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27th Sep 2008

1 comment posted in: Blog: LEJOG

I joined the Wantage CTC for the first time today on what they describe as an Easy-Rider. It was a fantastic day for cycling, sunny and calm. The pace was much slower than I have been doing and it was very relaxed. It was also somewhat of a mystery tour as I had no idea where we were going! A dozen of us started in Grove and headed north through Denchworth and Charney Bassett towards the A420 at Southmoor. A handy bridleway bridge took us over the main road and east to Fyfield. A tunnel back under the A420 meant we didn’t need to try and cross the traffic at all as we went past Tubney and the golf course at Frilford Heath.

The group then headed towards Abingdon through Gozzard’s Ford, past the Airfield and through Shippon. We went through Abingdon town negotiating the traffic and had an enforced break at the old canal wharf next to the Thames as one of the group fixed a puncture. The plan was to have tea at Chilton garden centre so we turned south and cycled through Drayton and Steventon. This was the only significant hill on the route from Steventon to …

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Posted: Monday, Sep 29, 2008 at 11:37 AM by jochta


24th Sep 2008

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Today was Green Travel to Work day at my place. So if you travelled in a ‘green’ fashion you got a free lunch. I made the effort and I had some time so I lengthened the route. On the way in I went via Appleford, Long Wittenham, Little Wittenham, Sire’s Hill, North Moreton, South Moreton and Cholsey. It was a calm, cool and cloudy morning and was a good cycle. No problems with the ‘hills’ and even the Cholsey Mile (dead straight and flat) wasn’t too bad. Probably the main issue with this route is the off-road section of NCN route 5 to Long Wittenham, it’s potholed and rough and could do with some maintenance.

On the way home I turned towards Aston Upthorpe at South Moreton and went via East Hagbourne, Didcot, Harwell and Milton. This is a much busier route and involves some B-roads and some tricky right turns on to main roads. Not too bad though. There was a fairly stiff NE breeze but it didn’t bother me too much (Benson reported 15 mph NNE wind). Got home in the fading light which was just as well as the batteries on my back light failed.

The nice …

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Posted: Wednesday, Sep 24, 2008 at 08:22 PM by jochta


20th Sep 2008

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Unfortunately Andrew had to work last minute so our planned joint ride didn’t happen. So I looked up some routes in South Oxfordshire and went off on my own. I came across the Wantage Section of the Cycling Touring Club (CTC) and they did a 36 mile route around the Vale of White Horse a few weeks ago so I shamelessly stole that route to see what it was like.

It was a beautiful morning for cycling, sunny, warmish and calm. The Vale of White Horse is stunningly beautiful when you’re doing around 15mph on a bike. I drove to Grove and parked at the recreation ground and set off from there. Down to Wantage and a short stretch along the A417 to East Challow. There is a good surfaced track that runs parallel to the B4507 to Childrey which was a useful find. Then along deserted lanes through Sparsholt and Westcot. At this point I had to join the B4507 for a short stretch to turn towards Uffington, but it was very quiet. Probably the best part of the ride was through Uffington to Shrivenham. Deserted lanes with views to my left up to the White Horse …

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Posted: Saturday, Sep 20, 2008 at 04:17 PM by jochta


15th Sep 2008

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I’m fortunate (in a cycling training sense) to live about 10 miles from work. This gives me a good opportunity to get some rides in during the week. The distance is about right for a decent ride and it’s very flat so I can push myself a little harder than I would on a longer ride.

There is a good network of minor roads as well so I can vary the route and make it longer or take in a hill or two if I want. I usually cycle home a different way to the morning. Yesterday I was a bit pushed for time so I went for the quickest routes, unfortunately my GPSr and PDA got disconnected about halfway in so I’m missing part of the log, I did however have to go home after the first couple of miles as I’d forgotten something so the total distance isn’t far off! I was cycling with two reasonably full panniers as well with a change of clothes, shoes etc.

On the way in there is one short sharp climb up to Sire’s Hill and then a long descent. I sometimes vary this by following the NCN route which goes through …

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Posted: Tuesday, Sep 16, 2008 at 09:07 AM by jochta


14th Sep 2008

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First ride on the Ridgeback. I’ve decided only to blog rides from this ride forward, I’ve been doing some training rides on my old hybrid bike over the past few weeks but let’s call yesterday Day One of LEJOG training.

So I’m doing LEJOG with my Brother-in-Law Andrew and his friend Tom at the moment. Andrew and I are both 40 next birthday so maybe this is a classic mid-life crisis thing and you might be right in thinking so! I think my brother, who did the LEJOG with his wife in 2001, maybe tempted to join us. At least for part of the journey, if not the whole thing!

Anyway, back to training ride numero uno. Andrew and I took a fairly easy run through the Vale of White Horse (very flat) from my house through Drayton, Steventon and onto the Hanneys. Turning south through Grove and Wantage we joined the National Cycle Network (NCN) local route 44 towards Didcot. I sometimes wonder if anyone from Sustrans has actually cycled some of these routes, because they are occasionally crazy, making you drop down kerbs and cycle along potholed and dangerous tracks.

Through the beautifully managed villages of Lockinge and …

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Posted: Monday, Sep 15, 2008 at 02:31 PM by jochta

The Bike

1 comment posted in: Blog: LEJOG

After much umming and arring over make, model and framesize I eventually plumped for a Ridgeback Panorama. Should I play safe and get a Claud Butler or a Dawes, or play the wildcard? This guys blog convinced me the Ridgeback could do it and would be the bike for me. NickTheTrick cycled from Scotland, across the low countries to Denmark and up through Norway on one! It’s early days for my Ridgeback but so far so good as you will see in the training entries to come.

Patrick Taylor has written a nice review of the bike.

Posted: Monday, Sep 15, 2008 at 12:44 PM by jochta

Land’s End to John O’ Groats

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You may have spied a new category on the left. LEJOG, the classic British cycling tour from the bottom left of Great Britain to the top right. And I’m doing it (hopefully) next spring/summer. Over 1000 miles of cycling in around 18 days. I’ve got the touring bike and I’m now officially in training. Follow my training progress here and when the time comes I will hopefully be able to do daily blogs of progress.

Posted: Monday, Sep 15, 2008 at 12:39 PM by jochta



2 comments posted in: Buttons

Colour me impressed. I’ve not used Internet Explorer for a long time (other than for testing purposes) and been a Firefox user since it was called Firebird. I found it quicker, cleaner and of course it had tabbed browsing long before IE copied it. However I’ve been a bit mixed over FF3, it’s slower and even more of a memory hog than FF2 was in my opinion and I’ve had a few crashes. Not enough to make me even contemplate using the awful IE7 though.

Now today Google released Chrome and it seems bloody marvellous so far. Boy is it quick as well, makes IE7 and FF3 seem very slow in comparison. It’s worked with every site I’ve tried and I do like the form highlighting. I’m using it right now as a matter of fact! I’ll use it for a few days and see how it goes. One thing I have noticed is it doesn’t seem to work very well with cookies but maybe I need to explore some options.

Posted: Wednesday, Sep 03, 2008 at 01:59 PM by jochta

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