Just to the East of Oxford lie the Chiltern Hills and on the way is the wonderful gastro pub of The Mole Inn. We gathered in large numbers (20 riders) to burn off some excess summer holiday calories as we took to the undulating and quiet roads around the Thames Valley and Chiltern foothills. 35km of fun later we were back to tuck into some hearty food and drink and let the conversations flow.
The Tour de Tech 2022 got off to a cracking start. Straight into the Mountain Stage of the tour, we set off from The Talkhouse in Stanton St John under a Mediterranean sun and blue sky. Perfect conditions! Twelve riders formed a solid peloton and the chat flowed freely. Several new riders and some old friends joined made up the group. For some, riding in a larger group was a new experience, but they quickly learned.
After a warm up on the country lanes, we faced the mighty Brill Hill, taking it at our own pace. We caught our breath and the views at the Windmill at the top of Brill - always a rewarding place to stop! Then back to the pub for some great food from the new owners. Some of us even had pudding!!
See you at the next ride!
The days of cycling alone or with one other person are now over and we can't wait to the Tour de Tech peloton back on the road.
New dates will be announced soon for the May to September cycling season. The format will remain the same - great people, classic pubs, iconic cycling routes. We'll announce the dates and locations soon!
We miss you! The lockdown has put plans for the Tour de Tech on hold so far this year, but with the government encouraging us all to get on our bikes, we hope that you have been leading the way and inspiring others to take to the quiet roads and enjoy some fresh air. Like the Tour de France and the Giro, we are hoping for some late season fun. Especially if the pubs open!
• Distance: 40.1km
• Time: 1hr 45m
• Elevation: 435m
• Calories burned: 920
• Average speed: 22.8KM/h
A motley crew of 13 riders gathered at the Duke of Marlborough near Blenheim Palace for the final “regular” ride of the season. This route was one for the "Chipping Norton set" as we whizzed through Dean the home of David Cameron and glided past the glamorous Soho Farmhouse, where David Beckham has a new home. There were a few punchy climbs as we tracked the edge of the Cotswolds and skimmed through delightful and quintessentially English villages. This was home turf for quite a few of the riders including Rob McCrigor who used his canny local knowledge to take a more abbreviated route on occasion! Our speeding peloton rushed to beat the maturing sun as summer slipped to autumn and the evening gloom started to descend. A steep climb out of Wootton and then we were back into the welcoming arms of the Duke of Marlborough where the chat continued about tech, business and new opportunities after the long summer break. Another successful outing for Tour de Tech!
With the Tour De France over for another year, the Tour De Tech rolled on and the riders were suitably ‘G’d up for another evening of cycling and networking.
14 riders joined the stage starting at the Seven Stars in Marsh Baldon, with a mixture of regular Tour De Tech attendees and some joining for the first time.
The peleton, after a nice flat roll out through Toot Baldon took on the Col de Garsington avoiding the sink hole but not the gradients of over 7%.
The borrowers in the economy will be pleased that this percentage far exceeded the rate set today by the Monetary Policy Committee although at 0.75% this represents the highest Base Rate for nearly a decade.
The route then looped through Cuddesdon, Little Milton and Chalgrove before returning through Stadhampton and back to the pub for suitable refreshments, minus the Morris Dancers this year!
There was the usual balance of relaxed riding and Strava injected segment pace and a few riders even decided to do a few extra KM’s, taking advantage of the continuation of hot dry weather !
Two more 2018 TdT legs to go so keep your bike well oiled and sign up for the remaining events.
Chapeau to all those who attended.
Allez Tour de Tech !
Director, Corporate & Commercial Banking NatWest
• Distance: 41.5km
• Time: 1h44m
• Elevation: 445m
• Calories burned: 898
• Average speed: 24.1km/h
The third leg of the TdT set off in glorious sunshine overlooking the idyllic cricket pitch at West Ilsley.
The rolling route had the group heading south over the downs, along deserted country roads.
The halfway point was the peaceful hamlet of Bagnor, near to Newbury, with its pub garden overlooking a crystal clear trout stream.
The group was admirably restrained with a democratic majority voting not to stop for a half-time beer in the sunshine.
We put in some rotating stints on the front to power us along the course of the River Lambourn, before heading north again at Boxford.
The toil into the headwind was rewarded with beautiful views of open fields and wild flowers as we headed back towards Brightwalton. A high speed descent along the hidden valley took us to the climb past the tiny church at Catmore.
The home stretch was an inspiring spin along the ridgeline with panoramic views over the downs (see photo), before an alfresco dinner overlooking the end of the cricket match.
• Distance: 37.1km
• Time: 1h30m
• Elevation: 344m
• Calories burned: 1200
• Average speed: 24.7km/h
Day two of the Tour saw fourteen riders take on the ‘mountain’ stage.
Riders assembled at The Star in Stanton St John (with a shout out to the extremely friendly staff there, who seemed genuinely pleased to see us return to their hostelry).
We set off a little late after one bike suffered a dramatic blowout (whilst stationary during the pre-ride briefing). But, with puncture swiftly repaired, the peleton set off on the gentle climb out of Stanton St John before picking up decent speed on the winding drop into the Long Mile. Then, a short sharp climb out of Horton-cum-Studley – the appetiser perhaps before a main course of Brill – the long climb up to the windmill (hors categorie, sans aucun doute).
With all riders meeting up at the windmill atop Brill, a swift photo graciously taken by a bemused mountain biker, no time for a pint in the Pheasant, and we were off again on the long descent (“4km for free!”).
At the 25km mark, we were greeted by the welcome sight of the Mott family handing around a fruitbowl full of jelly babies. Then finally, one last climb back into Stanton St John (and a myriad potholes) stood between the peleton and supper – each swiftly despatched.
A great ride with much conversation (and just a modicum of downhill competion) – without a doubt, the next tech unicorn will have found its roots in a chance meeting and a deal struck on the Tour de Tech.