Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Day 3: A - B Bike Ride

So three days in and today our cyclists ride from Redditch to Kettering.  We still have all of them on board and raring to go!

[caption id="attachment_994" align="alignleft" width="400" caption="The cyclists head uphill, ready for some energy bars at the top"][/caption]

Ian Tallamy tells us how Tuesday -Day 2 went yesterday:

"The weather on Tuesday was a little bit cooler, which makes it much easier to cycle, rather than overheating while climbing hills in hot weather.

To make things easier to manage, we have split up into two groups. Group 1 set out before Group 2, got lost 3 times and then finished about 15 minutes after Group 2. We blamed Gordon, one of the support team for the errors, but we all have maps and directions so we’ve only ourselves to blame really!

 As well as the graft of cycling, a typical day also includes some of the hazards of cycling.  These include, but are not limited to:

    • Watching out for passing (and oncoming) cars and lorries

    • Fixing punctures

    • Fixing bicycle chains

    • Getting lost

    • Chris Atherton falling off

[caption id="attachment_997" align="alignleft" width="350" caption="Laura has to have some ointment put on her bedbug bites..."][/caption]
    Poor Chris came off his bike again on Tuesday.  This time we think it wasn’t his fault.  A sheepdog ran out in front of him and Chris felt he should save the life of the sheep dog.  So he skidded to a halt and cut his knee (again) in the process. They say things come in three, so hopefully no more accidents for Chris.

A hazard we hadn't considered before the ride is bed bugs. Yes, real bed bugs. At a hotel which shall remain nameless, Laura stayed in a bed which was also inhabited by a number of bed bugs, who ran over her arms, legs and shoulders and had a midnight feast at her expense. The bites have become inflamed and itchy, so as well as the endurance of the cycle ride, Laura has to cope with the after effects of the bites!"

Today's Route = 79 miles: Leaving Redditch in a Southerly direction before turning East and passing Choughton Park. Then passing through Great and Little Alne. The day maintains a fairly flat profile, with 1232m of total climbing with a maximum height of 176m.

Crossing the Stratford upon Avon Canal and passing North of Stratford upon Avon itself, the route takes us past Charlecote House which could make a great mid morning stop!

Cross the M40 and then having crossed the motorway you cross the Grand Union Canal three times which offers a number of opportunities to stop around mid way for lunchtime sustenance!

We then pass over the Oxford Canal before crossing the M1 adjacent to the famous Watford Gap services. Passing into Northamptonshire with its wonderful golden coloured stone cottages before finishing up on the North Western outskirts of Kettering.

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