A mild, dry day with a light wind from the south was promised for today; ideal conditions to ride down to Northamptonshire and tick another neighbouring country box, I thought. Well not quite ideal. A bit of sunshine would have been nice.

Just for a change I thought I’d go down the old route, through Enderby, Blaby, Foston and Husbands Bosworth. It involves more climbing and busier roads, especially where it passes through the outskirts of Leicester. But the worst thing about it today was that I had to pass a “road closed” sign by mounting the pavement on Welford Road, and the first mile of road after that was covered in bits of mud and grit. No harm done, though.

After I got to Welford and the Northamptonshire border I decided to keep going for a bit. But I turned round after a couple of miles. I came back via the usual (newer) route.

I didn’t get to the village shop at Gilmorton before it closed at 1pm, but there are plenty of shops and garages on this route, thankfully. I bought a bacon & stilton turnover and a Fry’s Chocolate Cream at the little supermarket at Husbands Bosworth.

I stopped at a farm gate 15 miles from home on the way back, and two horses came trotting over. Perhaps they’re used to being offered treats by passing strangers. I snapped off a chunk of oat bar and left it on top of the fence for the more persistent one, but he or she ignored it. So I threw it on the grass and it was hoovered up in about half a second.

I listened to another few hours of the Reacher novel. Possibly the best one so far.

Back on 70.64 miles, a very satisfying run out. Just Lincolnshire and Rutland remain of the seven neighboring counties and I can do those two in the same ride. Just needs a dry Saturday or Sunday with the wind coming from the east.