Kirkby Lane

I left work pretty early, thinking of possibly doing a Fondo. Pretty nice out there, just warm enough for bare legs and sunny.

I did the southbound route as far as Kirkby Lane, at which point I decided I’d keep it short. I had other things I could be doing this evening and for some reason I didn’t fancy a long one. So I looped across to Market Bosworth and came back via Barton in the Beans, Odstone, Burgoland, Swepstone.

Really nice out there and I enjoyed it, but 27.25 miles was enough. I fitted the last of the new carbon seat posts to the second Boardman at lunchtime, so I took that. All good and again I think it’s improved the ride.

Listened to more of The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch. Nearing the end now and man, what a strange book. Toward the end there’s some lengthy dialogue in which you sense that Dick is expressing some sort of whacked out religious philosophy. He did suffer from hallucinations and delusion in real life, and you can see that in what he writes.

447 this month and that’ll be it for April.


More a case of a Fondo being an excuse for an afternoon off work than vice-versa, today. I just felt I needed to take a break from it. And it’s only Tuesday.

The eastbound route was the obvious choice, with the wind coming from the NE. I did that for 24 miles, then I decided I needed to do something different. I remembered pedalling along a road called Long Lane a couple of years ago, with a nice view of Belvoir Castle in the distance – I knew it couldn’t be far from there (a little to the north and east) so I set off in the appropriate direction.

The main part of the eastbound route after Six Hills runs along the crest of a long hill, and any of the northward turns off it involve a steep descent – as you can see from this section of a topographic map:

I took a north turn along Ostler Lane, and rattled down the hill at quite some speed. Fun! I arrived at a village called Nether Broughton, where I saw a sign to Nottingham, pointing up an A road. Should I have a bit of an adventure, and head off in that direction? I didn’t. I continued my pursuit of Long Lane with the aid of Google Maps, but I gave up about two miles later. The route there looked too complicated and I was fed up of consulting my phone every few minutes. So I decided to take an easy looking route to the A road leading to Nottingham after all. I looped round via a village called Hickling.

Then I stuck with the A road for a bit, and plotted a course from a bench while I had lunch that would take me to Wymeswold, from where I’ve navigated home many times (it’s on the old eastbound route).

After I arrived at Rempstone I calculated that I’d be home on less than a Fondo distance so I detoured via Diseworth and that saw me home on 62.82 miles.

Quite a lot of new territory but not that interesting, and some of it was a bit suburban. A bit of an adventure I suppose but I was irritated by having to check Google Maps at regular intervals over the unfamiliar part. Nice weather today though. Intermittently sunny, completely dry and the wind wasn’t strong.

Three of my last four rides have been Fondos, not sure I’ve ever done that before.

420 this month, 1628 this year. This time last year I’d done 1378, and the year before, 1160.

Sutton Bonington

Wanted to do 30 or 40 after work. I was able to get out at about 4pm. Not particularly warm, but dry and mostly sunny.

With the wind coming from the east, I thought I’d do 15 or 20 miles of the eastbound route, then come back. I decided to turn toward Long Whatton instead, but just by following my nose I found myself back on the usual eastbound route after a few miles.

After Zouch though I took the turn to Sutton Bonington, rather than Normanton. I hadn’t done that for about three years – which is painful to think about really, because it doesn’t seem that long ago. Really nice along there. The trouble is, it doesn’t really go anywhere useful.

Stopped to take this pic, and to check the seat post and saddle – this was the Boardman’s first run out on its carbon seat post, which had been intended for the Cannondale but didn’t fit it. I hadn’t noticed anything amiss during the ride up to that point, but when I checked it by hand, the saddle was loose! Just as well I’d brought the appropriate Allen key.

I turned back for home. I could have gone a bit further along Soar Lane, but the road surface was awful.

Back on 28.96 miles. I could have done a few more but I was looking forward to a cheap but well refrigerated Sauvignon Blanc and a Tesco ready meal.

That’s 294 this month, 1503 this year.

Rectangular West

Cooler today, and a bit of a wind coming from the west. But I was relieved of oncall responsibilities at 0800 this morning, so today was set aside to do the April Fondo.

I planned the route last night; the idea was to go up through Coleorton and over Swarkestone Bridge then west along the A road until Sudbury, then go south to come back via what I might term the “legacy westbound route”, which runs to the south of the one which has gained favour in recent years. I did that but took a different turn at Yoxall than I intended, and came back through Barton under Needwood and Coton in the Elms, rather than Alrewas (pronouced “or ‘e was”) and Croxall. Still a familiar westbound route, but a bit shorter.

As I approached Measham though having done only 50 miles, I realised I was going to be about 5 miles short! I knew my navigation error would cut the route a bit shorter, but not that much. Turns out that I somehow made a stupid mistake on the route planner last night and got the track to double back on itself for a couple of miles.

Anyway I made up the requisite Fondo distance by going into Coalville and back.

Excellent day out on the bike, nice to do one of the old westbound routes again, even if only in one direction. The stretch of road that joins the two westbound routes is a brutal rollercoaster of hills, though.

I listened to another four hours of The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch. Really right out there bonkers. It’s hard to know whether the events that appear to take place are real or happening in a sort of psychic netherworld induced by the futuristic drugs that are taken by the characters in the book. Wild. I can only think that Philip Dick had partaken of some hallucinogenics himself when he wrote it.

Back on 63.35 miles, that’s 265 this month. Target is 350.

A Warm Day

A beautiful warm, sunny day today. Unfortunately time constraints and the irritating matter of being on call meant I couldn’t make the most of it, but I did want to do 40 or so.

