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Oxford - Bibury - Cirencester

5. 6. 2021
Peter Schrammel
Wetter: cloudless in the morning, a few fair weather clouds in the afternoon
Wegverlauf
Oxford, 60m - Witney, 86m – Burford, 112m – Bibury, 113m – Cirencester, 115m – Fairford, 90m – Lechlade, 76m - Bampton, 72m – Cumnor, 123m - Oxford
Höhenmeter: 909m
Weglänge: 138km
Zeitaufwand: 7h (1 + 1 + 1 + 3/4 + 1 + 1/2 + 1/2 + 1 + 1/4)
Bewertung: ***: Through the most beautful Cotswold villages to the second largest Roman town in Britain
Kondition: G: long, but the second half is relatively flat
Schwierigkeit: 0: exclusively on tarmacked roads, of variable quality, though
Gefährlichkeit: 0: car traffic
Frequentiertheit: d: lots of cyclists and cars
Bemerkungen: avg: 18.5km/h, max: 45.4km/h
Bericht
After the training tour to Banbury the week before, I felt that I was ready for a longer circuit to the ancient Roman town of Cirencester. I left at 7.15am and cycled via Wolvercote and the cyclepath along the A40 to Witney. I took this path because I had never taken it before, it looked fast and I didn’t want to waste too much time at the beginning. Although it is certainly not a healthy option to cycle that close to a major road, it kept its promise and I arrived in the centre of Witney an hour later. This time I took the right exit at the Tower Hill roundabout to reach the B4047. I followed the cyclepath down to Minster Lovell. Unfortunately, I blindly kept following the signs and climbed back up to the B4047, although I should have followed the road through the village. So, I continued on the B4047 and took the next turn to the rigth to Worsham. The sky was without clouds and temperatures were rising. Via Swinbrook and Widford I reached Burford at 9am. Usually that town is buzzing with tourists, but not so early at the morning. I climbed up the hill to the A40 and crossed it follow the single track road to Westwell. The landscape is relatively flat with large fields. So, I advanced quickly. I encountered the first groups of cyclists riding in the opposite direction. The passage of the valley of the river Leach is quite a beauty spot with blossoming trees and intense green meadows and trees. After Hatherop and Coln St Aldwyns I reached Bibury, another tourist town. It was almost 10am when I completed my tour through the village with romantic bridges and listed terraced houses. I didn’t want to make the mistake that I made when going to Banbury, when I waited with the lunch until arriving at the half-way point. So, I stopped in the churchyard to have my first lunch before continuing on the B4425 to Cirencester. The B4425 was quite busy, but there are no reasonable alternatives without major detours. At 11.30am I arrived on Market Place. I forgot my facemask. So I couldn’t visit the huge church with its massive tower. Instead, I took a tour through the Abbey gardens to the remains of the Roman city walls and beautiful view back to the church. I then continued the amphitheatre whose shape is still recognisable, even though it is now completely covered with grass. I had my second lunch there while watching children running and rolling up and down the steep hills, collecting flowers and trying to make airplanes catch the thermal lift. After 12.30pm I continued on the A417 to Ampney Crucis. These 3km are unavoidable. Then I made V shaped detours to avoid the A road. The landscape is pretty flat. Thus this is possible without too much effort. At 1.30pm I arrived at Fairford. The church was closed again, but the grocery was open. So I bought some more water and icecream, which I enjoyed in the sunshine on the market square. I then continued in another V to Lechlade, where there was a huge traffic jam. I didn’t spend much time there and continued to St John’s Priory where I took pictures from the old stone bridge. The next section until the Thames bridge at Standlake is completely flat. I was making good progress until Bampton where I stopped to eat an apple. The roads where relatively quiet, but there are thousands of cross-drains-like potholes in the road, which were wearing me down nontheless. After the short steep hill climbing out of the Thames valley I turned into the quiet road that leads via Appleton to Cumnor. The small hill through the village also seemed quite flat in comparison to all the other hills I had climbed before. Finally, I rolled down into Oxford where I arrived at 4.30pm.