I have recently moved to Oxford (England) and of course the road bike has come with me. I have googled the area and cycle clubs, but there is no substitute for local knowledge.
If you know the area, can you recommend your favourite routes, climbs, cafes, events, races, training rides, bike shops and anything else cycling related
Thanks in advance!
Riding in the Chilterns is lovely and you are so close to the Cotswolds too. Lucky you!
Join the Cowley Road Condors - the friendliest cycling club around.
There are gpx files for quite a few rides on the website, and a link to a komoot page with loads more rides) so even if you don’t want to join a club, it’s still a good place to start.
For bike servicing, Reg Taylor on the Iffley road is a solid recommendation, or if you want to fix your bike yourself, check out the Broken Spoke bike co-op - they have open workshop sessions where you can use all their tools and stuff and there’s a mechanic around to help you if you get stuck.
Check out Bicester (BMCC) club ride list. Some may be a little far from you but it will give you a ton of ideas. Sadly its organised by the name of the mid-ride cafe so you’ll have to do a bit of exploring but there is a cafe map (thats a little out of date) so will give you some guidance
That Tommy Godwin big loop is a monster.
Yep - done once per year on the longest weekend mid-June. Starts 4am and finishes whenever…at the pub Oh, and it usually monsoons down for 6+ hours
For racing, Abingdon Race Team (ART) run summer & winter crit series on an airfield just outside of Oxford. They also have weekly crit/race training sessions in the summer for club/team members.
There is the ORRL (Oxford Race League) for road races. Entries are sometimes limited, so it’s better if you are a member of one of the local clubs e.g. Condors, ART, Didcot etc.
Generally head West, but if you have Komoot, linking up highlights is a great way to explore a new area and you are pretty much guaranteed to be on great roads that way.
The Cotswolds is some of the best riding on the UK (I may be biased as that’s where I live)
Here are a bank or routes all starting in Moreton in Marsh which is 30 minutes from Oxford by train or car and well worth a visit
Good shout…and Bicester run a Tues night trafic free TT on an RAF airfield at Weston on the Green - just off the A34 from Oxford. Usually 10’s but occasionally a 2up or 25 so worth checking before setting out.
I’m a member of the Condors, even though I’ve since moved away from Oxford itself, and wholeheartedly recommend. Won’t find a lovelier and more inclusive bunch, with plenty of offerings for cyclists at both ends of the speed spectrum.
If you need routes, coffee stop recommendations or a ride buddy message me. Agreed on Chilterns and Cotswolds as great spots, but watch out for gravelly lanes and steep descents if you haven’t experienced those before. Not the best for winter riding, but plenty of good options to the West and East as well.