Bird Hills Ride 15th April

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There was some “reasonable” weather for once as five members and three guests gathered at Bird Hills.

A brisk pace was set by Brett and Mike as the group headed off towards Twyford. At the Vineyard Brett accelerated away but, was quickly followed by Tom, who was out with the group for the first time. The theme for the ride was set as we headed towards Sonning Eye with Brett on the front pulling the group along.

A good pace was set on the lower slopes of Dunsden before Matt powered off the front, and Mike bought up the rear. Re-grouping at the top the group stayed together during the normal route into Henley. At this point Matt headed for home, as he is tapering for next week’s London Marathon (we all wish you the best of luck).

Out of Henley and onto the Marlow Road before a sharp left up Benhams Lane, where Tom showed his true climbing skills dropping everyone except Peter who held his rear wheel. The group reformed at the top and Brett again pushed on until Northend, where the strong pace caused Rob then Mike and lastly James (another first time rider with us) to drift off the back.

At Christmas Common it was all back together and then a fast Dash down into Nettlebed, where we realised James was missing. So we retraced our steps to Park Corner, where James was found mending a puncher.  It is a long story, but three inner tubes later we were on our way to Nettlebed again!

We decided to take the shorter route through Rotherfield Peppard and out of the Bomb Hole it was Mike who for the first time ever, after nine years of trying, crested the hill first. Normal service was soon resumed with Brett again on the front until Emmer Green, when at last all his efforts on the front began to tell. From here until Twyford the lead was shared between Mike, Martin (on a heavy steel Cross bike) and then James.

Out of Twyford Tom took over until yet another surprise up the Vineyard sprint as Mike again took the honours! Tom was soon back on the front though as we took a round-about route back to Birds Hill where Peter led all the way down Drift Road taking the BH sprint.

It was a 50 mile route today with an average speed of 18.7mph. Including commutes everyone did mid 60’s, with Tom doing 71miles. We hope the guests enjoyed the day and hope to see them again soon.