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  • Thanks to the others for doing my job for me by reporting the ride while I was faffing around not producing anything.

    The Route.

    I’m really impressed that Oliver could produce so accurate a route considering he was on unfamiliar territory and riding in fairly tough conditions. However it’s not quite perfect and I think this explains the discrepancy in the mileage. I’ll try and get this corrected shortly.

    Now to the main purpose of this post.

    The Meritorious Ride Award.

    No one knew about this because I’ve only just invented it. I appoint myself sole arbitrator and my decision is final.
    So, to consider all six of us:

    Clubman is immediately disqualified by being the judge.

    Paul and Illy were the two strongest and therefore found the ride easier than the rest of us.

    Oliver also rode strongly. However, beforehand he told me that he was a weak climber, a poor descender but had reasonably good stamina. Only the last of these statements proved to be true, so although his ride was meritorious, his attempt to bluff us into believing him to be less capable than he really is must count against him.

    Old Git (Jeff) is certainly worthy of consideration. Although clearly not up to his glittering top form (which he refers to as being “really pinging”) he still rode well. I find it hard to believe that anyone of his great age can be supple enough to descend as fast as he does on a 66” gear. I’m grateful to Jeff for joining us at all. He had promised to come some weeks back, although I believe when it came to the day he really didn’t feel like it, but since he had said he would come, he came.

    However, my decision is to name Conker as the winner of the award.
    Even though he was suffering a bit on the way back he didn’t complain and clearly pushed himself to stay in the group. He did the rest of us a favour by giving us an excuse to reign in Paul’s relentless 20 mph pace, which I for one was beginning to find stressful after about 75 miles. Obviously Conker handicapped himself a bit with his bag. - I did see him take something out of it: a massive padlock and chain which he very helpfully used to secure *our *bikes when we went in the pub. I guess that alone must have weighed a couple of pounds.

    Apart from the bag, I think with some little adjustments an a few more miles in the legs we might have trouble keeping up with Conker – he’s certainly got the grit that’s necessary for this game.
    (P.S. I’m afraid there’s no actual prize, just the honour)

    The Next Instalment.

    London – Oxford and Back.

    Since we got within 10 miles of Oxford it would clearly be well within the ability of a group like ours, using this route, to do London -Oxford and back in a day. Warmer weather and more daylight a bit later in the year would be helpful for this project. I’m not specially keen to organise, but I’d be pleased to advise on the route, and I’d try to come along.

    A Sportive.
    Recently, some of my clubmates have discussed the possibility of promoting a sportive ride. No conclusions have been reached yet, but it occurs to me that maybe this ride could become a sportive. Obviously its never going to attract big numbers, but possibly the challenge of a tough ride on a basic bike in difficult conditions would attract enough perverse types to make it worthwhile.
    This would need to be on a Sunday.

    Just in principle, would anyone here be interested for January 2011?

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