Clock Tower Ride Report - 10th June 2018

The average turnout for the Sunday morning Clock Tower Ride continues to grow (15 ish today) and, given the range of preferences and abilities, choosing a route to suit all presented something of a challenge.  Fiona, Janette and Emmaline had expressed a preference for a shorter ride at a moderate pace while Deane, Simon, John, et al are all capable of reaching escape velocity.


Simon’s suggestion to “Split off towards Box Hill” was deemed a tad OTT. Another solution would have been to split into two groups right from the start but we eventually agreed to ride together at a steady pace through Bray, Fifield, Winkfield and Windsor Great Park for coffee at the Fox & Hounds.  The original plan was to head back towards Maidenhead from there.  Those wanting a shortish ride would complete 26 miles and those wanting to crank up the speed and find some hills could continue up Berry Hill to Cliveden, down through Bourne End and Marlow and return via Quarry Hill for a 41 mile ride.

After 10 miles it was clear that the faster riders were getting a little restless but at that point Simon suffered a pinch puncture while practicing Sagan-style bunny hops up the curb and (in his own words) behaving “like a bit of tit”.

In an impressive display of solidarity, the faster riders gathered round and alternately lent a hand or made disparaging comments while the steadier riders pressed on to the coffee stop. Barely had we voiced the words, “All we need now is for the Beaconsfield Cycling Mob to come by,” when a pace-line of pink and white-clad cyclists came round the bend.

Predictable banter and abuse was exchanged as they passed by and once the inner tube had been changed there was a good excuse to up the pace and chase the lead group to the Fox & Hounds where we all had coffee together. The F&H is a nice enough place to stop but they still haven’t woken up to the marketing opportunity presented by cyclists looking to refuel on a decent selection of cakes with their coffee. The only options were croissants or bacon butties (which may be nice enough on non-riding days but weigh a bit heavy on the hills!)

After coffee, Gurpal split off and headed south with Emmeline, Janette, Gobi and MarkW.  Gary and Fiona headed back to Maidenhead via Crimp Hill, Datchet and Dorney Reach. Hewan, Deane, MarkR , Simon and Taran followed the same route as far as Taplow then spent the remaining 60 minutes trying to hang on to Deane’s wheel round the extra 15 mile hilly loop through Cliveden, Bourne End and Marlow’s Switchback Climb.
It was a fine sunny morning that saw the group riding together as a cohesive social unit at one end and spread out across three counties at the other but hopefully there was something there for everyone.