Well that was a bit different. I started work at 0600 so I left early, with the intention of maybe doing 20 miles of the Lower Westbound route, then coming back.

Unfortunately I somehow missed the turn for Lullington. Realised this when I found myself about to enter Coton in the Elms. Well, no matter – I’ve been that way dozens of times as well. But then I missed the turn for Walton. So I found myself entering a depressingly busy and urban Burton on Trent. I kept on keeping on though until I saw a sign for Abbotts Bromley, and I took that.

Went as far as Needwood, where I stopped for a very welcome cold can of Dr Pepper at a petrol station. Then I took a sign to Barton under Needwood, which is also familiar territory.

Quite enjoyed the new bits of road between Burton and Barton under Needwood though it would be tricky to get them into a regular route without negotiating Burton.

Later, trying to get back on the usual track on the way back I unnecessarily took a turn for Lullington that was no more than a pointless detour. Then bizarrely, later on again, I strangely missed the turn to Packington and continued right on to Ashby.

I can only think that the heat must have cooked my brain a bit. It was hot out there.

On the way into Ashby I overtook a lad on a BMX. Clearly he was affronted by this and he attempted to overtake back. He pulled alongside with a huge grin on his face, bless him. He was about 13. I’m sorry to confess that I did indulge him. He was never going to catch even an old man on a Roubaix with short legs and a BMX. I suppose I shouldn’t have done that, he wasn’t wearing a helmet and he gave it a good go. Then again, neither was I.

I think I probably missed an opportunity today .. should have taken the day off and done Wales and back or something. Probably not going to get another opportunity for a long day on the bike in weather like this in 2023.

Listened to Steely Dan’s Aja and Radio 5. Back on 49.12 miles.