Despite, or possibly because of, the horrendous weather last year, we are heading out again to the university haunt of Jonathan Swift, as the fresh mornings, and vivid colours of Autumn come upon us.
We are are riding to his college, Hertford, in Oxford, staying over, and returning by bike the following day.
Some will be meeting at Tooting Broadway, 9:00am, for the 19 miles to West Drayton station for 11:30am rendevous.
Others will catch the 11:12am from Paddington, arriving West Drayton 11:36am.
We will then ride via Iver, Pinewood Studios, Marlow, Christmas Common, Wattlington, and into Oxford, collecting various locals on the way, aiming to ride into the city centre around 4:30- 5:15pm. There will be two 15-20 minute refuel, pit stops, but the aim is to set and maintain a steady pace throughout.
for the Oxford Brigade, I would suggest that you aim to be at the Fox and Hounds, Christmas Common, OX49 5HL at 3:45pm, as the phone reception in the area is patchy in the extreme.
Festivities will commence at the Turf, behind Hertford, and then probably move on to the Head of the River Inn.
I have reserved two rooms at the Holiday Inn Express, Kassam Stadium, a 6 mile ride from the centre, with breakfast included for a very reasonable £47.50 each, two sharing twin bedded rooms. This compares favourably with the cost of the train home, not to mention the shouting and arguments with beligerant jobs-worth rail guards.
We will then be leaving prompt the following morning at 9:30am, and following the A40 rather than the Christmas Common route home, to hopefully be back in central London around 1pm.
The overnight is not obligatory, and gears, single speed, or fixed, are all welcome. However, I must insist on brakes, as some of the down hills, especially if we have wind and rain, demand the ability to stop on a sixpence, and you will not be thanked for wiping out a fellow rider, if you cannot stop.
We shall start as a team, and finish the same way, but if you are not up to 65 miles at a steady 15-17 mph, you are likely to have a pretty tough time.
Oh, and save the gargle money from the Friday, as there is more than enough beer in Oxford, to make up for the suggested early night, and abstinence, the night before.
Oh, and a list.