Origami Phoenix Monthly Cycle Ride


About the Origami Phoenix Ride
Planned meetings
How to get to Meriden
Reports on past rides

About the Origami Phoenix Ride

The 'Origami Phoenix Ride' is a cycle ride usually held in the English Midlands, normally on the second Saturday of every month. The location varies from month to month. The ride was originally held particularly for the owners of folding (hence the 'Origami' of the ride name) and separable cycles, but anyone riding any kind of cycle is welcome - indeed, you are welcome to join us at the start for breakfast and a chat even if you don't have a cycle or don't feel like riding! Many of those who attend are either members of The Moulton Bicycle Club, the VCC (Veteran-Cycle Club) or The Folding Society, but anyone, and any kind of cycle, is welcome.

Tea RoomsThe usual arrangement is to meet from about 10:30, with a ride starting at about 11:00. The distance covered is typically 15 to 25 miles. This is a social ride, and we ride at the pace of the slowest, with plenty of stops along the way to regroup if necessary. Rides start and end at the same location, which is usually near a railway station, so that those who do not choose to travel by car can easily get to and from the event. 

{Start}The Origami ride attracts a wide variety of cycles and riders. You do not even have to come on a folder, as the Marin mountain bike seen here shows!

The first Origami Ride was held in August 1994, but was a one off, and it was not until April 1997 that the ride was revived on a monthly basis (hence the 'Phoenix' of the ride name). The ride was originated and organised until his death in February 2002 by John Pinkerton. Although we no longer have a formal organiser for the rides, they still take place every month, unless the date (second Saturday of the month) coincides with a Bank Holiday, Moulton Bicycle Club BoA Weekend, or another major cycling event.

Planned future meetings 

For all rides, we meet from about 10:30am, with the ride starting at 11:00am, unless stated otherwise. The planned finishing time will depend on a number of factors, for instance ride length and time of year, but will always be before dusk. Riders who need to return for a specific time should consult the ride leader, but be prepared to return under their own navigation.

Note that as the location of these rides varies from month to month, it is important to check the location before travelling to an event - the planned rides are listed on this page (see below). You can also check by contacting the Origami team via email here to see what is planned.

Further details will be added for the rides as they are available.

Planned 2016 rides

August 13th           Didcot and South Oxfordshire circular
 Meet from 10:30 for an 11:15 start at Boswell's Café, The Orchard   Centre  Orchard Street, Didcot, OX11 7LG  (about 300m south-east of the railway station). It's the cafe we've met at several times before.
Getting there :

By Rail:
Didcot Parkway is served frequently from the east and west by Great Western Railway trains. However- WARNING: on this date engineering work means no trains will be running between Oxford and Didcot Parkway. The rail replacement buses operating will only take compact folding bikes. More information here.

By Road:
From the north or south the A34 passes nearby, exit at Milton Interchange and take the A4130 eastbound. This will take you to Didcot town centre. From the west and east there are several A-road choices.
Many thanks to FS member Stuart Glen, who has again arranged for FREE parking at his conveniently central Didcot workplace: Baptist House. For directions see here, or navigate to post code  OX11 8XD. The entrance is in Mereland Road (off the south side of Broadway).  Alternatively, the private car parks near the station charge a couple of quid for all-day parking on Saturday (please note that much of the on-street parking in Didcot town centre is time-limited)
By Bus:
Note that many local bus services changed in late July, when all Oxfordshire County Council subsidies ended. Carefully check timetables!
The ride :

We'll leave Didcot town via NCN5 towards Abingdon, passing the forlorn remains of Didcot 'A' Power Station, then through Sutton Courtenay village to reach the rural Peep-o-Day lane cyclepath. A mile south of Abingdon we turn left onto a mineral access road and pass an illegal gravel pit! A loop takes us into Drayton and across its green, with a big modern sundial. Back onto minor rural roads leading south to Milton village for lunch at the Plum Pudding Pub The pub's got a great choice of real ales (CAMRA South Oxon 'Pub of the Year' 2015).
After lunch we'll cross the GWR and the revamped Milton Interchange (lots of Toucan crossings!) and use minor roads and a cycleable footpath to reach East Hendred, where we find recently improved NCN544 will lead to Harwell Campus, a site being constantly developed. On its far side we'll take a tea/coffee break at Chilton Garden Centre's cafe.
Our resumed route crosses over and under the busy A34 (more new junction works!) before a good bridleway leads over Hagbourne Hill (good views) and down to Upton village and NCN544 back to the start in Didcot.
Total distance about 22 miles (the pub's at 9 miles and GC cafe at 17miles)

September 17th      Swindon combined with Swindon Smallwheels : this is the third Saturday in September

October 8th             Watford /Pinner

November 12th       National Memorial Arboretum / Burton on Trent

December 10th       Christmas Origami (West Midlands)

Origami mailing list

We have a mailing list, who are usually sent details of each ride about 1 - 2 weeks before the event. Normally there will only be one email per month (possibly 2 if there is a real need), and the list is normally only used to give information specifically about the Origami Rides. If you would like to be included on the list, please send an email indicating this to origami@foldsoc.co.uk. No personal details are held apart from simply the email address.

Travelling by train to Origami rides

While folding bikes are usually carried as 'luggage' without restrictions carriage of non-folding bicycles by rail in the UK can be complicated. The excellent a to b website has useful information on carriage of bicycles by train here.

Reports on past rides

Since we changed to using a more convenient 'blog' system for posting Folding Society news, we will usually report on Origami Rides there rather than below. The news blog is available by accessing The Folding Society web site.

Photographs of more recent rides can be viewed on a FlickR group (UK Origami-Phoenix) that has been set up for this purpose. Anyone joining an Origami ride is encouraged to join the group and upload their photos of the ride.

Folding Society home page