Willington and Weston

Really nice weather: sunny, warm(ish) and low winds. Left work at about 15:45 and decided to start off by heading up to Belton. But after about a mile I changed my mind and looped around. I’d decided to do a run up towards Donington, turning left for Melbourne at Isley Walton, then up over Swarkestone Bridge and along the flat A road for a bit. So I did that. Stopped after about 19 miles near Willington, and turned back. I was on call, and getting slightly nervy. One day I’ll get caught out.

The idea had been to come back the same way but I kept on past the bridge, toward Weston. Usually I would keep going through Aston, Shardlow to Donington, but I assumed, or hoped, that I’d be able to turn southward without going all the way to Donington.

However, when I consulted Google Maps at Weston, I realised that I couldn’t. There’s a large river in the way, so options for travelling south are limited to the bridges, and the next one was Cavendish Bridge, which would take me down to Donington. By this time it wasn’t really worth turning back – it wouldn’t have got me home much quicker – so I decided to get on with it and pressed on to Donington, from where I came home the usual way through Isley Walton, Griffydam, Peggs Green, Coleorton.

Home on 41.66 miles, about 20 minutes after sunset. Another ten minutes and I’d have had to break out the head torch, but I was able to see the road by the last vestiges of daylight.

A couple of years ago when I asked my physio if she thought it likely that I’d be able to do long rides again following my knee injury, she told me that if I could manage 40 milers on consecutive days, I would probably be able to. By this time I’m not really concerned about that because I’ve done a few 100+ mile rides this last year, but for the record – that was the first time since my knee injury that I’ve done 40+ miles on consecutive days.

Really lovely out there, especially just before sunset with the sun glowing like an orange ball in a haze of dust kicked up by combine harvesters.

Saw a guy on a Boardman like my (red) one. Don’t think he’d done many miles on it though, because the white bar tape was nearly pristine. Unless he’d replaced it, but few people would replace white bar tape with the same again.

I’ve finished the third Reacher novel now, so I listened to football on 5 Live. Sheffield United had a man sent off after 12 minutes, but Villa didn’t make their advantage count until well into the second half and even conceded a penalty (which was missed) in the first. Nice to hear Kieron Dyer summarising but huge credit to Arlo White, the match commentator who was stung by a wasp in the neck but carried on as if nothing had happened. What a trooper.

I’ll give Reacher a rest before plunging him into his next adventure, I think.


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