of September the Tour will pass into Oxfordshire over the Ridgeway just south of Wantage. After an intermediate sprint at Blewbury, it will pass round Wallingford and off into the Chilterns at a speed that I can only dream of. The weather looks ok and I know CTC members will be out in Wantage, Blewbury and Wallingford. So by the time you read this, I hope it has been an exciting experience!
The second is our 90th Anniversary. The anniversary is actually of the ‘Oxford District Association’ of the Cyclists Touring Club. So I feel that all the CTC groups in the county have a claim on the anniversary, and certainly in the celebrations. We’re planning a big day, centred – and no surprises here – on tea and cake at Standlake Village Hall on 21st September.
We have now traced the founding date back to 5th June 1924, so the actual anniversary is in the past even as I am writing. But we can comfort ourselves that on the nearest weekend we had an excellent Century (100 mile) ride with 27 riders from across the county. And, of course, this won’t stop us having a great day on the 21st, with 3 rides planned from Standlake, regular rides from Oxford and Wantage coming to join us, and a large cake in the works!
Programme for 2014
Our programme for the year is quietening down now. The series of Explorer rides has been successful, getting us to some new places ranging from Cropredy in the north to the Compton beam engines in the south. We didn’t manage to run a ride from Bicester this year, but we intend to do so in Spring 2015 – more details next time. We are very interested in your ideas for destinations for next year.
The Pot Luck Supper was attended and enjoyed by a large group. Once again the system worked and we had a good mix of starters, mains and desserts. There was some initial concern at the number and size of the various banoffee pies that arrived, but I think you can guess that this story has a happy, if sticky, ending! The group’s new gazebo got its first use. It is big, 6m x 3m, and we can make it available for any appropriate CTC event.
The ride with CTC Cheltenham didn’t go exactly as planned because they had forgotten to put it in their calendar. But riders from Oxford, Wantage and Witney all arrived in Burford to find with glee that Huffkins were selling two small lardy cakes for the price of one! Despite this, we still managed lunch at Bourton-on-the-water and an ice cream at Bampton on the way home.
Our new Wallingford group continues to be popular – 18 people joined for the ride to Abingdon on 7th September. And the off-road season has been a good one – enough rain to provide some mud splatters, but not enough to make things really boggy, with the notable exception of a very wet Uptonogood ride in June.
- Saturday 18th October, a ride in memory of Helen Beane, organised by Isis Cyclists, but open to all. Will run from Oxford to Waterperry Gardens and back.
- CTC Oxfordshire’s AGM, 8th November 2014, 11am at Hinton Waldrist Village Hall. Come and enjoy a cup of tea and a recap of the year’s activities, and to vote on the Committee and Motions. We are always keen to encourage new people on the committee, to bring fresh perspectives, and most of the roles are low in workload – if you are interested, please contact Steve Swanton or me for a ‘no obligation’ discussion. Please also send me any Motions for the meeting, with names of a proposer and a seconder, by noon on 1st November.
- 7th December. A long while in advance, but the annual Wantage Mince Pie Ride will happen before the next edition of this journal.
As ever, further details of all these events, and a couple more, and all the CTC groups in the county are on our website: cyclingukoxfordshire.org. If you have ideas or would like to help out with rides, campaigning or other ways to support cycling in Oxfordshire, please let me know and I’ll put you in touch with the right people.