Ride Report, Women’s Tour, Saturday 11th June

PeterB went on this ride and writes:

Four riders set off from Northampton – Brian T (who devised most of the route), Ken, Philip G and myself, sharing two cars to Pear Tree park & ride in Oxford, for a loop in the pleasant Oxfordshire countryside, and to watch the final stage of the Womens’ Tour.

We set off early from East Hunsbury at 7.40am, but even at that time the traffic was starting to build up locally due to the M1 Motorway being closed.  Thankfully, we arrived at the car park on time, although some of us then spent time trying to find a toilet, before getting the bikes ready and setting off.

Having negotiated the cycle paths out of Oxford, we followed an impressive fellow rider for a couple of miles, who had a carbon fibre prosthetic leg and one hand missing.  Respect! 

The traffic at Woodstock was not pleasant (but significantly better than that I encountered mid-week on the recci), but after that we were treated to mostly quiet roads through the wonderful Oxfordshire countryside.

We arrived at our coffee stop, the Old Shed, at the planned time to find John W already there, on his second coffee, having made the journey by train. We sat and chatted in the warm sunshine, enjoying healthy food such as pasties and sausage sandwiches.

The café was chosen because the Women’s Tour went past it, and the plan was to set off half an hour before the riders came past, and spectate at Charlbury, five minutes away.  However, immediately having come out of the café, the first Police motorbikes came past stopping traffic.  No problem though, we just settled on the grassy verge with a few others and watched the riders from there.

Having arrived in Oxford in good time for our next session, we rode to the finish area to orientate ourselves, then circled around looking for a suitable cafe to wait. Of course, with all the crowds, this was not so easy, and it was left to Philip to locate a perfect coffee establishment, which he did, tucked away in a small secluded and sunny courtyard.

After that it was an easy stroll to find a suitable vantage point and cheer the riders on, followed by watching the awards, although it has to be said that Ken abandoned us for a while to stand with his mates.

The route back to Pear Tree was along a well paved canal tow path, and finally a couple of road crossings.

All said, it was a great day out with wonderful company and warm sunshine. What more could we wish for ?

Cheers Peter

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