Tour De Ricky – 01 June 2024

Chapeau to Liam

One of the highlights of the Willesden calendar is the excellent Tour de Ricky. This year it was held on 1st June and it was an amazing day, all impeccably organised and promoted by our remarkable club mate, Liam FitzPatrick. Central to this great day is a series of three Audax rides, depending on your appetite you could choose from a 200km, a 100km or a 50km ride. So something for every one. All spaces on the three rides were sold-out way in advance of the big day, with some 350 riders in total taking part.

The day kicked off just after 7:00am with the sign on for the 200km riders, all whom were keen to tackle the from Rickmansworth up to Silverstone before looping south to the Thames at Benson and returning home via Marlow. The 119 riders signed up for this ride were facing some 2,000m of climbing, so they were getting full value for their entry fee.

No sooner had the 200km riders departed, than we were straight into processing the 139 riders for the 100km route. This was a route for fans of the Chilterns. The route takes in Amersham, Tring, and Stewkley before tackling the iconic climb up Ivinghoe Beacon on the way home via Chesham and Latimer.

Finally it was the turn of the 50km riders. It featured a simple run out on quiet roads towards Prestwood and incorporated a magnificent cake-laden stop at Great Missenden. This was a lovely social ride and it was very popular with Willesden CC riders – we know a good cake stop when we see one! This control was manned by John Wheatley, who just two weeks earlier had been involved in a very serious road incident, where he was hospitalized with numerous injuries. John was amazing and it was good to see him on the road to recovery. John was joined by Lynn Wheatley and Ian Oliver to process the riders brevet cards.

The Willesden CC (Cake club??)

“Let them eat cake”

Early in the afternoon riders from all three events started to roll in to the finish. It made for a great atmosphere with a host of other cycling and wellness activities all well under way as the riders chilled out after their rides. Activities included yoga and Zumba sessions, Nordic walking and forest exploring, plus there was an impressive array of “trade stands”, some of which were giving away some very impressive cycling freebies. In the midst of all this Liam was doing a roaring trade selling the 2024 Tour de Ricky souvenir edition caps, which were designed by Peter Kelsey’. Profits from cap sales and entry fees helped raise significant funds for Woodoaks Farm, the Chiltern Air Ambulance, World Bicycle Relief, the Watford Cycle Hub, and for St Peters and St Pauls in Great Missenden who housed the control points

Gt Missenden Control point

Liam said “There were so many high points for me – the dad and two very small boys who finished the 50k ride, the tales of new friends made on the road, the reuniting of at least one pair of school friends”.
He added that “ If there was a prize for feeding, the Oscar would have to be shared by the crew at Stewkley and the incredible bakers at Great Missenden; it wasn’t just the volume and quality, it was the love and care that knocked it out of the park.”

Well done Liam for running this amazing day. Also a big “Chapeau” for all the chapeau you shifted – they were everywhere art the finish and a big hit with the riders.

Miles Back
10th June 2024

Brevet card processing. A major task with 350 riders signing on.

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