Cycling to exams in subfusc


It’s not all CdA and lightweight components at Cycling Uphill. I do get a lot of joy seeing students in sub-fusc riding to their exams. Perhaps because:

A) It reminds me of the stress of doing my own exams, but now I have the luxury of being an old man who can sit by the side of the road knowing that exam results don’t really matter than much. (Not for my career path anyway…)

B) Riding in sub-fusc at 8mph down Oxford High Street is about as far removed as you can get from timetrialling along a dual carriageway at 30mph. It’s all very sedate. And that’s cycling

riders exams
Cyclists off to exams by Weston Library (old New Bodleian)


You’re not allowed to wear you hat until you’ve passed your exams, but you have to carry it in. Brilliant It’s like in the old days, you used to have to have a bell on your bicycle to start RTTC events, but you could ditch it after the first mile (like John Woodburn used to)


A badly formed team time trial under the Bridge of Sighs
It’s quicker by bike
Oxfordshire stone looks good.
Physics exam: can you calculate the CdA drag of a gown, when cycling through Oxford at 12mph?
keep smiling
Oxford students recently had a vote to retain compulsory sub-fusc. In Cambridge the tradition has died out.
A mix of people cycling through town.
cycling to work. Saddles perhaps a bit low.
Sub fusc
Time for pre-exam coffee
I shot the Sheriff, but I did not shoot the pigeon. (I’m becoming like my dad)


A photo from a previous year. Red Carnation for last exam.


enjoying the bike


3 thoughts on “Cycling to exams in subfusc”

  1. Having finished my final finals exam, I indulged in a little ‘celebrating’ in town for a number of hours. Then as the afternoon wore on, I decided that it was time to head home for some sustenance. Unfortunately, with my senses a little dimmed, I badly misjudged the braking effort required at one particular point. As a result I ended up over the handlebars, in sub fusc, on the deck in the middle of the Cowley Road.

    As any true cyclist should, I picked myself up and limped to the pavement as if nothing at all had happened, bravely rejecting all offers of assistance. Who knows what the onlookers thought of the ungainly student in the ill-fitting suit and white bow tie, complete with hole in the knee and blood dripping to match the colour of his pin hole flower…


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