Training for the big ride to John O’Groats, in his grandfather’s wheel tracks, Nick wanted to go out on a long day. Robin agreed to accompany him to Windsor for coffee and a bacon sandwich in Cinnamon Cafe – much to the chagrin of those who were tied to their desks, this sunny Friday. Left Kingston at 08:30.
Usual route through Sunbury and Staines, then through Windsor Great Park – the reverse of our normal Sunday route – to the coffee stop. This is where Robin changed his mind about going home for dreary chores – ‘life admin’ – and opted to go the rest of the way, through Henley and Stadhampton, entering Cowley past the old BL works – which looks like it is turning into an Audi factory – into town, over the Plain and Magdalen Bridge, for a well-deserved pint at the Head of the River.
Here Robin changed his mind again – going home on the train would have been an anticlimax when the intrepid Mr Robinson was doing the return journey. A bit of a headwind out of Oxford again, and the homeward route over the Chilterns is much steeper than the outward, but we made it to Henley for tea and cake in 26-degree sunshine.
Slightly shorter route home, and we formed a gentlemen’s agreement not to compete in the Reservoir Sprint, on the Kingston side of Sunbury. It would have been too cruel to each other.
Back home at 19:20, tired and thirsty, but a great day out with grand company.