The Final Thursday


The final springtime Thursday Training ride saw eight brave souls set out for the Greenham Common Control Tower and its museum about the airbase and the cold war, not to mention its coffee, cakes and breakfast baps. Nev had to leave us halfway, but seven of us did the round trip of 37.8 mi, making it our highest cumulative mileage (264.6 mi) so far.

The busy climb from Thatcham to Upper Bucklebury was one we probably don’t want to repeat, but there were compensations with lovely descents to Thatcham, and from Bucklebury Common to the Pang.

The six Thursday rides ranged in length from 24 mi (The Blackbird) to 47 mi (Stokenchurch), taking in five cafes not normally open on Mondays, and one that does open Mondays but which none of us had been to before.

On a personal note, it was great to have the company and encouragement to assist with my training preparations for the Audax Challenge ride next week. The training has gone pretty much to plan, with the notable exception of the last week in March, when the weather took a serious dive back into wintriness. Fortunately this coincided with a need for some serious bike maintenance.

 My rule of thumb from previous years of cycle touring is that one should get 500 mi in the legs before embarking on a tour, so this bodes well. I did one ride (just) over 70 mi, so I know I can do it, now I’m just hoping for decent weather on 23 April. 

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