In 2 weeks time we’ll be driving up to Fort William to begin our challenge. We’ve 10 days left of serious training before we move to tapering down, to ensure that we’re not exhausted before we start.
Today’s route took us up to North Oxfordshire and was planned around a lunch stop in the delightful village of Charlbury. We’d been here before and were very impressed with the quality of food and tasteful environment
The weather forecast was excellent – if you’re having a lazy day at home, but not so great if you’re planning a long cycle ride. With temperatures of 26 degrees expected for the late afternoon, we set the alarm for 6am to make the most of the cooler morning temperatures.
We pedalled through some delightful Cotswold villages with their characteristic honey coloured stone houses. At one point we realised we’d ventured into Gloucestershire, when we passed a sign “Welcome to Oxfordshire”. We passed numerous huge manor houses, which were a reminder of the prosperity of this area hundreds of years ago due to the wool trade. This prosperity clearly remains today.
After 45 miles we reached Charlbury. As we chained our bikes up to a railing on the opposite side of the road to the Charlbury Deli and Cafe our expectations were high. We were not disappointed. The sandwiches were freshly made (there are many options) with great quality bread and ample filling. I opted for the chicken mayo with avocado and rocket, whilst Patrick chose the Brie and bacon with onion relish. The decaf coffee was also excellent – no tasteless stuff here. Having finished our sandwiches we then reviewed the wide array of home made cakes on offer and selected a fruit scone – very fluffy with enough dried fruit. Scrumptious! The staff were welcoming and helpful and when we gave positive feedback were directed to the manager – a friendly woman called Lynne, who explained about the challenges in the first couple of weeks of opening. She’s clearly got everything sorted now. Read more about it here:
It was a shame we couldn’t stay longer, but we’d already stopped for longer than planned and were conscious that the temperature was increasing all the time. So we pedalled off southwards, towards home. It was an uneventful ride, and I was glad to arrive home after 73 miles in the saddle!