South Kensington to Oxford by bike

A while back Kim suggested cycling from work to Oxford which sounded like it should be fun so I agreed and the date was set as the 25th July. We almost got others to join us, but in the end it was just the two of us on this little adventure.

As it is now after the event I can reflect I wish I had not done it on my mountain bike, but that can go down as a lesson learnt and I can plan some more bike shopping for the future. Lands End to John O’Groats appears to be getting well pencilled in for next summer now, and that is no way going to be on a mountain bike.

I carefully plotted and uploaded a route into my Garmin GPS, but come the time to open the route on Saturday morning all trying to do so would crash my GPS. Thankfully for just in case reasons I had also printed the map with the route on, but of course this made navigation more brain taxing and led to a reduction in speed due to having to stop and read maps. We probably made a navigation error or two again adding to our time taken, but at least we didn’t get too lost!

My favourite part of the trip had to be one of the long downhills not that I can remember where it was, but 28mph was my maximum GPS speed after that.

The worst part for me has two contenders either the bridleway across a field that was super bumpy with stinging nettles to attack you as you cycled along, or the other bridleway shortcut which was so muddy it was get off and walk in places. With hindsight I think cycle route 57 without those shortcuts would have been a better plan, but we are not planning a repeat any time soon!

Once we had almost made it to Oxford my body was starting to shake, so when Kim suggested she pop into a shop I had a couple of my Mars bars and a bit more to drink and soon felt more human.

Given it took longer than expected and we didn’t get to visit Oxford for more than cycling through to the station we are going to have to go back and enjoy it.

Not the wisest move on my part was going out for a friend’s birthday drinks in the evening rather than going home to sleep it off.

Strava recons on it being abut a 4,100 kcal effort. I don’t think I quite managed to eat that much.

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