Today, we were abandoned! Our leader couldn’t make it to the training session as his little boy wasn’t well. So, we had to go it alone. Could we cope with a flat tyre or sprung chain? Fearlessly we decided to brave the unknown and set off into rural Berkshire.
We have entered the British Heart Foundations London to Reading cycle ride on the 19th March so decided to practice part of the route from Windsor to Henley before circling back via Marlow to Dorney.
We set off over Eton Bridge and past Windsor Castle and very soon, were surrounded by beautiful open countryside dotted with quaint English villages. And just look at my boys go … Like pro’s for sure!
Drift Road was a perfect place for Michael to try out his new bike! My life was he fast! Up until now he has done all his training on his mountain bike and assumed the position of bringing up the rear. Gosh … Somehow typing that doesn’t sound right!
Helen, in her bright orange jacket, was on my clunky old hybrid and so was at a severe disadvantage. Never the less she did a great job keeping up with us until she popped her chain off at Shurlock Row! Michael, gallant as ever stopped to help her put it back on. And we wouldn’t have thought any more about it had Helen not attracted our attention by shouting ‘nothing to see here’. Both Tim and I watched curiously as she scurried into some bushes … But the bushes has no leaves … And Helen had a fluorescent hi-via jacket on! Realisation suddenly dawning, both Tim and I performed an embarrassed shuffle dance whilst giggling awkwardly and rolling out eyes. Apprently, she told us later she was staring out a squirrel! It would seem she wasn’t alone though as Michael was staring out a squirrel on the opposite side of the road!
The ride was relatively uneventful although, Helen appeared to be having problems with the clunkster popping it’s chain. Two very pro looking cyclists heading in the opposite direction stopped to help although we have our suspicions… For it was shortly after that Helen stared death in the face.
Heading down a steep single lane road at a mind blowing 30mph with traffic heading straight for her she suddenly screamed and froze. Her rear wheel had come off … completely! It was only her weight and perfect balance that was holding the wheel in place! Had she performed any backflips, crank flips or bunny hops she would most certainly have ended up eating dirt! Sorry … Just need to pause here whilst I mop up my spilled wine caused by my hysterics at the thought of Evel Knievel Malone!
Ok … Cue Barry White music …
Dudu … duh dudu … duh dududududu … Uuuhhhh … My first … my last … My everything ….
The remainder of the route took us upto Marlow and then onto Cookham and Bourne End. I thought it was all downhill but forgot a little 1:15 incline! I followed Michael up the hill with gritted teeth. Michael thinks that’s my smile??? Maybe time to rethink my management technique at work!
Anyway, we approached the top but I spotted a cute red telephone box just a few hundred meters further on. Let’s stop there I said to Michael. Now, I get the distinct impression that he didn’t really like my suggestion as he muttered explitives through gritted teeth. We did it though and then both stood and whooped like lunes as firstly Tim and then EKM (evel knievel Malone) appeared over the brow.
So, I know I said Michael was fast, but actually, Tim holds the record for speed on this ride as the village speedometer flashed 32mph and told him to slow down as we headed towards Cookham and Bourne End.
Our ride came to an end at The Palmers Arms in Dorney where we all agreed that the completed 40 miles entitled us to stuff our faces with the most fattening comfort food plus dessert! The Palmers was great – lovely food, friendly service and a safe space for the bikes to test.
A big fat beaming ‘Thank you’!
A big fat beaming thank you to everyone who has donated so far. We are blown away by the extreme kindness, support and generosity!