Staying local - Andy Med's Tour of the Chippy

A local ride for local people in the Cotswolds

Andy Medhurst took the Government’s staying local instructions for exercise and turned it into a route creation puzzle last month, ending up with a 20m local ride around his home town of Chipping Norton on the edge of the Cotswolds.

Andy set out to try and ride every road in ‘Chippy’ and came pretty close. Some of the ride is missing from the map due to Strava’s privacy settings. “Under last year’s lockdown we used to go out for a walk and found bits of Chippy that I hadn’t been too.” he explained. 

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“I tend to ride outside of town and go somewhere different. But being under lockdown and keeping things local I wondered how difficult it would be to ride every road. I tried plotting it out on the Garmin, and that turned out to be the challenge.”

“I tried to do it without going up and down the same road. I got a bit disorientated once, and it tried to re-route me when I missed a point. It said ride 20 miles to get back on course, which obviously wasn’t right. I had to use a bit of common sense to ride around. 

A small town of around 6,000 people (including Top Gear presenter and secret cyclist Jeremy Clarkson) it was virtually impossible to create a route that didn’t include going up and down the same road. “On the whole if I did a road I'd turn off then come back along it from another point rather than ride up and down it. If I was to re-plot it I’d make a couple of adjustments.”

“I was planning to take pictures of all the road names, but it would have taken too long.”

Andy’s ride totalled just 20.03 miles and took him 1.58hr to complete, packing in 1,601ft of elevation. “It’s down as the highest town in Oxfordshire, and it did start snowing half way round. Chippy straddles the hills at the far end of the Cotswolds so there’s always a hill going in or out. They’re short and sharp, rather than long meandering ones.”

The ride, done in January ticked off the month’s challenge to ride a new road. “Most of my miles were done inside for January so it was nice to have one ride in January outside.”

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Andy successfully completed the CW5000 challenge in 2020 ending up with almost 9,000 miles in total, and is already on course this year.