Warm, sunny and no chance of rain. But a powerful wind was blowing from the south-west. I thought I’d do the southbound route as far as Stoney Stanton, but turn off there to go down Fosse Way for a bit. Hadn’t done that for quite some time.

But when I got to Earl Shilton, I decided to do something different and took a left turn, instead of a right. I have done this before, but I couldn’t remember were I ended up. So clearly, I was in for a bit of an adventure.

I ignored the first left turn, to Desford (which is probably what I did last time). I took a left fork at the next junction though I ignored subsequent left turns to Thornton and Markfield, wanting to press on in a spirit of exploration. I saw a sign to Ratby, and I took that.

I’d passed the Poundstretcher head office a few miles earlier. I must admit it makes me envious to see people working in offices; I could see people at their desks through the windows. The signage and branding there is very much in keeping with their brand philosophy, it looks very cheap. I’ve definitely passed that place on my cycling travels at least one other time. I must see if I can work out when, from a segment or something.

I had only a very rough idea where I was by this time. But I’d only done 20 miles or so and definitely not in a straight line, so I couldn’t be far from home.

I ignored another Markfield sign and continued on to Groby. Then I arrived at a junction with the A50. Regrettably, I had pushed my luck too far. I wasn’t going to turn back the way I came and in the circumstances, the A50 seemed to be my best bet for getting back home, so I took it. It’s one of the main roads west out of Leicester. I’ve done it many times in a car, but I never thought I’d be doing it on a bike. it was very busy and to make matters worse, it’s quite an uphill slog as well. My old Talbot Sunbeam used to struggle up there every weekday morning in the late ’80s and I didn’t fare much better myself.

But I got to Markfield. From there I took a relatively quick way home which meant rejoining the same busy road for a stretch, but not for long.

Something a bit different, certainly. But I sort of wish I’d just done a Twycrosser. Would have suited my Friday afternoon mood better.

Still – 35.25 miles and that’s 240 this month. Shame to waste so much evening light and come back relatively early but it was too windy for a long one. Quite annoying at times.

Curious that so many places on the outskirts of Leicester have names ending in ‘by’. Enderby, Blaby, Groby, Ratby. It’s Viking  in origin, apparently.