Nuneaton (and San Giovanni)

A dry, reasonably mild, sunny day with a moderate wind coming from the south. I thought I’d go down Fosse Way. No firm intention to do a fondo though I thought it was likely. So I did that but, after 29 miles, when I came to the crossroads a few miles north of Brinklow, I turned right instead of going straight over. The right turn was signposted to Nuneaton. Certainly I could find my way home from there, and I guessed it was probably five or six miles away (actually it was about seven).

I hoped I’d find an opportune moment to turn off the road before going all the way into Nuneaton but I didn’t, so I ended up going right into the town. Unfortunate, because it was remarkably busy for a Sunday and at one point I took the wrong lane at a roundabout and ended up in an Asda car park.

Anyway I found my way to the railway station. I’ve driven home from there many a time so I was on familiar territory now. I wanted to go to Sheepy Magna on the way back though for a pit stop at San Giovanni, so I took a left onto Atterton Lane, then Myth Lane from the main road.

Unfortunately, Myth Lane was flooded and there was no way round it so I had to backtrack. I found my way to Sheepy eventually through Atherstone. I stopped at a Greggs there for a sandwich and a sticky bun. For some reason I missed my usual route out of the town (I’ve probably only cycled through there about ten times) and I ended up on the A5. Scary, but the turn off for Sheepy came up quickly, thankfully. A quick half Peroni at San G then I came back via Gibbet Lane.

Nice to go adventuring and do something a bit different. I quite enjoyed the stretch between Fosse Lane and Nuneaton. Perhaps I’ll plan a route that uses most of it but doesn’t go right into the town.

Back on 66.88, 595 in October so far. Might be able to squeeze in a few more October miles on Tuesday, looking at the forecast.

Unusual Bosworth

Well that was an odd one. With a light wind coming from the south I thought I’d do a bit of the southbound route and come back. I took a bit of a detour after Ellistown. After 14 miles I couldn’t be bothered with the climb into Earl Shilton so I turned back to Kirkby Mallory and took the road from there to Sutton Cheney.

After that I took a road I’ve only done a few times, to Market Bosworth. From there I had the idea to go to Sheepy Magna but I couldn’t for the life of me work out how to do that in my head – so after a bit of faffing around I gave up and came back northward to home, albeit via a rather circuitous route up the main road then left to Barton in the Beans.

A remarkable sight confronted me coming down the last hill before the turn for Heather – the ground ahead and below me was swathed in a ghostly fog. I took a pic but didn’t quite manage to capture it. It was a while after sunset though, so actually it’s a testament to the low light capability of my phone that I got a decent image at all.

For some reason at about the same time, a helicopter was lurking a few hundred feet up about half a mile to the east. Police helicopter maybe?

Fortunately I was through the ground-hugging fog after a couple of minutes.

The roads were a bit wet after a lot of rain overnight and this morning. For days the BBC had been forecasting showers for this afternoon. They withdrew their threat this morning. However it turns out they were right all along. But I only had to put up with light rain for ten minutes. The sun was shining nicely at the same time.

Finished the Reacher novel.

That one was more about getting another 30-odd miles in than the experience, but it was quite enjoyable nonetheless.

Back on 38.21 which leaves me on 5306 this year. Just 694 to do to hit 6,000 for 2023.


A couple of days ago there was nothing but rain in the forecast for the coming week, but in practice the weather always gives you a bit of unexpected respite. And so it proved this afternoon – nice and dry, very low winds and fairly mild. The sun even came out for a while.

No clear intention on where I was going to go or what I was going to do. I made it up as I went along. But I definitely wanted to go up Top Brand. I did that then went round to Diseworth, through Castle Donington and west to Shardlow.

I got as far as the very outskirts of Derby, then turned back. I took a road off toward Aston, intending to come back down over Swarkestone Bridge, but somehow ended up back in Shardlow. I was happy with that though because I didn’t really fancy Rotter’s Rise on the way back.

Somehow, without actually trying to, I came back exactly the same way after Shardlow. I was quite surprised when I saw the track on Strava. Hadn’t even realised I’d done that.

Wanted to do at least 40 really, but – it was an enjoyable ride. Back on 37.30, a minute after sunset.

I listened to the Reacher novel for the entire ride. Some really grim content. But gripping.

The Gliding Club

A dry day today, the first for a while, with a light wind coming from the south. I’d hoped to be away by 0900 or so, but slept in until 0945. I set off, eventually, at 1040. Still plenty of time for a fondo.

I did the southbound route, once again taking a detour past the gliding club over the last few miles. Nice out there on the whole. Intermittently sunny. Warmer after the first couple of hours.

There were reports on the news this morning of flooding near Derby and Leicester, but I didn’t see anything worse than deep puddles.

Didn’t see any gliders taking off or landing either, just a few parked on the grass,

Listened to another couple of hours of the Reacher novel, and the Kiss album Music from The Elder. Nice few hours out on a bike.

Back on 66.01. 453 this month.

Eastbound Fondo

I woke up early this morning which is not unusual, but instead of dozing and going back to sleep as usual I let my mind wander, and I was wide awake by 0630. So I got up and started work there and then. Very handy having a two minute commute.

That meant I was able to leave work early of course, but instead of having an afternoon nap, I decided I’d do a fondo. A light wind was coming from the east and the conditions were nice and dry, if a bit cold. So I did the usual eastbound route, except that I experimented a bit with a detour near Burton on the Wolds.

I only wanted to do the regulation 62.14 miles and my detour threw my mental arithmetic out a bit, but I made up the distance with a bit of faffing around over the last couple of miles.

Listened to LBC, Dynasty by Kiss and more of the Reacher novel. Nice out there, quite bright. Back about an hour after sunset, but I had lights.

