Dad’s Army Failure

In 2020 I rode to historic Worcestershire and back, via a route which I’ve come to know as the “Dad’s Army route” – simply because during the ride, I kept myself entertained by listening to radio adaptations of the BBC TV sitcom of the same name.

I’ve been meaning to do it again for a long time. I’ve been part-way down there quite a few times; the deterrent to doing the whole thing really is having to do a couple of miles of the A5.

So I thought I’d do it again today. The basic idea was to do a Twycross Bypasser, with the Dad’s Army route as a there-and-back extension to the south-east.

After the first 15 miles or so I began to notice that my left cleat wasn’t engaging properly with the pedal. It felt sloppy. So just before the A5, I stopped to check it. One bolt was missing and the other two were loose. Exactly the same thing that had happened to the right cleat a few weeks ago. I guess I didn’t tighten the bolts down hard enough, or perhaps I over-greased them. Fortunately this time I had an Allen key on me and was able to secure the cleat adequately by tightening the two remaining bolts.

Well – the A5 episode wasn’t too bad. Not too busy. I was pedalling through Kingsbury another three miles later. The route looks pretty direct easy on a map so I tried to memorise it rather than uploading it to a phone or an eTrex. So I just kept going. I passed a garage called Kingsbury Service Station. Weirdly, about twelve minutes later I passed another place called Kingsbury Service Station. It looked identical to the first one. Because it was. I’d somehow managed to loop round on myself.

So I took a different turn at the next roundabout this time. By now I was pretty sure I wasn’t on the route I intended, so I gave up on that and decided just to follow my nose and explore. I took a road called Coventry Road and kept going for another ten miles or so. This was quite a nice stretch of B road apart from being a bit hilly, and not having any petrol stations or shops. I’d only brought two sausage rolls with me and I’d already eaten both of them.

I stopped when I hit the outskirts of Coventry, and turned back. Two miles later I decided to take a right turn signposted to Nuneaton, rather than go back the same way. Just to do another stretch of hitherto-undiscovered road. Again this was really nice, until I hit Nuneaton. I hoped I wouldn’t have to go right into the centre and I didn’t, but the bit I did go through was pretty urban and partly a bit grim. I passed a few convenience shops but didn’t particularly feel like leaving the bike outside any of them. I did stop and buy some food at a petrol station a bit further out. Then I followed a sign to Fenny Drayton which is at the south-west extremity of Fenn Lanes, part of my regular cycling territory. I took a left along Atterton Lane and up to Sheepy, then came back from there as if doing the second half of a Bypasser, up through Bilstone, Newton Burgoland and Swepstone.

Quite an enjoyable ride overall. Nice to do quite a bit of new territory. I don’t often venture the other side of the A5. Very nice sunny weather and I had to declothe after the first few miles; more than warm enough for bare legs.

One minor irritation apart from losing a cleat bolt was that my right contact lens was a bit uncomfortable, and I managed to lose it under my eyelid while rubbing my eye, about half-way through the ride. It’s still up there, it’ll work itself out in a couple of days.

Listened to the last couple of hours of the Reacher novel, then footy on 5 Live. Back on 68.77 miles.