Oxford Club back on the road again

Despite the predicted deluge, Thursday morning arrived minus rain as five stalwart members of the club gathered at Peartree to celebrate our first post Covid-19 rideout. We had made use of the Club’s ‘Meetup’ membership to organise the ride and give flexibility over who was able to attend as personal plans were subject to change right up to the event. Our pioneers included David A, Dave S, Dave T, Ian, Steve and Stuart. Gleaming GSs, K100RS, K1600, F800 and a gorgeous Moto Guzzi ridden by Stuart graced the parking area. Today was to be the Club’s emergence from hibernation and revitalisation of our motto “RIDE Together”.

But to get the party going, a lovely man in outrageous braces led the charge to Starbucks coffee shop. David generously treated all present to our favourite caffeine fix but dear reader this is NOT a standing arrangement  😥.

A pre-ride briefing got every one on the same page. COMO has published some useful guidance on Covid-safe group riding, which all were reminded of. Brisk and smooth was the pace for today. Our ground rules for Meetup rides were explained. Members also gave generously to our favourite rider’s charity – Thames Valley Air Ambulance – which hopefully we will never need to use!


10.30 came around and we are on our way! Why have we circled Sainsbury’s roundabout twice? Has the ride leader never visited North Oxford before? Don’t ask! As we avoid the suburban roads of Kidlington we head to that gorgeous strip of tarmac called the B4027 towards Enslow. The first road-borne combine harvester sallies towards us as we seek refuge in the gutter and “eat dirt” as Bart Simpson suggests. The driver seated 15 feet vertically appears oblivious as the melodic tunes of Kiss FM blast from his air-conditioned cab! This is glorious Oxfordshire farmland so complaints guys.


Now we are motoring. Empty country roads, rapid curves and national speed limit draws out our roadcraft. The GS’s in the pack are in their element on loose gravel and broken surfaces. Dave T later reports that hazel hedging affords greater grip than tall grass as we cling to hairpin turns. As we focus on byways rather than car highways there are several busy intersections to cross.  Time to close up, calm down over-active swinging arms and nudge dental fillings back into place.


Passing by Banbury we head for pretty Hanwell and onto Cropredy 75 minutes into the ride. A serene village past which the Grand Union Canal flows and host to an annual music festival. Bob Mack has happy memories of fire dowsing with colleagues in times past. The 2nd part of our ride takes us to the west passing Culworth and Sulgrave. Lots of HS2 activity here but fortunately no earth movers on the road and traffic remains light. The B4525 is the local expressway to the A43 and our destination at Turweston. Stuart and I share palpitations as we spot a high viz stripe on a parked-in-a-hedge vehicle. Relief, looks like a contractor’s vehicle!


It’s 1.00pm as we roll up to the Flight Deck Cafe at Turweston Aerodrome. Set on the first floor of the control tower its impressive! We are expected and Linda seats us overlooking the main runway. Excellent food, charming service and friendship.  If you haven’t been there – go soon.

2pm arrives too quickly. Time for fond farewells. Lots of generous comments on the route chosen, the lunch spot and the pleasure of being able to ride together again. Dry all day apart from a gentle monsoon as we drifted homeward. What did you expect? After all, this is the British summer!

If you want to join in you can find out how to register for MeetUp by clicking here.


Author: James O'Shea