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 (or subscribers to A to B magazine), but as mentioned before, 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. When the ride is located at Meriden, the starting point is Meriden Tearooms, where a very satisfying breakfast can be obtained at the Tearooms before the ride starts.

{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 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 2014 rides

A Map of the rides planned for 2014 is here   (our thanks to Howard Easton)   

September 20th          Swindon             Note this is the third Saturday to avoid clashing with the Moulton Club's usual BoA weekend

We meet from 10:30am onwards at the Food Hall, Designer Outlet Village, Swindon.

Getting There :

By rail
The main line runs from London, Reading, Didcot, SWINDON, Chippenham, Bath to Bristol and Wales
.Other lines run from The North, Birmingham, Worcester, Cheltenham, Gloucester and Stroud terminating at SWINDON station.

 As you leave the station building you go under the rails and you have to get back under the rails further up.Turn right out of the station and walk up the pavement for a few hundred yards/metres as the road is one-way (the wrong-way).This is all part of the old railway works, you pass a cycle track that goes back under the tracks, but you need the next tunnel further on which is inside a building.The tunnel is marked for the Designer Outlet Village and is No Cycling (watch out for the guard!). Once out of the tunnel you are in the area of the STEAM Museum and the Outlet Village. Cycle across to find the Food Hall inside a glass wall entrance. The cycle racks are provided courtesy of the National Trust Headquarters opposite.

By car

Swindon is the Capital of Roundabouts (but has its own separate cycle track system). The main railway line cuts the town in two, which can make driving a little complicated. The STEAM Museum and the Designer Outlet Village are next to each other and are signposted from all around Swindon. It is best NOT to park at the Outlet Village car parks as there is a time limit which we always go over.It is best to park a little way away and cycle in. There is a small free car park in Morris Street (postcode SN2 2HU) not far from the Outlet Village.

A town map is available from here

The Ride

We cycle out past Cricklade along quiet lanes to the Cotswold Water Park, the flat edge of the Cotswolds.Here old gravel workings have been turned into a watery leisure area larger than the Norfolk Broads. Depending on the number of riders present we have a number of country pub options for lunch: We may use the White Hart, the Royal Oak, the Eliot Arms, or the Old George.

We head back along the former track bed of the Midland and South Western Junction Railway, now NCN 45. We will stop for tea and cakes along the way. One of our favourite stops is the preserved section of the line, although we may perhaps find another stop.

 Approximately 26 largely flat miles.

October 11th               Tutbury

November 8th             Penkridge

December 13th           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.

How to get to Meriden

By Cycle

See notes below on routes from stations etc. Meriden is on the B4102, just off the A45 Birmingham to Coventry road, OS map 139, SP 239 823    CV7 7LN.   

By Train and Cycle

The nearest station to Meriden (for those occasions when the ride is based there) is Hampton in Arden, which is about 2 miles from Meriden - a fairly flat ride on reasonably quiet roads. This is the line from Coventry to Birmingham and Wolverhampton, and is served by local trains every 30 minutes. The local trains carry bicycles free of charge and with no restriction on numbers. If you are travelling by main line train you can either change to the local at Coventry or (from the Birmingham direction) at Birmingham International. Alternatively, you may prefer to travel to Birmingham International and cycle all the way from there (an extra 2 miles). From Hampton in Arden, turn right out of the station, and follow the B4102 to Meriden. Take care at the roundabout where this road crosses the busy A452. Go straight on at the roundabout in Meriden, and you will see the Tearooms almost immediately on your right. From Birmingham International, descend to ground level and turn left. Bear right at the first small roundabout, and then left at the next, larger, roundabout. Go straight on at the large roundabout above the A45, and then follow the B4438 towards Hampton in Arden. There is a shared cycle/foot path on the right hand side of the road for much of the way. Take the third road on the left, signposted as unsuitable for heavy vehicles, and follow this lane to Hampton in Arden. Turn left in Hampton in Arden, passing the station on the right almost immediately, and then follow the route described earlier.

Rail Information

By Car

Access by road is easy - see road information and map reference above. Meriden is only a couple of miles from junction 6 of the M42, which in turn is close to the M6/M42 junction.

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