With the wind coming from the south, I had the idea of doing the southbound route for 20 miles or so then coming back. But I went a slightly different way and missed a turn; I realised I’d done this when I found myself approaching Barton in the Beans. But I pressed on down through Bosworth and Sutton Cheney, with the idea of joining the southbound route at Kirkby Mallory – which should have been easy enough to navigate to from there.

Unfortunately it wasn’t – I thought it was a left turn along the A447 but it was a right. So I looped back to Cheney and decided to do something else. I went west along Fenn Lanes and did a reverse Twycrosser of sorts.

Stopped off at San Giovanni for an Old Fashioned.

Very nice run out really, though I’d have loved to have done a longer ride. My inept navigation took me along some roads I haven’t done very often. Happy to have given the S Works a run out as well, it hadn’t been out of the garage since September.

I hadn’t seen any discarded underwear on a bike ride for quite some time, but the drought is over – two pairs of women’s knickers were sighted in the grass verge between Ibstock and Ravenstone, within  a few feet of each other. I suppose the improved weather must have something to do with it.

Back on 43.37 miles.

Longish Twycross Bypasser

Fitted a new seat post to the Cannondale yesterday so naturally, with a bit of time for cycling this afternoon, I was keen to try it. Had to make a minor adjustment after setting off (the saddle was a touch too high) but after that, it was very comfy indeed. I fitted a similar carbon seat post to the X and wasn’t sure if it made a difference to the ride, but on the X it definitely did feel smoother.

It always amused me that the Cannondale didn’t have a stitch of carbon fibre on it despite being my favourite bike, but I guess that’s why it makes more of a difference now that it does.

Anyway I wanted to do about 40 miles and I did a longer version of the Twycross Bypasser. Along Fenn Lanes and through Shenton and Bosworth, then up through the villages. Hadn’t done that for quite a while, a few months I think. Just checked, not since September according to Strava. Took this pic along Atterton Lane.

Noticed more small birds around than of late – is that a Spring phenomenon? Curious how they like to fly across the road at an altitude of a few inches, sometimes. Catching insects, perhaps? I wonder if they ever like to see how high they can go? Wouldn’t you?

The weather was almost perfect; nearly warm and very dry. A bit windy but not overly bothersome. Really a lovely run out.

39.20 miles.


I managed to leave work not long after 3pm with the intention of doing a Fondo. I was going to go up through Melbourne and west along the Beloved A Road in the time-honoured fashion. However I realised after a few miles that I hadn’t brought a phone with me. I’m not on call at the moment but even so, I’d never hear the end of it if my lovely wife tried to call me. She does have a broken wrist at the moment so it’s conceivable she’d need help with something.

I pressed on nonetheless, but started feeling a bit anxious after I got to Hatton. What would I do if my chain broke, with no phone and no debit card or cash, 20-something miles from home? So I turned back.

Very much a game of two halves, on the outward leg I got rained on quite a bit and had to contend with a headwind. Conditions dried up nicely for the homeward part and it was a very pleasant ride with a light wind behind me.

Back on 43.59 miles, 120 this month. Target is 350.

Twycross Bypasser

Another dry day. Finished work early and off I went. I wanted to do 40 or so and was thinking of doing a bit of the Dad’s Army route, but it was very windy out there and I decided just to do a Twycross Bypasser. So I did, coming back along Bosworth Road and up through Carlton, Barton in the Beans and Newton Burgoland – which I hadn’t done for a while. The smell of animal wee from the farm at Barton is very pungent at the moment.

Very much a game of two halves. Most of a Twycrosser or Bypasser takes place to the west of chez moi so I had a shocker of a headwind to cope with on the first half. But the Tricross rolled along very nicely in the second half with the wind behind me.

Stopped to lean the bike against the public library at Burgoland and take this pic. Nice to see the England flag fluttering in the homeward direction.

Back not long after sunset. I didn’t need to bother with a front light, though I flicked the rear one on as a precaution for the last ten minutes.

Back on 36.49 miles.

Ticknall and Woodville

Wasn’t sure it was a great day for cycling – we had a bit of snow round these parts yesterday and I expected conditions to be a bit cold, as well as windy. But I only had time for about 40 miles, or so I thought – so with a brisk wind coming from the west, I thought I’d go up to the Beloved A Road, then turn back for home after 20 miles.

However by the time I’d got to Derby Airfield after about 18 miles I’d decided to come back a different way, through Ticknall and Woodville. I reckoned this would add a couple of miles to get me up to the requisite 40, so I turned back there and then.

So nice to be cruising along the nicely surfaced flatness of the A5132 in the sunshine with a tailwind. I only wish there was more of it.

Rather than taking the usual road out of Ticknall I followed a sign to Woodville, on a whim. Woodville was on the way home anyway. All this did though was to loop round to my usual route after about a mile and a half. Not a very interesting detour and probably knocked a bit off the overall distance, as well.

Back on 39.49 miles. Nice run out except that I wrapped up too warm and was overheating a bit. The weather was nicer than expected. Taking my Union Jack dutt off helped a bit, but I wished I’d brought a backpack so I could remove a layer of clothing as well.

I made a right dog’s breakfast of recording the ride. I failed to press “resume” a couple of times after stopping, and another time I pressed “save” instead of “resume” so I split the track. Consequently I didn’t know how many miles I’d done until I repaired the track and uploaded it.

Received a WhatsApp from ‘er indoors just I was arriving home, to say that she’d gone to a restaurant with one of her mates. Annoying because I’d kept the ride down to 40 miles because her right arm is in a plaster at the moment and I didn’t want to leave her alone for too long. If I’d known, I’d have done the April Fondo. Would have been a pretty good day for it.

My new El Cheapo cycling shorts were fine.