Cycling UK Oxfordshire organises its own rides and we also highlight some rides run by other local groups.

Even if you are not a Cycling UK member, you will be welcome on any ride that is within your capabilities and we will be happy to match you up with suitable rides. In general, you can ride for free on three rides before deciding whether to join Cycling UK.

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Oxfordshire Triennial Veterans Century Ride 2013

Sun 9 June 2013 - 8:00am

Staggered start from 8.00am through to 8.50am, from Islip Village Hall, Islip OX5 2TA (Grid ref – SP 525 141)

2013 is a CTC Tri-vets year and once again CTC Oxfordshire is planning to host one of the score or so rides taking place across the country during June. Tri-vets is shorthand for the CTC Triennial Veterans’ Century Rides, which are designed for ‘veteran’ members over the age of 50. Apparently, the tradition dates back to CTC’s golden anniversary year of 1928. Riders have up to 12 hours to complete the 100 mile route. We in Oxfordshire run it as a group ride with riders split into 5 or 6 groups of about a dozen riders each with a local leader and sweeper. The groups start at 10 minute intervals from 8am, so riders can choose a faster or slower group. The Oxfordshire Tri-vets ride will be on Sunday 9 June starting from Islip. The route first makes a loop of Otmoor before turning north on an anticlockwise tour through Cherwell, West Oxfordshire and the Vale of White Horse. It’s a great social event with coffee, lunch and tea stops hosted by local WIs at Weston-on-the-Green, North Leigh and Steventon. If you are not a veteran you can still take part as a volunteer ride leader or sweeper – please contact Helen Beane (01865 726750) if you are willing to help. Entry forms will be published in the Feb/Mar edition of Cycle magazine. Last time we were over- subscribed, so please book early. As well as the Trti-vets ride we will also be running an all-comers Century (100-mile) ride over the same course on Sunday 19th May. This is an opportunity for everyone to have a go at a century and riders are very welcome to leave and join the ride to make up their own century if they so wish. This is what the CTC National website says about the event: “The Triennial Veterans (Tri Vets) rides take place during the month of June – or a week either side – every three years. These events are open to CTC members who are aged 50 years or over by June 2013. The aim is to complete a 100 mile circuit in under 12 hours. Our volunteer organisers create lovely routes, taking in pleasant countryside and include refreshment stops en route. The Tri Vets rides are a personal challenge for many, as well as a popular social event. CTC are very grateful to all of our member group organisers for creating the routes, and putting the time and effort into the Tri Vets rides. A big thank you to all! Certificates are awarded to all riders upon completion of the ride, and there’s also the opportunity for participants to purchase a commemorative badge / date bar in recognition of their achievement. If you would like to know more about the Tri-Vets events, please feel free to contact Andy Hawes at CTC National Office on 01483 238 306.” Route: Islip, Otmoor, Islip, NW across the Cherwell river to skirt the Cotswolds, North Leigh, Minster Lovell, Brize Norton, Bampton, then south to Buckland, east to Steventon and north back to Islip. The contact for the CTC Oxfordshire ride on 9 June is: Contact Name: Eve Thornton Contact Telephone: 01235 527628 Contact Email:

Ride report

Here are some photos of the Tri Vets ride:

Robin Tucker led the Final group and here is his account of the day.

Group F was the last away, and relative youngsters with an oldest age of 62.  The Otmoor loop gave us a good chance to get to know each other.  It was uneventful until we returned to Islip where we caught up with Group E.  We paused for a short break while they got on their way, then we followed them at gentle pace to Weston for elevenses, passing groups A and B just coming out.
One thing of being in the last group is that it is your moral duty to leave as few cakes behind as possible.  So, after a hearty refreshment, and giving Group E a good lead, we set off.  Patrick D decided he was best at his own pace, so set off a bit earlier.  Maybe it was cake power, but we caught up with Group E at the A4260, but they were just setting off, while we were ready for a small pause.  Jim, on a recumbent, had been slower up hills then catching up on the flat.  He decided he was better navigating his own way – though we did see him at intervals through the day.  He and one other rider went ahead of me and sailed past the turn for Glympton – demonstrating the danger of going ahead!  Fortunately they were in shouting range and we were soon all back on track.
By this stage, the sun was starting to show and several made comments about how nice the route was.  We caught Group E again just before Cleveley.  This time, they’d lost their Sweeper Caroline, so we decided to take their place in the lunch queue and headed on ahead.  Approaching Charlbury, Mike M and Nick M dashed ahead for a traditional “picture with wife and signpost” – and to jettison leg-warmers no longer required!  Just before the lunch stop, we caught up with Group D.  Lunch was a good chance to catch up with other groups as well as fuelling up for the third and longest stage.
This stage took me and other Wantage riders onto regular home territory: Brize Norton Bampton, Buckland.  As we swung east after Stanford-in-the-Vale we were pleasantly surprised that the NE wind had died down a bit.  Even so, a few of our number had slowed a bit, and a split in the group started to emerge.  We mostly regrouped in Hanney and then pedalled the final few miles to Steventon, my home village, where the WI did us proud for a third time.
We did have a small mutiny at this point – some riders were ultra-keen and were on the road, while we discovered that Mike P had a puncture.  A few came back to find out what the delay was, but three carried on and we didn’t see them again.  The puncture was quickly fixed and we continued north.  The early evening was warm and sunny, and even the B-roads around Farmoor were quite quiet.  Vaughan went ahead for a picture with his wife at Cumnor, and soon re-joined.
On the final stretch, Steve G had slowed, and David S and I kept him company while the other 6 gradually eased ahead.  At the A40 crossing we saw them cross just before we arrived, and on the Cassington to Yarnton stretch, seeing them ahead, I decided to try and join the groups back together.  With what felt like a heroic effort, I accelerated and caught them entering Yarnton.  I said the others weren’t far behind, so we eased off the pace a little.  The David and Steve didn’t catch us before the A44 roundabout, so we crossed and waited just beyond.  Just as the jelly babies were being produced, the two appeared round the corner and we were together again – at least 9 of us!  We continued as a tight bunch for the final 5 miles through Kidlington (with Vaughn’s son out to cheer us on) and back out in the countryside.  It was great to spot the sunlit tower of Islip church and this helped us all onward – a great beacon for the final mile!



Sun 9 June 2013
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