Origami Monthly Cycle Rides


About the Origami Ride
Planned meetings
Reports on past rides

About the Origami Ride

The 'Origami Ride' is a cycle ride usually held in England, 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 ! 

The 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 usually start and end at the same location, which is generally 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. 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.

Planned future rides

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 almost 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. 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, usually about two weeks beforehand.

Planned 2019 rides

August 10th               Didcot

Meet from 10:00 for an 10:45 prompt start at Boswell's Café, The Orchard Centre Orchard Street, Didcot, OX11 7LG. Please be aware that the pedestrian area outside of Boswells is a bus route so please be careful where you leave your bike!

Getting there:

By Rail:
Didcot Parkway is served frequently from the east, north and west by First Great Western trains (on Cross-Country trains you'll need to change at Oxford or Reading for a service which stops at Didcot Parkway). Turn left out of Didcot Parkway station and turn right, up the hill, towards the town centre. Boswells is opposite the cinema.

By Road:
From the north or south the A34 passes nearby, exit at Milton Interchange and take the A4130 eastbound past the services. Go straight on at the first roundabout and right at the second. Turn left at the roundabout with the Mulberry pub and proceed for about a mile. Then turn right at Barclays bank and park at the rear of Baptist House, the second entrance on the right.

The private car parks near the station charge a couple of quid for all-day parking on Saturday. Please note that one of the station car parks will only accept payment by mobile phone.

Brompton hire:
If you do not want to bring a bike a Brompton can be hired at the station. You have to book in advance for this.

The Ride:

This ride is dedicated to the memory of Nicholas “Nick” Swanzy, 1949 – 2018, who sadly lost his life on 3rd June 2018 whilst riding his Moulton New Series.

Parts of the route are off road along gravel tracks so suitably robust tyres are recommended. The country roads in Oxfordshire are also rougher than the tracks!

We depart Didcot by NCR544 to the Villages of Long Wittenham then Clifton Hampden before proceeding along the cycle route next to the A415. As 2019 marks the 175th anniversary of the opening of the Didcot to Oxford Railway, engineered by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, we will take the opportunity to visit the Culham Station building which is Grade II* listed and was opened on 12th June 1844. Further information about the building can be found at www.culhamstation.co.uk .

We will then continue through the village of Sutton Courtenay towards lunch at the Plum Pudding pub, back from last year by demand. The total distance out is about 10 miles.

After lunch, we will then travel along several lanes through the village of Harwell to Chilton Garden Centre for afternoon tea, about 6 miles. The final run will be 4 miles, mainly downhill through Upton re-joining NCR544 along the disused Didcot Newbury and Southampton Railway.

September 21st         Swindon                      note 3rd Saturday, combined with Swindon Smallwheels        

October 12th              TBA

November 9th             Nottingham

December 7th             West Midlands             note 1st Saturday, to avoid clashing with other festive events                     


Thank you


Thank you to everyone who participates in these rides, and very especially to all those lead them

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