Last week we brought you news about a cycling themed episode of Midsomer Murders, with scenes being filmed at the Wallingford Cycling Festival. The show’s producers were filming parts of the episode at the event, with a murder taking place during a race. The festival organisers were expecting even bigger crowds as a result.

This week we bring you more cycling based Southern Oxfordshire news, with the Wantage to Winchester ride taking place on 19 July. The 50-mile ride celebrates the connection to King Alfred the Great, with Wantage being his place of birth and Winchester where he died.

The event starts at the King Alfred statue in the Market Place at 10am and will head south to Winchester from there. In between you will find around 52 miles of glorious countryside and quiet lanes through the Vale of White Horse and over the Marlborough Downs. You also cross the Thames Valley and the North Hampshire Downs and pass through beautiful villages and the Bourne Valley.

The event is not a race, but more a social gathering and enjoyable day out. Directions will be provided and there will be marshals to keep you going in the right direction. There will also be refreshments along the route and at the end too.

If you’re a member of Hyde900 then entry is only £7. For everyone else it costs £10 to take part.

Also related to cycling and coming up in the coming months is the MTB Marathon Cycle Challenge in Wantage. Using the historic Ridgeway as a backbone to the course, there are several routes to choose from. There’s a mini-marathon, which is an exciting introduction to the event, a half-marathon which gives you a fuller grounding what to expect and then a full marathon, at 75km. There’s even the monster marathon, at 100km, for serious riders to tackle. There’s free camping throughout the event although entry fees do apply. But under 16s do ride for free.

These are just two of the many sporting events that will take place in Southern Oxfordshire throughout the year. Keep your eyes peeled for the Bridge to Bridge swim in Henley, the main Henley Regatta, Dragon Boat Day and many more. Sign up and get in training for a great way to keep fit and be part of a community event.