Monthly Archives: September 2012

The Social Roundup (& Tomorrow’s Ride)

It was great to see so many Velos together on Wednesday evening – thanks for rolling up for a stationary chat, bite to eat and a bit of discussion about the group and where we go from here.

Two years ago, 3 chaps sat in the Rose & Crown saying “it would be great if we had a few people to cycle with who fancy a chat & a pint too”.  Now, those 3 guys have over 90 friends they email every week and cycle with people travelling from as far afield as Cornwall, Belgium & Holland to join them in our stunning Chilterns countryside.  Some have cycled for years and some have just been out and bought their first bike.

It has become a local cycling group with a strong social side; a friendly bunch who just want to jump on a bike and have some fun whilst clocking up some – in some instances, significant – miles.

Andy reported that he is discussing with British Cycling about us being a social cycling group and is waiting to hear about us getting accreditation from them – watch this space.

The technical department suggested that our Facebook page might be a good medium for those “anyone around for a ride today/tomorrow” type conversations.  As it isn’t a vehicle used by everyone, the suggestion of a forum on the website was mooted.  Several of the midweek rides are currently organised on Twitter or by SMS – which is working well for those in those loops – if you’re not and you would like to be, drop us an email and we can point you in the right direction. We will be putting a short survey together to gather everyone’s input and take a best guess at which options are going to work for the majority.

As ever, the need for speed came under discussion.  A large number of clubs (please note we are a group of cyclists not a club, so that sets us apart to start with!) issue guidelines on what speed they expect rides to be ridden at.  We have gathered a number of people to our numbers by our “as fast as the slowest rider” approach – for which we were wholly commended.  That ain’t gonna change!

The Tea Ride will continue in it’s group style, waiting at the top of every hill and at frequent, safe points along the ride to re-group and refresh, with the obligatory Tea ‘n’ Cake stop, before returning to HQ.

On Sundays, the more fleet of pedal will depart at 10am as currently happens.  Those looking for something a little more tranquil will leave close on their tails but will also have an experienced rider with them, who knows the route, will keep the group together but will also be on hand to assist with any little nuisances such as the occasional puncture.  This should make the Sunday ride more accessible for everyone.

The following people volunteered to lead the leisurely group on a rota basis (if you’ve been missed off or would like to step up, please let us know):- Dodd, John Hegs, Dan R, Jim, Iona, Martin, Mary, Pete, Gary, Andy B, Ian (as in ‘& Jacky’), Angela.  They will receive an email reminding them it’s their turn on the forthcoming weekend and will ensure someone can cover for them if they are unable to ride.

There are various midweek rides – off road & The Soup Ride, for example.  It is proposed that there are additional, mid-week web postings & emails detailing the plans for these (or how to contact whoever is organising them).

Following the success of the recent Historic Churches ride, the Normandy Invasion & the “Back from Northampton” ride, it was mooted that more of these longer/all day leisure rides should be organised.  Anyone who has any suggestions or ideas of routes – please feel step forward with your thoughts or half-thoughts (there’s plenty of opinions in the group who can help develop an idea), suggest a date or place and together we can have some great days out.

In that vein, again come the request for more input on routes for each week.  We use to plot them out currently.   If you have some ideas, plot it out and email it in – or just send us a message with some directions & village names on it and we can add it to our list of published routes.

Over a last beer or two, we rounded up with some great comments from the group about how the informality, lack of competition (aside from the odd Strava moment or two!) & “the more the merrier” attitude has been so appealing, welcoming and encouraging.  Especially to those who were also “just looking for a few people to cycle with”.

Well done everyone – you are what makes the group what it is!

(Now, who said they would organise the Christmas get together …..?!)

And as for tomorrow’s ride ….. it’s here!



I am told that as we grow older our noses and ears continue to grow. I have not taken a tape measure to either one of these features although I can confirm both seem sufficiently big for my head. Another thrity years or so growth will undoubtably give me an advantage in being selected for a starring role in a Disney movie.

I am also told also that memory loss is also a common trait. Naturally enough I am unable to recall the source of this information. For me losing my keys seems to be a common problem, only to find that I’ve usually left them in the door I last unlocked.

So what’s in store for the keen velo cyclist as age catches on. Leg cramp in the middle of the night. So whilst I might not be able to cut it on the dance floor I can certainly hop around the bedroom on one leg at 3 in the morning without falling over.

This brings me neatly onto to my last age related incident. Earlier this week I advised that our gathering would take place on Wednesday the 27th September. Well thanks to have a wife that was born in a later decade this mistake has been pointed out to me. Wednesday is in fact the 26th. So now that that’s done let me get tomorrows ride out before I forget.

A Sunday Stroll.  

As ever there’ll be leisurely paced group to make sure no ones left behind.


Its hard to believe but we have now been going for over two years, in fact our second anniversary passed back in July and we’ve not yet had an opportunity to celebrate its passing.

Of course over the two years lots of people have joined us, and there is now the regular Saturday tea ride in addition to the original Sunday ride. You will have seen from some of our earlier posts that we feel its time to look at how we run the club  and to make sure it continues to meet everyones expetations. So as well as having a drink or two it would be really good to talk through your ideas, and critisms, so that we can continue to provide a cycling club that one way or another offers something for everyone.

As for this weekends rides…………….You don’t really expect us to publis these on a Thursday do you?

So please join us at the Rose and Crown at 8.00pm on Wedneday 27 September, for an isotonic drink or two. The other one has kindly agreed to provide the velos with a free meal as a thank you. If you prefer vegetarian please let us know beforehand.

Velos Ride for Sunday 16th September 2012

This week’s ride is the same one we published last week as we swapped it on the day for a “Normandy Landings” Training Ride. Again we are welcoming all abilities and plan to have a fast and normal paced groups leaving the Rose and Crown at 10am tomorrow.

