The Oyster Loop

The Oyster Loop is an eight-day circuit of London for hybrid bikes using Oyster/contactless cards to get to rail/tube stations at the start and end of each day. The advantage of starting and finishing rides at Oyster card stations is the ease of getting through the station with a bike. Each day consists of a ride of 50-70km suitable for a hybrid bike, culminating in the ascent of Box Hill.

Oyster Wheel Summary map

When researching a London orbital ride I could only find single day marathons riding as quickly as possible whilst keeping as close as possible to the M25, so I decided to create one myself. I needed some rules to frame this:

  1. it should be capable of being undertaken by normal cyclists using hybrid bikes.
  2. the route should be accessible easily by public transport from central London for each day, using contactless/Oyster to facilitate passage through the stations.
  3. it should be prioritised to off-road but capable of being ridden by normal touring bikes with 38c tyres
  4. it should use Sustrans routes where available, and other local authority routes such as the Surrey Cycleway when not, using local bridleways and finally roads when these were unavailable.
  5. Each day should be 50-70km in length, so 4-5hrs cycling time
  6. It should finish with a climb of Box Hill

Thus was created the Oyster Loop. 

UPDATE: I had been holding back my detailed information on the Oyster Wheel Days until I had the opportunity to re-ride them and check them for accuracy. However due to Coronavirus “shielding”, I will be unable to ride them for some months. I have therefore decided to publish the draft copies under each Day’s description in case others get the chance to use them before me. The route card is a simple table of directions and distances, where the description is a book chapter with the same directions, but also detailed maps and a commentary on the route and places of interest.

I have also now pulled together all the individual descriptions into a single guidebook, which again can be found under the menu. As with the individual documents, this is also draft until I have been able to check all directions.

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