I planned to do a long ride today, to take advantage of lovely weather. The wind was coming from the east. Too early in the year and a bit too cold in the extremities of the day for Sutton Bridge and back, but I hoped to do at least 100 miles, depending when I woke up this morning.

I woke up sufficiently early and was pedalling away from the garage door at 0705. The basic idea was to do some variation of the route to Norfolk, but turn back for home somewhere in Lincolnshire.

I made it to the village shop at Buckminster at about 10:30. Stopped and had a feast there. After Buckminster there are two options to go eastward, one route goes directly east from there and the other dips south first. Today I did the lower version. I haven’t done this one so often and I missed a turn after Castle Bytham. But that was fine, I was happy to go exploring. After a while I came to a sign for Stamford so I headed in that direction. Well surfaced roads, decently quiet (although it was a Sunday of course).

I went right into Stamford. As it happens one of my brothers lives there, and I did briefly consider paying him an impromptu visit. Then I thought to myself – what would my reaction be, if he did that to me one Sunday? It wouldn’t be positive. So I didn’t. I turned back at a convenient roundabout. As I made my way back I wasn’t 100% sure I was coming back the right way. I’d tried to memorise the turns. Fortunately I got them right.

There’s a handy little village shop / cafe at Castle Bytham, but annoyingly it had closed by the time I passed it on the way back. But I found a handy shop at South Witham and bought some more stuff, including a Mars Bar drink. Ideal fuel for the return leg of a long ride.

At Buckminster I turned east again to take an excursion along the “upper” route eastward as far as Colsterworth, just to add a few miles before turning for home.

Came back via Burton on the Wolds and Stanford on Soar. I’d gone through Rempstone and Wymeswold on the outbound leg. I also had a bit of an excursion through Sutton Bonington and Kingston on Soar.

It was a beautifully warm, sunny day. Cool in the morning but I wrapped up decently warm. I’d backpacked my tights and two upper layers and was down to minimal clothing by 1100. Caught the sun on my arms and topped up the tanlines on my legs.

Listened to 6 Music, the first few chapters of Pete Townshend’s superb autobiography, read by the man himself and then coverage of the final Premier League games of the season, on 5 Live.

Back on 127.17 miles. Probably should have done more given that I was back more than two hours before sunset, but I limited my options by going to Stamford I think. Lovely day out on a bike anyway and especially nice to do a bit of exploring in that bit of Lincolnshire. Lovely over there.