A cycle ride of two halves
Football commentators often like to say “It's a game of two halves”. Well, that description could certainly be applied to today's ride. The first part saw us battling the elements as we headed West, especially through Windsor Great Park. Yet on the way back we were rewarded for our efforts as Mother Nature powered us along with a much welcomed tailwind!
The night before there was much deliberation on routes as an amber weather warning of high gusty winds was issued for the whole of the South East. Was Windsor the sensible option or would we get more shelter in the hills? Eventually, lured by the prospect of coffee and cake at the always excellent Cinnamon Cafe, a consensus was reached.
Come 7am, twelve us met outside Woodies ready to test our legs and release some endorphins.
One member was celebrating his birthday but he politely declined our proposed “gift” of letting him ride on the front. Out of consideration for early morning motorists we opted to split into two groups. Yet in a sign that we probably all preferred PE to maths at school, twelve quickly divided into seven and five.
The journey out saw us heading to Windsor Great Park via Chertsey, Chobham and Walton-on-Thames. Heavy rainfall overnight and some fallen tree branches meant we had to be careful. However, it was great to see all members looking out for each other and warning of possible hazards with hand signals and clear shouts.
The park itself was perhaps the most exposed part of the route. As we worked hard to reach our destination we all appreciated the new smooth tarmac though were less impressed by the unforgiving and non-bike friendly speed bumps.
Soon we arrived at the Cinnamon Cafe where we could warm up and refuel. If you've never been then the cinnamon bun is delicious and a must-try.
Having said that, judging by the burst of speed shown by one our riders on the way home, the spiced ginger muffin is the food of choice if you're after elite athletic performance!
With the wind at our backs the journey home was fast and fun, taking place as it did in glorious sunshine. Personal bests were recorded left, right and centre on Strava as we took advantage of the favourable conditions.
A slight confusion on the route saw some members head through Runnymede while the rest of us headed up and over the hill at Englefield Green. Fortunately, we all regrouped before the finish as we cycled through Surbiton to Berrylands.