The first cyclist in this occasional series is Edward Elgar (1857-1934). It was not until 1900 that the composer learned to ride a bike. With his friend Rosa Burley he would ride from Malvern to places within easy reach, such as Tewkesbury, Evesham and Hereford. He would sometimes fall silent as an idea for a new composition came to him (a case of pump and circumstance, in fact). During his cycling years he owned two ‘Royal’ Sunbeams, both of which he called ‘Mr Phoebus’. This model, which had a 28-inch frame and three brakes, served him well on the Malvern Hills. Would you have fancied riding such a bike in the Chilterns?
If Elgar was able to draw inspiration from his cycle rides around Worcestershire and Herefordshire, who knows what ideas may come to you, whether they are related to leisure, home or work, as you cycle through our glorious Buckinghamshire countryside?