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26th Oct 2008

Leave a comment posted in: Blog: LEJOG

As I looked out of the window at 6.30am on the morning the clocks went back it was pouring with rain and the wind was blowing strongly. Did I really want to take my cold and cycle in this? I nearly didn’t but in the end the weather further north was nowhere near as bad and I don’t want to be a fair-weather cyclist!

I met up with my brother around the midpoint between our homes near Warwick services on the M40 at Burton Dassett Hills Country Park. At 8.45am it was wet and bleak on top of the hill but there was brightness to the north where the weather was coming from. We had worked out a route, partly from a route in an old book of cycling on Warwickshire lanes and partly out of my head (and to avoid the bridleway bit which I thought might be muddy!).

The Country Park is right on top of a hill and has a distinctive beacon visible from the M40. In the light rain we zipped down the hill to Northend and along the lanes towards Knightcote. A beautifully smooth and deserted lane (Hambridge Road) took us north. The lane only …

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Posted: Tuesday, Oct 28, 2008 at 11:39 AM by jochta


22nd Oct 2008

1 comment posted in: Blog: LEJOG

Fairly uneventful cycle to and from work in glorious autumnal weather. On the way in I did a 17 mile route via Appleford, Long Wittenham, Little Wittenham, North Moreton, South Morteon and Cholsey. ON the way back I basically reversed the route but removed the loop via Little and Long Wittenham, this is almost 4 miles shorter which is quite surprising. Of course it’s almost dark by the time I get home now so don’t want to spend too long on the roads making the routes longer.

At the time of writing I’m currently running 7th on the Run.GPS Community Server for strongest calorie burner for October! Also 8th for total distance and total training duration. You can find me on their Hall of Fame.

Distance :: 17.26 mi
Time :: 1h08m18s
Average Active Speed :: 15.16 mph
Run.GPS Training Profile

Distance :: 13.41 mi
Time :: 0h53m23s
Average Active Speed :: 15.08 mph
Run.GPS Training Profile

Posted: Friday, Oct 24, 2008 at 01:09 PM by jochta


18th Oct 2008

Leave a comment posted in: Blog: LEJOG

Cotswolds last week and the Chilterns this week. This was the toughest training ride I’ve done. Not especially long but there were some ‘serious’ hills on this one. I borrowed the route from Bikely which basically crosses the Chilterns from west to east and back again in a circular route. I didn’t know many of the roads but I knew Watlington Hill was going to be a proper climb. In the end that one wasn’t too bad, it was long and steep but not really a problem.

Anyway, I started in Crowmarsh Gifford and headed north through Benson to Ewelme and Brightwell Baldwin. The route joined the B480 at Cuxham and went through Watlington and up the aforementioned hill, which measures out at 1 in 8 (13%), to Christmas Common. The ride along the ridge was great and crossed the M40 near the large chalk cutting at Stokenchurch Hill. A very short stretch along the wide A40 and back onto minor roads at Junction 7 of the M40. A very fast descent followed through Ibstone down to Fingest. Then another serious climb up Dolesden Lane, this one was quite deceptive as it gradually got steeper and steeper towards …

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Posted: Monday, Oct 20, 2008 at 12:11 PM by jochta


13th Oct 2008

Leave a comment posted in: Blog: LEJOG

Should I get straight back on the bike after a 60 miler? I’m glad I did, I did consider not cycling in to work but decided I should as a test of getting up early and getting back on the bike after a long day in the saddle the day before.

I left a little late so didn’t add in too many loops but did go up via Little Wittenham and over the clumps. This is now my favourite route, the road is almost deserted and the views in the twilight are stunning and a good wake me up. I wanted to do exactly the same route home, I’ve not done this for a long time so was interested in reversing all the hills. Which was fun, the views from the clumps in the evening twilight are even better, how could anyone not want to cycle and miss all of this?

Really pleased I cycled as I felt strong, a little saddle sore but overall it was great.

Distance :: 12.29 mi
Time :: 0h51m17s
Average Active Speed :: 14.38 mph
Run.GPS Training Profile

Distance :: 12.31 mi
Time :: 0h54m41s …

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Posted: Wednesday, Oct 15, 2008 at 12:43 PM by jochta


12th Oct 2008

Leave a comment posted in: Blog: LEJOG

Longest and hilliest training run to date. Joined my Brother-in-Law for a long ride through the Cotswolds in a big loop around Chipping Norton via Stow-on-the Wold (the highest Costwold town apparently). We started in Middle Barton for an undulating ride through tiny villages (Over Worton, Sandford St Martin, Nether Worton, South Newington, Wigginton and Swerford) to Hook Norton. Beautiful golden houses in the autumn sunshine greeted us. We were mostly riding along tiny lanes and from Hook Norton we had a nice downhill to be taken by surprise by Traitor’s Ford around a corner at the bottom, splash!

