Oxford - September 2018: Ride report

Fridays member Kim sends this report of the recent Friday Night Ride to Oxford.


A break with tradition for Nick's second time out as Ride Leader, and what a triumph!  What it lacked in coastal destination, the ride more than made up for in sights, scenery and conviviality.  Around 50 of us, including two recumbents and a smattering of Bromptons, gathered at the usual South Bank spot and joined in enthusiastically with the Leader’s Brief (bollards!) before setting off into the night.


We headed north and west for Bloomsbury, past the majestic British Museum and up Marylebone High Street towards Lisson Grove.  I would mention that a good time to cycle up Marylebone High Street is the middle of the night, when all the shops are shut!  We paused outside the Seashell, which when I lived in London, over 25 years ago, was known as the best fish and chips in town.  I wonder if it still is….?   Onwards along the Harrow Road through Harlesden, Willesden and Wembley and towards the far reaches of the Metropolitan Line until we reached our halfway stop at St Michael’s church hall in Amersham.  We were greeted with a feast of hot drinks and home made cakes. Very welcome - thank you!

Fridays members desperately searching for the sea at the end of the London to Oxford ride.

Refreshed, we set off, in hushed excitement, toward our final destination.  Our route took us along pretty cycle lanes and countryside and through the market town of Thame, where a deserted fairground had an eerie Scooby Doo quality to it.  One of the joys of night riding is how different everyday sights seem in the quiet of the small hours.


Eventually, and punctually, we descended to the City of Dreaming Spires, past Magdalen College and the Bodleian Library to a very civilised and efficiently delivered breakfast at the Swan and Castle. 


A big thank you, as ever, to everyone who made this Friday Nighter such a joyful experience.  Nick for the well-planned and attractive route, including the welcome lady-stops. Charlie assisting with delegating waymarkers.  Adrian and Greg all-upping and tec-ing, and all the half-way team.  And finally to the weather Gods who were definitely smiling on us - Friday's gale force winds subsided to a balmy breeze and the following rainstorms held off until after breakfast. Thank you.