Joe Hardman cycled 53 miles in the Chiltern Hills to raise money for Friends of BCH. Well done and thank you Joe.
This is his message to his supporters.
I would like to thank you all for sponsoring my participation in the Chiltern 100 Corto Fondo cycle ride yesterday. Corto Fondo means the short route of 53 miles but it is still the Chilterns and that means HILLS. In fact 1,148 metres of ascent - long enough for an OAP.
From Chesham we descended into the Berkhamsted valley, past the ruined Norman castle, up a murderous hill to the beautiful Ashridge estate with house built by Earl Bridgewater of canal fame (now a management college), continued up the aptly named Pedely Lane to Dunstable Beacon and the London Gliding Club. From there we returned via the evocative Gallows Hill, Ashridge woods with beech trees in new leaf, fabulous bluebells and wild deer, to the attractive village of Aldbury with its pond and medieval stocks, down to the Grand Union Canal, up a frightful hill to first feeding station and timing point at Wigginton Bottom (actually at the top). From there we descended at high speed to Tring, then across to Wendover past Halton RAF camp, up a hill to Butlers Cross below Coombe Hill, the highest point in the Chilterns and up another long and nasty hill to the prime minister's official country residence at Chequers, a welcome long cruise to Great Missenden (medieval pilgrimage destination), up the notorious Frith Hill and a well earned cruise back to Chesham.
This was the second longest ride in my life and I was not sure I would make it. But unusually for 2013 we had ideal weather, no rain, no wind, cool and not too hot. One thousand four hundred riders enrolled for the three levels, 53, 75 and for the young club riders a crazy 100 miles. With the encouragement and support of a friend from my Chiltern Society cycling group we finished in 5 hours 6 minutes and 30 second. My muddy el-cheapo hybrid was somewhat eclipsed among the high tech road bikes with drop handlebars, narrow tyres and carbon fibre frames. But I didn't get a puncture and several of them did - so I was able to overtake a few.
A bit stiff and saddle sore this morning, but otherwise fine. Many thanks again for the money you have donated to the Friends of the Belarus Children's Hospice that funds palliative care for desperately sick children in a country that is only just beginning to recognise the need.