South Bucks Winter Warmer Audax

December 3, 2012

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The ride started at Little Kimble, Buckinghamshire, went south to Whitchurch in Hampshire, across to Alton and then back up the start via Henley-on-Thames. The route was mostly on fairly quite lanes with a few sections on main roads but they weren’t too busy. The only exception was the A321 into and the A4155 out of Henley-on-Thames where the drivers were particularly impatient. This section wasn’t originally part of the main route but had to be added due to road closures following the recent flooding.

There wasn’t much ice in the lanes but we were extra careful on downhills and shady corners. After all, it only takes one patch to ruin a ride. A couple of the lanes were a little slushy in places and the private lane to Blounce House was very muddy but nothing too troubling.

As you can see for the elevation profile above, it was a little lumpy but total elevation gain was only around 1,600 metres so not too taxing.

There were six controls in total, three “proof of passage” and three info. We spent far too long at the first two controls and, when combined with three puncture stops and numerous pee stops, it meant the last ninety-ish minutes were ridden after sunset – not ideal. We made it back the finish with only ten minutes before the hourly train back towards London so raced off rather than stay and enjoy some of the warm food and drinks provided by the organiser. This is why I love Audax rides and it was a shame to pass it up. Next year…

Full ride details on Strava here.

It was quite a chilly ride with the temperature averaging only 3° but good clothing choices meant I was perfectly comfortable. Seeing as you asked, I had a pair of lightweight merino wool glove liners under SealSkinz All Weather Cycle Gloves so my hands were fine. Perhaps what helped was that my core was kept warm by a sleeveless Under Armour synthetic base, a long sleeved Helly Hansen merino base, a Windtex winter jacket and a windproof gilet. My feet were in DeFeet Woolie Boolie socks and Northwave winter boots and I had a wool hat from Prendas on under my helmet and a buff protecting my neck. Legs were fine with regular Santini bib shorts and a pair of Pearl Izumi tights.

That’s it for organised rides for this year. I’m planning to ride the Willy Warmer on Jan 19 so it will be back to regular Saturday club rides and the infinite fun that is indoor roller and turbo sessions until then.

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