Five go to the Chilterns
Posted in Behind the scenes at Doxdirect on 09 May 2013
On a rather cool Saturday morning in April, five of our most enthusiastic Doxtors took part in an Evans RideIt! off-road ride (yes, being ever-so slightly mad does help in being a Doxtor). Anyway, that’s enough from me, I was smart enough to stay at home in the warm, so here’s Doxtor Steve to tell you all about it…
Our start point for the day was Icknield Community College in Watlington, a market town in Oxfordshire nestling amongst the rolling Chiltern Hills. The temperature was unexpectedly chillier than of late, so after everyone (except Nick) added another layer (or three!) and a short briefing from the organisers, we set off at just before 9am.
Our route started with a gentle uphill out of Watlington and along the Ridgeway before turning eastwards for our first challenge of the day – our first climb. This started easily enough but grew ever steeper the further we went. Eventually, everyone but Tom, easily the fittest and most athletic of the bunch, had to get off and push at least some of the way. At the summit, we had to wait for Craig who was trailing by some way. It’s worth mentioning at this point that both Craig and Steve were on hired bikes with substandard brakes and gears! Not good when you’re going up and down hills all day.<
As soon as Craig was in sight, Tom decided that we should all just leave him behind and carry on in the famous Top Gear spirit of things! After a short blast up a country lane there was only one way to go, and that’s down. The first descent of the day kicked off through twisting forest paths before heading down through a deep rut of flint which Leigh took in his stride, weaving from side to side on the high banks and making it all look easy! Surprisingly nobody punctured although we passed plenty of people with their bikes apart replacing inner tubes.
At the next road junction, Nick was sat at the side of the road holding his ankle. He’d slipped on bumpy ground and twisted his ankle. After a short rest he decided to continue. At this point we’d travelled around 6 miles and it had taken well over an hour. We were averaging just 5 miles per hour, so we decided to take on the shorter route rather than the long one we’d signed up for. The weather was due to close in in the afternoon and we’d still be out there if we did the full 31 miles.
After the last feed stop, with no more than a couple of miles to go, and without telling anyone, Nick shot off into the distance. Tom said, “He’s racing to the end!”, quickly sped after him and caught him up. Ten seconds separated them at the finish although, it’s not a race!
Hopefully this will be the first of many Doxtors MTB events!
Thanks Steve, a very insightful look into the world of cycling Doxtors, although I had heard that Nicks’ twisted ankle was the result of rushing to the toilet!!! But who am I to question the facts! 🙂