More tiny villages (Lower Brailes, Sutton-under-Brailes, Stourton, Cherington, Little Wolford, Great Wolford and Evenlode), wooded lanes and undulations eventually got us to Broadwell and the bottom of the long steep climb into Stow. This was our planned lunch stop at just under 30 mi and where our families were meeting us for lunch. We found a lovely hotel serving Sunday lunch, and even if you’re not supposed to tucked into the generous portions of food.

After a break of about 90 mins it was back on the bikes for the ride back. Starting with the fast descent out of Stow through …

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Posted: Monday, Oct 13, 2008 at 12:18 PM by jochta


6th Oct 2008

1 comment posted in: Blog: LEJOG

Crazy convoluted routes to work FTW! My journey in was probably my maddest yet with two loops adding 8 miles to a direct route. I almost bailed out as well as it took me a few miles to get going in the morning. Out through Appleford and then down the Ladygrove to Didcot, past Tesco on the A4130 before turning right to South Moreton. Then up to North Moreton and across the A4130 to Long Wittenham. Little Wittenham was next with the climb up to the clumps (this is easy now, and much easier than Boars Hill was on Saturday). Fast down back onto Sires Hill and across the A4130 again and through the pretty village of Britwell cum Sotwell and into Wallingford.

Another new route for the way home. I cycled with a colleague as far as Britwell cum Sotwell and then went up Sires Hill, bypassing Wittenham Clumps I reversed the morning’s route as far as South Moreton. Then I cycled to Aston Upthorpe and to East Hagbourne (includes a busy section of the B4016). At East Hagbourne I went to Coscote into Didcot and then along the cycle track alongside the power station road home. I was …

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Posted: Tuesday, Oct 07, 2008 at 08:26 AM by jochta


4th Oct 2008

3 comments posted in: Blog: LEJOG

My best made up route to date I think. On my own again after our planned ride to my brother’s in Leicestershire was postponed. This route had a nice contrast between the flat cycling in the Vale of White Horse and the wooded hills south of Oxford. Plus some riverside cycling in Abingdon. Despite a keen SW wind I set off westwards to Steventon and the Hanneys before turning north to Southmoor and over the A420 using the handy bridleway bridge discovered last week.

The wind blew me NE to Appleton and Eaton where I headed to Bessels Leigh and across the A420 to Wootton. I then had the climb up Old Boars Hill (which wasn’t too bad) and a long descent through Bayworth, over the A34 and into Radley. There I joined NCN-5 along Thrupp Lane and past the controversial Radley Lakes (currently being filled with flyash from Didcot Power Station). The offroad cycle route joins the old Abingdon branch trackbed and turns into the Abbey Grounds and alongside one of the Thames backwaters. This was another potholed and rough section of offroad NCN, if they want users of road bikes to use these paths then they really need …

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Posted: Monday, Oct 06, 2008 at 12:10 PM by jochta


30th Sep 2008

1 comment posted in: Blog: LEJOG

Lycra. I might look like a bit of a tit but boy is it comfy! I acquired some lycra cycling shorts and tights(!) and they are so ace for cycling in. I felt very strong today, it was a shame I had to go to work as I could have kept cycling.

On the way in I kept to the same route as on the 24th except I didn’t do the offroad bit to Long Wittenham but stayed on the B4016 to the bottom of Sire’s Hill. This made it about a mile longer than before. On the way home I made up a new route, turning north from the centre of Wallingford to Shillingford and over the Thames. A short distance on the A4074 before turning on to the old road through Dorchester. I then used the newish cycle path alongside the A415 through Burcot before turning south at Clifton Hampden to Long Wittenham. Then for the second time today I went to Little Wittenham and up the hill to the clumps before turning right and going back up the hill to Sire’s Hill! I was then back on the B4016 through Appleford and home.

Again I had a …

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Posted: Wednesday, Oct 01, 2008 at 10:20 AM by jochta


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

Leave a comment posted in: Blog: LEJOG

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

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