Henley Hilly Hundred audax

Cycle 172km, inc. the Henley Hilly Hundred 103km audax, steady, HR145(173) asc. 1820m

Audax: 103km/4h02 inc. ~8 min stopped. HR146(173), ascent 1356m

Lovely weather for a bike ride. I left the house just after 7:15am for an easy ride over to the HQ. It was still a bit cold, but the sun was rising and by the time I’d got to Benson I’d warmed up nicely – it was still only 8am! I was riding my racing bike and a jersey with cut-down sleeves, unusual choices for an October audax, but it proved to be the hottest recorded October day ever.

(a real Paul Kessling skyscape!)

I said hello to a few familiar faces over a cup of tea and a chocolate biscuit and then we were off. I had a bit of a faff in the first few kilometres – for some reason my GPS kept losing the will to navigate me, and then I managed to drop my pen (essential equipment with so many information controls to note on your brevet card for this route!). I plodded on though, it was a lovely day and a good, twisty route taking in most of the best climbs and descents between Sonning Common and Chinnor (this audax earns 1.75 AAA, altitude points). I caught up with the leading group again near Hambleden. A couple of lads from Reading CC were climbing quite quickly, I couldn’t be bothered to chase after them but they were struggling with navigation and were also quite slow on the descents. I stopped for a quick refill of my bottles at the Chinnor control and then pressed on up the big climbs following – it was getting pretty hot but thankfully quite a lot of the route was shaded by overhanging trees. Back at the HQ after just over 4 hours I hung about for a slice of cake and couple of mugs of tea before heading back home. Had a nice tailwind to help me on my way and I got back shortly after 2:30pm, a pleasant day’s ride done.

[Biketoaster route]