Friday, 12 September 2014

Bucks 100 - September 2014

The main ride, Sunday 14 September, in support of Action Medical Research
Training ride across the wooded hills of south Bucks, a quick 40km and 383m of ascent
In the pretty village of Hambledon on a short training ride between Marlow and Henley. Welcome, Mike, second left, as our guest rider.
So, the Club meets again, this time at Measham Manor in Beaconsfield. A training ride filled the afternoon, and the evening was spent carbo-loading and ensuring we were properly hydrated, in true Club fashion. The evening ended with some limbering exercises, mainly to the tune of Pharrell William's 'Happy', and the President and Mrs Merckx showing how this intricate series of stretching moves can be done to perfection.

Serious hydration session in full swing...
Stewie carbo-loading on profiteroles
President and Mrs Merckx demonstrating an advanced warm-up routine 
Sunday was all too quickly upon us, and a drive through the leafy lanes to Aylesbury and beyond eventually brought us to Waddesdon Manor, built in the Neo-Renaissance style of a French ch√Ęteau between 1874 and 1889 for Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild, and bequeathed to the National Trust in 1957.

Our ride took us out through the beautiful grounds of the manor, and initially south east to hit the hills around Wendover, with a good climb up into Wendover Woods, the highest point of the Chilterns, and beautifully managed by the Forestry Commission.

Our start point, Waddesdon Manor

Alberto camping it up with his NEW SHOES
After our descent from the woods we caught our breath at a refreshment stop in Cholesbury Village Hall before riding northwards through some gorgeous villages, many with 'chocolate box' thatched cottages and great looking pubs.

Alberto showing the way up a typical Chilterns hill, his new shoes making a huge difference!
Alas, no time to enjoy these local hostelries, and more hills to climb before a lunch stop at 80km, a good feed provided at Stewkley Village Hall, before we turned south towards the finish. The only negatives of the day were the universally poor road surfaces of the Buckinghamshire roads - coarse tarmac, potholes and bumps galore. You would have thought that the well-healed burghers of Bucks wouldn't tolerate such shabby surfaces!

Lunch stop. Feed station at Stewkley

Our final 30km was ridden at a good pace, with one particularly long hill providing the team with an opportunity to set a new land speed record, hotly contested between Jan, Heyddie and guest rider Mike. Once again, their speeds proved too much for the technology. All appear to have missed the much sought after 70km/h barrier, but only by a small margin. Alberto and the President, were, as usual, eminently sensible on descent but still got the wind in their hair (well, maybe not, Alberto...).
[Postscript: Heyddie has since made the claim for the land speed record, achieved on a training ride with the Marlow Cycling Club. This claim, of 79.5km/h on 9 August 2014, will need careful vetting by the Club Secretary Jan, and therefore remains to be fully validated].

Jan, Stewie and Mike steaming down one of the last hills. Note the President wisely holding back...

Another sportive safely completed :-)

Stats for the day: 111.6km, 1196m of ascent, moving time 4 hours 35 minutes, average speed 24.3 km/h.
So, another good day out, with a couple of pints of St. Austell Breweries' Tribute enjoyed by the more discerning Club members, and further hydration in Beaconsfield later. Once again, splendid hospitality was provided by Mr and Mrs Merckx, the latter a super chef and warm-up exercise leader. Well done all.

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