On Sunday July 1st, 12 intrepid Enotria staff and some very generous friends assembled in Walpole Park, Ealing, West London, with their push bikes polished and finely tuned.
Our objective : Oxpens Meadow, Oxford, some 60 miles away. Weather: windy, sunshine and showers. But mainly windy.
So off we set, through the West London suburbs of Hanwell, Hillingdon and Harmondsworth. Not much scenery there. But cross the M25 and suddenly the roadsides are leafy and the smells much more pastoral. Through Iver and Burnham Beeches, over the river at Cookham, and things getting more and more picturesque.
Past Taplow and the hills started to get challenging. One pretty big one followed by a much bigger one. I said to fellow riders at the next refreshment stop, "Well guys I think we're pretty much through the Chilterns, so should be downhill from now on." Little did I know that the straight road to Christmas Common was straight - up! About a mile or maybe more of ridiculously steep, sweat inducing track. Once to the top, vertiginous descent into Watlington. We'd done the worst. But we still had 18 miles into the wind to reach Oxford.
The approach to Oxford isn't, to be honest, the highlight of the journey. Cowley interchange could never be described as one of its highlights. But the fact that we're almost there is enough. We toil the last two miles to collapse in a heap at the end of the ride.
We raised over £3,600 for our company charity, Taylan's Project. A huge 'bravo' to Ruth and Alex, Mark, Sergio, Danyel, Andy, Daniela (and her dad Alberto), Claire, Tim, Robert, Igor, Anna and our friends Andrea Cecchi and Bob. Brilliant effort!
Above L-R Anna, Alberto, Tim, Mark, Daniela, Igor, Andy, Bob, Sergio, Danyel (in helmet & suntan), Andrea, Ben, Ruth, Alex. Claire and Robert not pictured.