Five Seavets (Richard Williams, David Kinnerley, Joe Coulson, Jim West and myself) met at the Shire Horse on the A4 just as the sun started to break up the early mist and gloom. The forecast was for a dry day with temperatures quickly increasing from 2 deg C to 10 deg C, considerably warmer than last year, and so it turned out with light winds and more sun than we had expected.
The route was the same as last year starting out across the fields west of Maidenhead along Sustrans route 4 which goes all the way to Fishguard, then over Bowsey Hill and down to cross the Thames by the Hambleden Weir. We passed close by a group of pheasant hunters where Vinny Jones has acquired the shooting rights: not sure if he was there today but no-one took a pot shot at us.
It was warm enough to sit outside for coffee and cakes at the shop in Hambleden Village before doing the small circuit up and down the valley, which took a bit longer as Richard had to fix a broken chain - twice. We saw no lapwings this year, just the now common red kites circling and swooping around.
Back over the weir, through Warren Row and round the bridle path behind Ashley Hill took us nicely back to the pub in time for the pre-booked lunch at half past one. Cod and chips all round, with a pint of Rebellion Roasted Nuts rounded the ride off perfectly.
Link to the Garmin GPs track
Key Stats: 20mmiles in 2 hours, and 1 1/2 hours drinking coffee and mending chains. 875 feet vertical and 1000 calories.