Sunday, 28 March 2010
Both of the churches that I visited are fairly old. St Mary the Virgin at Iffley (in Oxford) dates from 1170, and St James the Great at Radley (near Abingdon) dates from 1290.
I hadn't visited Radley before, but it's another nice building, noted for four massive wooden posts supporting the roof. I suspect that I'm doing someone an injustice here, but Radley is also the first church I can recall from my cycling trips that has provided bicycle stands.
The round trip came to just over 75 miles. I got a bit lost coming into Oxford, but otherwise everything went to plan. For once I had even estimated the journey fairly accurately beforehand, so I made an early start and I wasn't too late getting home. Because of the distance I tried to save time by not doing as much riding as usual on the quiet back roads. That meant quite a lot of traffic on some stretches, but on the whole the roads were pretty quiet. It was a long haul though, with some fairly demanding hills over Christmas Common on the way out, and then the climb between Wallingford and Nettlebed on the way back. It's a lovely long fast drop down from Nettlebed to Henley, but there's a price to pay on the way up.
There were a lot of other cyclists out - some club runs, and some individuals - with a particularly large number in the Christmas Common area. Most of them looked pretty serious. However, there were also a few who looked as though they were finding the hills bit of a challenge. I suspect that I'm not the only one who is suffering the after-effects this morning.