The main activity of the group is organising rides every Wednesday. The rides meet at a café chosen by the day’s leader and start, normally, as soon after 10:30 as possible and not later than 10:45. As our riders come from all over Oxfordshire the starting points are similarly diverse and during a year’s riding we generally reach all areas of Oxfordshire and the edges of the neighbouring counties. Please look at the rides list for more details of our future rides.
The quoted mileage is from and returning to the café, and varies from 30 to 50 miles. Of course you can always ride directly from and return to your home, which will increase your mileage. Also, riders will often leave the ride during the afternoon in order to head directly home, especially if they have time constraints or want to get home in daylight. However the actual ride will always be based on the slowest rider’s pace and return to the starting point if necessary. We do not abandon riders. Members will often car share where necessary.
So where do we go? This is again up to the leader; this is a wonderful area for cycling as we can go to all points of the compass. The Lambourn Downs, Cotswolds, Thames Valley, Chilterns etc. There are many places of interest, buildings, churches, valleys – and hills – and quiet country lanes! And we know a lot of them! Stoking our engines for all this, we also know most of the good cafés and pubs as well, where we can refuel. It is wise to check with the ride leader beforehand if you are not sure the ride is suitable for you.
Do I have to join the Club? You are welcome to ride with us a few times to see if it is for you before you join, but then you will be expected to become a member of the national Cycling UK organisation. Otherwise there are no other subscriptions; most of our activities are self-financing. Cycling UK membership includes, besides a high quality bi-monthly magazine, free third party insurance, legal assistance in the case of mishap, which also covers registered rides leaders: in these litigious times this is most important. You are also entitled to ride with any other Cycling UK group throughout the country.
What do you need? A bike or trike or even a tandem, providing it’s in good running order, and adjusted to suit the rider, is normally all that is required. If in doubt contact a club official, who will be pleased to help you. In our climate, mudguards are advisable for most of the year and lights in the winter months, although we normally try to get back to the café before lights are required. A spare inner tube or two saves time mending punctures at the roadside, and of course some tools. A camera is useful if you are into photography, or just like a record of where you have been.
Other Mid-Week Options. As well as our organised Wednesday rides many of our members also go out on Tuesdays and/or Thursdays as there are planned coffee meets both days. These are not group rides as such, just make your own way to the listed café for elevenses and a social chat. Some days a small number may ride together to lunch after the coffee stop. These meets are open to everyone and no club membership of any kind is required. The list of venues is on our rides programme page.