Didn’t think the weather would be suitable for a run out today but the rain had dried up by midday, and by the time I got home from a restaurant at about 4:45pm, conditions were set to be warm and dry for the rest of the day. Not a hint of a puddle when I set off at about 5:10pm.

I wanted to do 36 miles, to bring my yearly tally to 3300 – because that would mean that I only have to fulfil the remaining monthly targets to end up on 5,000 miles in 2022.

The wind was coming from the west, and a bit stronger (I thought) than advertised on the forecast. I did a Twycross Bypasser, going through Upton and Shenton to Bosworth.

Really nice out there and visibility across into Warwickshire from Orton Lane was superb – I had a really clear view of the tops of the tall buildings in Birmingham 19 miles away and wished I’d brought binoculars.

Saw a hare running towards me on the road between Shenton and Bosworth. It stopped when it saw me, then when I got within 40 metres or so it turned and ran the other way before darting into the hedge.

A few powered hang gliders were pootling around in the skies near Norton – one of them appeared to be coming in to land in the field on my right but it swooped up and took to the air again. Looks like a lot of fun.

It’s Scarecrow Festival weekend in Heather. I was pleased to see a lot of people out and about and enjoying the various creations people had put out in their front gardens when I passed through in the car earlier – nice that these quaint rural traditions are still popular – and I stopped to have a closer look at one of them when I came back through later on the bike. It featured the Queen on a makeshift balcony, the Red Arrows represented by inflatable toy red aircraft strung up above and Prince Louis with his hands over his ears. I did take a pic but sadly the phone didn’t focus it properly.

Was pleased to see when I got to Bosworth that I was going to end up on 36 miles pretty much exactly if I came the quickest way home from there, so I did.

36.02 miles, 574 for July.


Quite a nice afternoon – cloudy but quite warm, and only light winds. There was a mild threat of rain in the forecast, though. I thought to do about 40 miles.

Since the wind was coming from the east I decided on the eastbound route. But when I got to Prestwold Park I decided to go left through Hoton, along the “Lost Road” then back home the old way through Wymeswold and Rempstone.

After Zouch though I detoured through Shepshed to avoid the crappy road surface on Ashby Road. I’d forgotten about that for the outbound trip, might take the detour both ways next time. Pleasant change, anyway.

Back on 38.15 miles. The weather looks iffy on Sunday and I have a lunch appointment that day anyway, so that may well be it for July.

Too Rolling Stoned

A year or two ago I had the idea of doing a bike ride that would take in every village in North-West Leicestershire with a name ending in “stone”. I think I did plan a route back then, but I never got round to it.

Last night I planned a new one anyway – it came to about 36 miles, perfect for this evening because I wanted to be back by about 7pm to stand a decent chance of not getting rained on.

So I set off at about 3:30pm and pedalled through Thringstone, Swepstone, Snarestone, Bilstone, Congerstone, Shackerstone, Odstone, Nailstone, Barlestone and finally Ravenstone.

Mostly roads I’ve already done before many times on previous rides but there were a couple of parts I hadn’t done – Church Hill near Thringstone and the road through Barlestone.

I had to keep referring to the GPX app on my phone on the handlebars so it wasn’t the most relaxing ride but anyway, glad to have done it.

I was threatened by some very dark clouds and was convinced I was going to get rained on at some point, but I wasn’t.

Back on 37.35 miles (and actually I could have done it in fewer but I took the long way through Ibstock on the way back). And that’s 500 this month.

I could possibly extend the ride to take in Aylestone and Whetstone one day, but those are a fair way to the east and would add about 25 miles I suspect.

Another Bypasser

The rain came down in bucketloads a couple of times during the day but by 4pm, when I’d removed the X from its perch, only a few puddles remained. A pretty powerful wind was coming from the west, but I only wanted to do 35 or so. I wanted to examine the view from Little Orton through binoculars, which I took in my backpack – so I did a Bypasser.

Once again, warm enough for bare legs. I must be on the longest unbroken run of legs-out cycling in my cycling career. Decently bright when I set off, but by the time I was pushing along the right turn to Norton Juxta Twycross, conditions had gone ominously crepuscular and a couple of spots of rain had made their presence felt. I was actually glad of the wind I was struggling against because it looked like it was going to push the rain clouds over and make way for blue skies. And it did. Twenty minutes or so, nice and sunny. I did a bit of the Dad’s Army route at the bottom, just to give myself a tailwind for a bit longer after I turned back. Which was very enjoyable.

The sky went a bit gloomy again for the last half hour, but it didn’t rain.

Back on 38.26 miles. 463 miles this month, which is 63 over target. If I can do another 60 this month, I’ll only have to exceed the remaining monthly targets by 50 in total to hit 5,000 this year.


Hoped to do about 40 today. A pretty much perfect day for cycling, easily warm enough for bare legs but decently mild, and the wind was light. I decided on a Twycross Bypasser, mostly because I wanted to pursue my hobby of identifying distant objects on the horizon, but also because the wind was coming from the south-west.

I did a long version, going up to Packington at the top, across to Warton on the left, right along Fenn Lanes at the bottom and right over to Kirkby Mallory on the right.

Unusually, I came back home through Hugglescote from Ellistown, rather than through Ibstock. I used to do this quite often a year or three back and I’m not sure why it fell into disuse. I was only reminded of it a week or two ago when I was with ‘er indoors when she was driving back from Ellistown, and she came the same way herself. Probably 99%, literally, of my rides involve coming home along Heather Lane, or down the main road from Ibstock, or along Ashby Road from Coleorton. So today’s ride was in the 1%. A nice change.

Back on 42.62 miles.

