The day started in glorious weather at The Swan at East Ilsley where the team of 12 riders got ready for the 70-odd km of cycling that made up the first day. The ride out to Hungerford via Great Shefford and Lambourn was great with quiet roads and rolling hills greating us in the morning. A few navigational errors and a puncture aside it was a good run and we certainly got the lungs going on a few climbs!
At the scheduled stop in Hungerford (the Three Swans) we met up with the team from BBC South Today who were covering the tour and the safe cycling message. Caroline gave Ben More a quick on-road lesson in correct bike positioning and we split up, with the BBC heading off to Newbury and us heading for the toughest hill on the entire route, Walbury Hill.
Famed as the highest point in the south-east of England, Walbury Hill is only a Cat 4 climb but it’s pretty steep and there was some competition to see who could reach the top first (Dan if you are interested). From there on into Newbury it was pretty much downhill and we met up with the rest of the Urban Limits team who had been running the stand outside Newbury Library all day.
After a bite to eat and some more filming with Auntie (see the final video here) we got the chance to speak to members of the public about their cycling experiences, hopefully encouraging them to cycle more, and cycle safely.
We also got a chance to meet back up with the support vehicle, Maggie (as in The Simpsons) which doubled as accommodation for some and workhorse for all of the display gear.
After a tough day in the saddle we made our way to the campsite just outside Newbury for welcome rest and food – and a shower! A little sore but with no major complaints we are all bedding down for a good night’s sleep before the longest day of the tour tomorrow.