Back on 62.48. That was this year’s 30th fondo.

Upper Westbound

I was going to do a fondo today, so I was a little dismayed to find this morning that the forecast had changed to threaten rain in the afternoon. But I decided I’d just suck it up.

It was cold. I had to put a few layers on.

The wind was coming from the north-west so I decided on the Upper Westbound route – up through Coleorton, over Swarkestone Bridge and west along the A road. I’d done 24 miles when I hit a snag, in the form of a flood along Leathersley Lane. Judging by the road vehicles that were ploughing through it, it was at least seven inches deep and the complete width of the road. So – I turned back.

When I came to the main road again (Uttoxeter Road) I turned left to go west, in the hope that I’d be able to loop round the flood from the north. But I ended up in the same place, right in front of it again. When I got to Uttoxter Road again I turned westward again, but this time went as far as Foston, then turned back. Foston is a bit of a dead end unless you want to go on the A50. So I turned for home.

I only had a few miles to make up by this time. I did a brief excursion to Etwall, and a detour into Coalville on the way back. I stopped for a sausage roll and a Fry’s Chocolate Cream at the petrol station near Hatton.

I listened to a range of opinions on the Israel / Palestine conflict on LBC, some more of the Reacher novel (Gone Tomorrow) and the Kiss album Love Gun.

The threatened rain didn’t materialise until a minute after I’d put the bike back in the garage. Nice timing. Actually it was mostly sunny in the afternoon.

As an experiment I used the phone to track the ride. Even after more than 60 miles of tracking and a couple of hours of audiobook playback, I still had 75% battery power when I got back. I used my old Soleus GPS watch as a sort of simple mileometer. It will track rides of course but you need a Windows PC to get the data off it, which I can’t be bothered with. Its other annoying foible is that it exaggerates distances – it was claiming more than 60 miles done when I’d only just done 59 according to the phone.

Back on 62.79.

Lower Westbound

A day that I probably would have called “mild” this time last year, but because we’ve been spoiled recently it didn’t really feel like it.

Still – I wrapped up in a few layers and was comfortable enough. A light wind was coming from the south-west so I thought I’d do 20 or so miles of the Lower Westbound route, then come back. In fact I realised – again – that I’d forgotten to bring a front light mount, so I cut it a bit shorter than I wanted again. Turned back after about 18 miles. On a whim though I continued along Acresford Road on the way back instead of turning for Measham, and I came through Appleby Magna and Starestone on the way back.

I listened to Kiss’ Rock and Roll Over and 5 Live.

Back on 36.96, and that’s 262 done this month.


A temperature of 20C was forecast for the afternoon, so I donned minimal cycling clothing for probably the last time until March or so and left work early to take advantage of the last gasp of summer.

I wanted to do about 40 miles, but realised half way through the ride that I hadn’t brought a mount for the front light, so I decided to keep it fairly short. I did do 38.71 in the end. A Bypasser.

Listened to 5 Live for as much as I could stomach – Labour’s media wing can be intolerable during their party conference. Then the Kiss album Destroyer.

Wore contact lenses again, they’re great for cycling except that for some reason, although my left eye is unaffected, my right eye goes very teary. I must look like I’m in some sort of asymmetric emotional distress.

I took the pic at Newton Burgoland, a few miles from home. For full disclosure, I have digitally removed the Flag of St George and replaced it with the Union Flag.


Warm sunshine was forecast for today with a light wind coming from the south, so I decided a run down to Northampton and back was in order. I’d planned to set off at about 0830 but as usual I woke up early and decided to get up and get on with it. I was away just after sunrise at 0720.

Cool at that time of day, but I’d applied several layers. I stashed my fleece, long-sleeved tunic and leg warmers into my camo bag and hid it in a hedge after the first 37 miles. The temperature had climbed very quickly over the preceding half hour. I should have stashed it earlier really, it was annoying having a stuffed camo bag in my backpack on the last 37 miles home.

I arrived at Northampton before noon having done 46 miles. I first visited the town 40 years ago this year. My girlfriend at the time was studying for a degree at Nene College, which is the reason I went there in the first place. So I thought I’d see I could find the old campus where she studied, and lived in Halls for her first year. But I couldn’t find it. Maybe it’s been closed down now.

On the way back, wanting to add a few miles I took a left for a place called Ravensthorpe to go exploring but I turned back to the usual route after about a mile when I found myself about to go down a steep-ish hill. Later on I took a right to go past the gliding club near Husbands Bosworth. Didn’t see any gliders taking off this time, but there were three parked on the grass. My excursion added about three miles, enough to see me home on triple figures.

Stopped at the Co-op at Stoney Stanton after 18 miles for two warm croissants, then later at the petrol station at Welford on the way back for a bit of a feast including a Magnum ice cream, which I consumed on the bench opposite.

Just lovely out there, like a warm summer’s day. I don’t think there’ve been many October days when I’ve been out cycling in shorts and a short-sleeved top.

I listened mostly to Talk Radio, a bit of footy on 5 Live and the Kiss album Dressed to Kill. Then I started the next Reacher novel, Gone Tomorrow.

Back on 100.44.


Didn’t leave work particularly early, but I didn’t want to do a particularly long one. Will probably do a 100 miler on Sunday, all being well. A powerful wind was coming from the south-west, so I did a bypasser.

Listened to Kiss’ Hotter Than Hell and Greg Howe’s Wheelhouse. Very nice out there early on, sunny and warm enough to have the old legs out. Cloudy later. Then dark. Back about 50 minutes after sunset.

Normally I like to include the bike in a scenic pic, but there was nothing useful to lean it against for this one. From Orton Lane looking west into Warwickshire.

Back on 40.45 miles.