Eastbound Fondo

I’d picked out today as ideal for a post-work Fondo out east from the weather forecast a few days ago, but light rain struck unexpectedly. It had stopped by early afternoon, but the roads were a bit damp when I set off. Not for long though. By the time I was in Coalville, two miles away the roads were completely dry, so we must have had very localised weather.

I wasn’t troubled by precipitation for the rest of the ride either.

Very annoyingly a stretch of Ashby Road near Zouch has been resurfaced, if I can dignify what they’ve done with the term, by scattering heaps of sharp, dusty gravel on it.

I turned round after 30.8 miles, because I intended to do a detour via Diseworth on the way back – to avoid some of the gravel. Nice to have a tailwind on the way back. I especially love to see wind turbines pointing in the right direction, in the distance. I did the Rempstone / Wymeswold route on the way back.

Nice weather for it, intermittently cool and slightly warm. I thought a lot about my mum, and our home in Hartlepool leaving the family tomorrow, especially as the afternoon drew on. I felt an urge to be there again one last time, to see the sun go down in the back garden where I played as a kid.

I’d been looking forward to doing the eastbound Fondo again for a while but I was so preoccupied that it mostly sort of washed over me. But it was good to get out for a few hours.

63.26 miles.

Very Hot

An intensely hot day. I hadn’t had a chance to go cycling for a few days so I decided to brave the heat after work. Left it until about 5:35pm before setting off. It was still 36 degrees C out there, but at least the UV levels would have diminished somewhat.

I did a short version of the Twycrosser, that takes a left to Bilstone and Congerstone then comes up through Shackerstone.

Obviously I took it easy, but I really wasn’t too uncomfortable. Nonetheless I thought it best to keep it short. Drank plenty of water, even though it was warm after half an hour. Maybe tea’s the thing to take in your bidon in weather like this.

I didn’t see a single other cyclist out there for the first 18 miles, after which I did see a young man in t-shirt and shorts on a hybrid.

22.71 miles, 319 this month, 3045 this year.

Up and West

A cloudy day, but an improbably, uncomfortably warm one. I downed tools early with the intention of doing 40 or so.

Because the wind was blowing from the west, I thought I’d go up over Swarkestone Bridge and along the Beloved A Road for a bit. However I breezed past the turn for Coleorton and found myself going down Alton Hill on autopilot – as if I was doing a Twycrosser. But I wasn’t. I didn’t fancy tracking back up Alton Hill so I decided to press on, through Ashby and Ticknall and get to Swarkestone Bridge that way.

Unfortunately at the roundabout north of Ashby, I took the wrong turn. I’ve navigated that roundabout many times, but nearly always in the opposite direction. Undeterred, I made my way to Melbourne via Lount. My unintentional detour had added about 4 miles, but I wasn’t short of time.

Remarkably, I picked up a bit of rain. For the life of me I couldn’t see a cloud likely to be the culprit, but I did get rained on lightly for a few minutes. It was rather pleasant.

I did the A road as far as Hilton then turned back, but I decided to come back via Isley Walton to extend the ride a bit.

That really was a breeze, 47.13 miles but felt more like 35. So warm out there, actually a bit surreal to be doing a ride I associate more with the cold and dark in those conditions – and still have a couple of hours of daylight to spare.

A juvenile grouse (I think) ran out in front of me not long after I set off and I nearly collided with it. But it escaped from our encounter unscathed.

Mostly listened to Tory leadership fun on 5 Live and LBC.

296 miles this month, pleased with that because I’ll have less time for cycling in the latter half of July.


Hot and sunny out there, this afternoon. I particularly wanted to do a Twycross Bypasser, because I wanted to take some landscape pics, in pursuance of my hobby of identifying distant objects. To this end I took a decent zoom compact as well as my phone. I’m particularly interested in a pointy little hill, just visible from Orton Lane in the right conditions, which I think is near Dudley, nearly 30 years away.

I found the road closed by a metal barrier near Warton. A charity run was taking place, with people dressed in pale blue Cancer Research shirts running towards me. I told one of the stewards who was handing out bottles of water that I’d weave through them carefully and she just asked me to take it easy. I was tempted to ask her for a bottle of water, but I didn’t. I did run out of fluids on this ride which is unusual, and I certainly enjoyed my post-ride beer straight out of the fridge.

I pressed on past the barrier and ploughed through the oncoming runner traffic, deliberately and slowly. A lot of them were walking, anyway. Don’t blame them, it was bloody hot.

I took this pic with my compact, to be fair I think the phone performs just as well in these conditions.

Annoyingly I forgot to turn the bike computer back on after one of the stops so I had to repair the track using

Very glad I did the Wales trip last weekend, would have been cruel and unusual in today’s weather.

34.24 miles, that’s 249 this month. I want to get to 500 this month if I can.


Another glorious afternoon, an ideal candidate for an early exit from work. The wind was coming from the north-west and it wasn’t particularly light, but it was properly warm and sunny out there.

Set off fully intending to go up over Swarkestone Bridge then west but before I got to the turn for Coleorton I’d decided to do a Twycross Bypasser instead.

I did a bit of the old Dad’s Army route at the bottom end. Nice down there. I went through Upton, but I didn’t see the two old petrol pump ornaments I was looking for last time. I must plan a route to go past them.

Up through Bosworth, Barton and Burgoland. Back on 39.28 miles.

Tuned into 5 Live for their all-day political celebrations, very pleased with themselves for their victory over ordinary people as you’d expect.

Back on 39.28 miles. Lovely run out. I’m almost getting used to going out with bare limbs, but I’ll certainly miss it when I’m pulling on overtrousers over jogging pants in two fleeces in five months’ time.