New roads and sunshine - 18 riders head to Muddy Boots on the 18th

Not the most auspiciuos start to the ride for me today as my gear cable snapped within a mile of home - so I had to race back, nick my daughters bike which needed pedals and head back out. Luckily we had pre planned the route so I knew that the group would be heading off towards Clivedon and I met the 17 strong peleton en route.  It was a beautiful sunny day, and as usual we tried to plan a route that would head into the wind on the way out, so that we would have a tailwind to push us home. Today that meant heading NE, which is not a usual route for us, so Dave came up with a ride to stop at a new cafe near Chalfont St Giles.

Our route took us up through Beaconsfield towards the Chalfonts.  The views through the Chilterns were stunning.  There was a good headwind, and also fair amount of climbing on the way, but that kept us toasty and warm on a fairly chilly morning.  The roads were new for most of us, and at a lovely, if remote, cross roads which on consultation with my strava map I find out was near Witheridge Wood, the group split with Gurpal leading a slightly slower group the short way to the Muddy Boots cafe, and Dave leading the rest of us the longer way through Little Missendon and Amersham.

The roads were variable (for anyone that does Audaxing these sorts of minor country roads would be very familiar), but thats what winter riding is all about - finding new roads, slowing down a bit and enjoying the scenery - and by the coffee shop my front tyre was flat....damn, just not my morning - I also forgot to take my pump off my bike to put it onto my daughters.  Phew, Gurpal and Hewan to the rescue!  It was a leaky valve which they sorted at the coffee shop, where the two groups met up again.

The cafe did a great coffee and cake - and also provided blankets which was a godsend as it was very cold once we sat down! Yes some of us looked a bit odd but needs must!

Leaving the cafe, the shorter group turned left, slightly longer went right and it was a tailwind, and mainly downhill, back through Chalfont St Peter, Gerrards Cross and home. 

One group did around 37 miles at 13-14mph, the other group 45 miles at 15- 16mph.  Perfect!