Ride and Stride 2010 – 11 September 2010
Ride and Stride is an annual sponsored bike ride which deliberately coincides with churches across Berkshire being opened up for Heritage Open Day. As in previous years, I went along for the ride.
We started at church, at 9:45. After waiting for Matthew Price, we heard nothing and eventually called him. His dad said he’d changed his mind at the last minute, so my good friend Jake and I, and Peter Goford and his friend Andy Darwell set off.
Our first stop was St Mary’s, just around the corner. From there we headed to the URC, where a 20 year old girl greeted us. "I guess you’re not here for the dance classes." There was no sign of any Ride and Stride propaganda. But, we ticked it off anyway, and carried on cycling.
Our first squash and biscuits of the day were at the Methodist Church. After signing us off, it was up Gringer Hill, and onto St Peter’s in Furze Platt Road.
Onto Cookham Dean with St John the Baptist’s beautiful churchyard. There was, again, no sign of ride and stride but we counted it towards our total anyway. Down an amazing hill (where we clocked 30mph), onto Holy Trinity and then over the bridge to Bourne End.
We stopped for lunch on the grass at Wooburn Green, and took a group photo under the strict instruction of Anne Darracott!
After lunch, we discovered the cost of that 30mph hill earlier – a huge uphill section! It was so steep that we quickly learnt the reason for the name ‘pushbikes’, as we made our way up! I’d like to be able to claim that I would have cycled up the contours should I not have had to wait for the others at the top, but in truth I’m not sure I legitimately can…
A couple of the churches that Peter navigated us to didn’t exist anymore: one was a builder’s yard, the other a new housing estate. It went to show the uselessness of a 15-year-old map!
We finished the Bike Ride with a small bit of Slough and a fair chunk of Burnham. After a great day, Taplow was our last stop. From there, we all separated as we made our way to our respective homes, thanking Peter for getting us about in one piece.
I’d like to thank Peter Goford for route-planning, and Jake and Andy for their company. In total, Peter raised around £100 for good causes. We look forward to being joined next year by a larger contingent of the church congregation!