The normal paced team will ride together as a group at the pace of the slowest person, so if you are concerned about how fast you can cycle, please don’t feel that you won’t be able to keep up with us. There will be an experienced lead rider who will know the way and also can assist with any punctures (but do please bring your own spare inner tube).

Planned route

Cycle safely.

Time for Tea?

Calling all Tea-Riders!

Following Mary’s multi-county churches excursion last week, we will possibly be sticking a little closer to home – or at least not clocking up quite so many miles!  Well done to all those who completed all or part of the Historic Churches Bike & Hike (37 miles this year) and a “Thank You” from Mary for the funds raised for Mentmore Church.

So, 10am at The Rose & Crown.

Tea & Cake? Or a breakfast fry-up/brunch?  The choice is yours!

News from the Tour de Normandy

After an early start on Monday, the finely tuned athletes of the Vinghoe Velos finally landed in Normandy, clearly flagging from our arduous journey. We sought refreshment in a harbour side restaurant in Cherbourg, here we made careful calorie counted selections from the menu along with the necessary levels of local isotonic beer to maintain our bodies in peak condition, before we checked into our hotel about a mile or so away. Upon arrival at the hotel, we were all in awe of Pete’s command of the French language, as was the the very polite French receptionist, who after 15 minutes of Pete’s pigeon French nonsense, finally said – in perfect English “so what exactly do you wan’t Mr Thompson?”

Once in the hotel we re-grouped in the bar to discuss tactic’s, who would lead the Peloton on the first day?
Then we set off to a local restaurant ‘Buffalo Grill’, after more food and ‘one or two more beers’, we retired back to the hotel. After some more beer, the hotel reception explained that they had now run out of beer (surely our commitment to achieving the peak of physical perfection could now not be brought into question). A truly magnificent effort by the whole team! Graham slurred some outstanding frontier gibberish and Dave Mander done some very impressive cheer leading moves, with only the aid of some balloons, we put this down to sheer exhaustion after really ‘pushing the envelope’.
Tuesday, stage 1 of the tour, the main Peloton left Cherbourg and proceeded around the North East coast of the Peninsula, past the Normandy beaches and on to Carentan. Again the whole team excelled themselves, exceeding all expectations, thankfully the local restaurants had just enough beer to ensure adequate levels of re-hydration we’re restored. Tomorrow we brace ourselves for stage 2, 82 Km further south to Vire.

Saturday 10am Tea Ride

Hello All,

Tomorrow’s tea ride will also be the ‘Ride and Stride’ churches ride, leaving from the Rose and Crown at 10am. This is a sponsored event- sponsored by the number of churches we visit. Mary has devised a route for us. There will be a shortcut home after about 2 hours for those that need to be back, but otherwise clear some time and join us for longer. It will be a very comfortably paced ride that will suit anyone. Hills can be walked up, no one gets left behind. The weather looks lovely, cleverly arranged by Mary. Anyone not wishing to collect sponsors of their own can just sponsor Mary (I have). All welcome.

See you tomorrow.


Way back, almost a millenium ago, the tuetonic plates that sit below our land and seas meant that our european neighbours were far closer than they are today. In fact France, Belgium and Spain were London suburbs. The wet divide we know call the English Channel was little wider than the Thames is today. 

This particulary grated a little known french man by the name of Norman who promptly turned his 2CV upside down and rowed it across the salty river. After a few bottles of red wine and a quick walk down to the sussex coast he promptly stuck one in the eye of king Harold. He was so pleased with himself that he drank some more wine and threw up on the carpet. Thus the Bayern tapestry was created.

For several years Normans’ chums drank wine, built churches and created the foundations of modern law. That is until saxoviking had had enough and pushed them back across the wet divide. Thankfully the tuetonic plates moved France further away and the 2cv’s sank long before getting back.

Several squirmishes followed, as the English forged ahead with boat building technology. Most notably Argincourt and Crecy fell to the longbow, ensuring that the french remained at home eating pastries.

Now by the 1800’s they’d got a bit tired of Johnny English popping across for some cheap beers. So angered were they, that a little known man, who was named after some multi coloured ice cream decided to bring an end to it. There followed ferocious battles both on land and sea. Little Napolean had conquered much of the former English suburbs by the time of Trafalger, and was feeling so confident that he gave Lord Admiral Nelson Mandella a poke in the eye. This upset some Brits a bit so they promptly gave the infidels a bloody nose and sent them packing.

After this relations progressed, and the French returned to wine and getting rid of their nobilty. In fact things become so good that in 1914 we sent a few boys across to help them out with their German enemy. In 1918 some of our boys even came back.

This was only a temporary measure, as the Austrian with the dodgy moustache, and a fondness for four seater convertables decided to pop back into France for an expresso and some paintings. This time the germans were a bit better prepared and hung around for 6 years. It took the plucky brits a few goes to get them out and needed some help from those who favour a big mac.

So where are we now? Well Wiggo and his side burns have shown them how to ride a bicycle, and just in case they forget, a few of our friends are popping across next week to remind them. This raises several questions.

Will the hills be steep enough for Jim?

What tune will the tandem be dancing to?

Has Dod got his spoke spanner?

Will be Pete be sending back a postcard with some kind words?

Will Graham be far enough ahead to get in a couple of “grand wife beaters”?

These questions probably wont be answered, but you can give them a good send off by joining them on Sunday morning for their final ride before they depart. Here’s the route.


Now before I go here’s some news about a little social gathering so that we can get together and discuss what we’d like from the club and just have a general jolly. It will be on Wednesday 26th September at the Rose and Crown, and as a thankyou to all the Velos a complimentary buffet will be provided. Please email back if you can make it, so we can have an idea of numbers. There won’t be any cidre though.