A century day

Most weeks in the warmer months of the year I can average something over 300 miles/450 km per week on the bike, but there can be a run of days when the mileage goes even higher.CIMG7604

I’ve just had a three day run where my 3 routes have totalled 230 miles/360 km. The first was a glorious ride of 80 miles over to Rockingham and Rutland, and the second was a 50 mile route that I call my ‘four counties route’, taking me from Cambridgeshire, into Bedfordshire, Northamptonshire and Buckinghamshire, with a rest stop in Olney.

But to crown these two rides, on the third day I headed out to a tiny village called Brampton Ash, on the fringes of Market Harborough in Leicestershire, to meet up with a crowd of cycling ‘cronies’ at the rambling farmhouse of one of our members, James Singlehurst, who owns a pheasant hatchery, hatching three quarters of a million chicks every year.

30 descend on James' house to fill up on tea and cakes....

30 descend on James’ house to fill up on tea and cakes….

Refreshed with lashings of tea and cakes, a group of us set off to do a circular 27 mile route along the Welland Valley, taking in pretty villages like Gretton and Harringworth, Middleton and Caldecott, and zooming beneath the astounding Harringworth viaduct,

Harringworth viaduct

Harringworth viaduct

a masterpiece of Victorian industrial architecture. Occasionally we climbed laboriously out of the valley, only to fly back down inclines at over 40 mph.

Welland Valley

Welland Valley

Energy restored after a pub lunch in Weston by Welland, I headed home, picking up a pot-hole induced puncture outside Kirby Hall (the classic ‘snake-bite’ puncture will either be caused by potholes or cattle grids). Through Oundle and back to Kimbolton, energy draining about 10 miles from home…..I glanced at my computer and immediately  understood why……….by journey’s end I was going to clock 100 miles.

It’s funny how hitting ’round numbers’ in cycling adds a feel-good factor to the ride. And it’s only very sad people who cycle round the block a few times when they get home, just to round up their numbers. Of course, I would never admit to such practices……..


About Frank Burns

Looking for the extraordinary in the commonplace………taking the road less travelled……..striving for the ‘faculty of making happy chance discoveries’ in unremarkable circumstances. Click on the Personal Link below to visit my webpages.

Posted on July 7, 2013, in Aspects of Britain, Cycling UK and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. Giddy up Frank! Big kms – good times.

  2. Edward Valletta

    Cycled round the block only the other day to take a ride up to 60!

  3. Hi Frank, met you in NZ, I live in Kettering. Enjoy your blog. On your last route , do you use the main `A ` roads or use `B` roads?

    • Hi Paul,
      I remember you well. We met at the hostel in Ahipara, then later at the Huka Falls. Hope you enjoyed your trip.
      In answer to your question, at least 95% of my time is spent on B or unclassified roads. Much more fun…..but they do add a few miles to your journeys. If you are interested, I will be doing a slide presentation of my ride in NZ and Oz at Rutland Cycling (Whitwell) at 8pm on Tues Aug 6th. Come and join us.

  4. Frank, good for you! Once again, you inspire. Sorry for being absent the last while, I’m just catching up now. Sadly, I’ve only been on the bike once in the last 6 weeks. Time for another re-prioritization!

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