So, as part of the brotherhood social scene, brother Tim had contacted folk at Wythall ecclesia and suggested we all went cycling together Saturday 21st April 2018 (Wormsley Estate, Stockenchurch, High Wycombe, HP14 3YL) and do the Brewin Dolphin Ridgeway Rouleur sportive event in Oxfordshire, being about half way for all of us.
The UKCE Ridgeway Rouleur offers the best of Oxfordshire’s stunning rolling countryside, passing through picturesque villages filled with quaint cottages and impressive manor houses.
Standard and Epic course riders head west straight away, making their way up the iconic landscape of the Wittenham Clumps, with stunning panoramic views of south Oxfordshire, before crossing the River Thames and winding out through small villages on quiet roads.
Julian had unfortunately had to pull out because of his gnome-like tendencies – if you had been at the hall early today you will know what I mean! This would be the Standard Course of 57 miles through the Chiltern Hills and out into the Oxfordshire Vale. The epic course would be 93 miles and out across to Wantage as well (not). I said we would meet up at 7:15am at the Paul Getty Estate in Stokenchurch, get going by 8am and go for a pub lunch afterwards. Well, that was the plan.
Trouble was, the WCC did not turn up until about 10am (I gather), so having waited for one and a half hours already, I had set off by 9:00am and did the 57 miles by myself! I cycled past the post office and over the bridge at Clifton Hampden (where David & Christine used to be), and then back across the Thames at Goring/Streatley. A lot of it was cruising, but two very nasty hills as well – and I mean nasty! When I got back nearly 5 hours later, I found WCC Phil Brown (my Strava buddy) had met with disaster when his rear derailleur system broke off the main frame and he ended up walking back after just two miles without ever having left the Estate – so I joined him for a coffee and then a monster burger before the rest of the WCC (6 of them!) turned up just in time for me to say hallo through my ketchup and mustard, and then goodbye! UK Cycling Events sportives are countrywide and a great way to experience a little of the thrills of the Tour de France – talking of which, there is an event called Le Tricolor which is 66 miles across the Pas de Calais in September – anyone up for it? You even get coffee and croissants on the ferry! But you will need a passport of course