The thought receptacle

Stephen's mental dustbin

Sat, 09 Apr 2011

Three-quarter turn

Here's my route back from a hard most-of-a-Saturday's computer science. It's an elliptical, eccentric route which will have to make do with an elliptical, eccentric description. The nice bits: Islip is a lovely, charming, massively picturesque village that I should go back to. The B-road from there to Wheatley is good cycling: it has some nice views, a few tough climbs, and, sadly, slightly too much traffic. Wheatley is charming, but punishingly down-then-up the way I traversed it. The next bit is the best: down to Chiselhampton mostly via single-track roads, including an absolutely fabulous panoramic vista shortly before popping out onto the B480. From then on it's pleasant rather than spectacular, but pleasant it certainly was. The only slight flaw was that the “just slightly too much traffic” theme continued, particularly on the B-road back from Abingdon to Cumnor but also between Chiselhampton and Clifton Hampden. None of the roads were busy per se, just rarely quiet enough to get that relaxed country feel, with the exception of the Wheatley--Chiselhampton section.

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One of the annoying things about Oxford from a cycling point of view that surprisingly many places are poorly connected other than by busy roads. The main reason is the Thames. In the south of Oxford, there are (I believe) no bridges over the Thames, except rail bridges, between Sandford and Abingdon. Sandford is itself unreachable from the south except by the A-road. This accounts for the bulge at the bottom of my route today. There are similar constraints out west. In general, this and my experience today suggests that the best cycling is probably in the north and east of Oxford, rather than the south and west, so I'll focus over there in future excursions.

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