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Just two days after my longest ride of the year I set off on another, even longer.  Ever since my ride to Cambridge last year I had promised myself a ride to Oxford to complete the ‘pair’ of University cities within striking distance of home for a days ride.  They are pretty much equidistant and in opposite directions.  This ride totalled a little bit under 158km or 99 miles.Screen Shot 2015-06-18 at 19.24.01

Along with needing the fitness I had been waiting for nice weather with a favourable wind for the return leg.  Yesterday seemed to be just that day but I omitted to check the strength of the wind.  It was pretty strong going out, therefore an average speed of 21kph on the outward leg was compensated for by a return leg averaging 26kph.

The trust steed of the day, Specialized Allez, Audax equipped.

The trusty steed of the day, Specialized Allez, Audax equipped.

I managed a selfie photo as proof of my arrival..

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Me and the Radcliffe Camera building.. ( An unintentionally appropriate name for a selfie subject I guess? )

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My bike is the one leaning on the gate post, but bicycle space was hard to find here..

Oxfords version of the 'Bridge of Sighs'..

Oxfords version of the ‘Bridge of Sighs’..

I have to say I could easily have arrived somewhere in Japan judging by the amount of Japanese people I saw and heard.  It was easily the most predominant language I heard while I sat eating my lunch,  half a Soreen malt loaf eaten ‘neat’ from the packet.. and a banana!

There was one little ‘hiccup’ on the route a few miles before Bicester. I had planned to use a road that when I got a mile or so up it ended in a sign saying “No admittance and cycling prohibited”, According to my map it was a public right of way but i obeyed and retraced my steps (pedals?) carried on another way to Bicester with not too much extra mileage.

Over the last two rides I have quite enjoyed the exploration of new roads away from my home territory and roads frequently pedalled.  It made me think about more rides further afield.  I had already planned some 200km Audax rides over the coming months which I enjoy for the same reasons of discovering new roads to ride and scenes to see.  It was as preparation for the upcoming 207km Tour of the Cotswolds on the 28th of this month that I made these two recent longer rides, just to test my legs.  I have to say I fancy some more on a regular basis..

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