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I finally got around to doing the Reading to Oxford cycle ride I've been thinking about for a while. (Bikely has the route map.) Bikely says that's just under 35 miles; my cycle computer claimed just over 37 so perhaps it's overreading a little. Total actual riding time 3hrs09; total elapsed time about 4hrs15; average speed 11.7mph; maximum 34.8mph.

The ride turned out to be not too difficult; the route starts with a steep climb out of Reading, but once you've got as far as Stoke Row you're more or less at the top and it's then downhill into Wallingford and then essentially flat all the way to Oxford. The climb isn't as bad as the Bikely elevation graph makes it look, either. My legs were getting a bit tired coming in to Oxford, though; don't think I'd have cared to do much longer without a break...

Wandered around Oxford for a bit, had dinner and came back on the train. Having a hinge in the middle of the bike is handy for turning it from an insanely awkward thing to take on a train to a merely moderately awkward one...

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I cycled out to Goring and back today, which is either just under or just over 26 miles depending on whether you believe Bikely or my cycle computer. Average of about 12mph (excluding rest breaks; probably more like 10mph if you include them), maximum 39.3mph on the 16% gradient down into Streatley (if I'd known I was that close to 40mph I'd have been tempted not to brake quite so early :-)). The hill on the other side climbing up out of Goring is vicious, though.

I think it's not the distance so much as the hills that get to me. My bike's quite heavy and the bottom gear isn't all that low, so anything either long or steep gets very tiring. Also it would be nice to have a way of carrying things other than the rucksack, but my last attempt in that direction didn't work out very well...

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Probably most people reading this know already, but for the record I suppose I should mention that I now have a job again.

Since it was sunny today I went out on the bike again; about fifteen miles (although I stopped to have a look at Mapledurham mill half way round). Having drawn the route out I had a look at the elevation plot and decided to do it in reverse (ie out via Tilehurst and in via Mapledurham) so I could go down Sulham hill rather than up it; max speed 34.8mph :-)

June 2017

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