Tour of Buckinghamshire
On the first day following the start of the autumn equinox, the sun remained firmly in the ascendant for the last scheduled BDOVELO ride of the season – the Tour of Buckinghamshire, out of Harleyford Golf Club. Following introductions to new faces and the usual fuelling up on bacon rolls and coffee, the BDOVELO peloton faced an initial challenge navigating the legions of golfers - something about an impending Ryder Cup event – to get out and on to the open road but once we broke free, the fabulous rural lanes and cheeky climbs of the county awaited.
Initially those lanes had a seemingly magnetic effect on HGV drivers (no signs of a shortage here!), which slowed proceedings a tad, allowing for a sensible warm up before we hit some sharp hills, when some started to regret succumbing to those bacon rolls! Two abreast cycling was generally the order of the day, allowing a very healthy degree of chat, banter and the making of new acquaintances; so the primary aim of the day was achieved early on! Those that fancied a cheeky challenge then descended off the Chilterns and onto the Oxfordshire plains, before then immediately conducting an 'about turn' and ascending Watlington Hill, familiar to the Iconic Cycling Events team as the location for a charity fundraising 'Everesting' event earlier this year. After that little 'KOM' challenge, we could reflect on the prospect of doing it another 85 times to summit Everest at 8849 metres!
Refuelled at the top of Watlington Hill, a speedy section allowed some 'chain gang' fun into Henley, before unclipping to cross the River Thames via the lock footpath at Hambleden; no takers for wild swimming at that point despite the sunshine! The inevitable sting in the tail ascent followed before returning to the club at Harleyford.
Over lunch, we were regaled by Richard Grigsby, now Director of Iceni Cycles and, amongst a host of other cycling ventures, the founder of Cyclescheme. Richard provided a fascinating insight into the development and potential of electric cargo bikes and Iceni's place within that market - definitely one to watch.
So, another successful day networking on the bike and great preparation for those lucky BDOVELO riders destined to enjoy the BDOVELO Tour to Girona 1-4 October. There is a growing interest in chancing our arm with one more ride before that Autumn equinox really takes hold, so watch this space as they say! It’s also time to put the BDOVELO end of season finale at the Pinarello store in London on 24 November in your diaries. One not to miss - we look forward to seeing you there.