We haven’t been particularly fortunate with the weather recently so with a dry, very mild day forecast I took the afternoon off, with a view to doing a decently long ride. I decided I’d do the Southbound Route again, this time all the way down to Northampton. I reckoned I’d be back by about 9pm, but I got up a lot earlier than I expected. So I’d put in a decent shift and was away and pedalling shortly after 1000.

I was going to wear contact lenses. Unfortunately I lost one of them under my eyelid (again). It’s still up there somewhere. So, with my cycling glasses away having new lenses fitted, I wore my regular metal frame varifocals. Unfortunately they are singularly unsuitable for cycling because they don’t sit high enough on my nose. Fine for checking a watch or something on a handlebar but looking forward, I often only had an unassisted view over the top of the frame.

I got to Northampton at about 1415. Went into Kingsthorpe, past the guest house where I lived for a few months in 1984. Along St George Avenue, past the Racecourse – lovely to see the sun shining on the grass, all very nostalgic. Then I came back.

Took a diversion past the gliding club at Sibbertoft on the way back up. Nothing happening there today. I came the “old” way back up through Husbands Bosworth, Foston and Blaby, which is slightly shorter but I came a long way back through the village to get into three figures. Back on 101.87.

This was the first time I’d been out on the Roubaix for months, and I was surprised to find that the saddle felt a little lower than I expected. Fortunately I had an Allen key on me and I adjusted it after 20 miles or so. But I made a note of the exact position (the seat post has a scale printed on the back). Sure enough when I checked it later in the day, it had sunk 5mm or so. I reset it and tightened it a bit harder. I normally set it using a torque wrench but I set it as tight as I dared (it’s carbon so not as robust as an alloy one would be). It seemed to stay put after that. Not sure whether I should re-torque it, or just leave it. Perhaps I need to apply some grip paste.

This is a more challenging long ride than most in my repertoire because of all the hill climbing coming north of Northampton, but I kept myself well fuelled and it was a breeze.

That was a really nice day out on a bike, especially when the sun was out. The day flew by.

I listened to Camel’s Rain Dances – pretty bland stuff really but quite pleasant and calming. And The Colourfield’s Virgins and Philistines, which is powerfully evocative of the time when I first lived in Northampton. Apart from that, 5 Live and, earlier in the day, James O’Brien on LBC. I agree with almost nothing he says, in fact it’s obvious his main reason for getting up in the morning is to piss people off. But he’s very entertaining, in an unintentional sort of way.