Riding the Thames 184 miles
“What?…..riding the Thames on a tandem?” someone retorted. “Yep, we’ll just pump a few more pounds of air in the tyres, and go with the current….kind of pedalo style”.
Joking aside, our first task was to find where the source was. Hard enough in late summer after so little rain, but even harder when there are several differing theories about the true location of the rising of the Thames.
Even the biggest rivers in the world develop from totally unspectacular beginnings….usually a bare trickle from the earth, or a mere dripping from a rocky outcrop. But the Thames was being especially unspectacular this summer. Marked only by an illegible stone marker and a few rocks, the source was notable by its total absence.
For three, four, five miles or more….the river bed was still ‘running dry’.
Somewhere between the source and Lechlade, the mighty Thames made its tentative, hesitant beginning, colluding with incoming tributaries and canals, and we wended our way awheel through typical Cotswold villages, past ancient decommissioned churches,
to spend our first night in Lechlade, an ancient ‘inland port’, due to it being located at the highest navigable point on the river.
We have embarked on a mini-adventure riding the 184 mile length of the river, as far as the Thames Barrier.
It will be a journey of companionable discovery, stopping in village community cafés, checking out heritage properties just off our route, and catching up with friends and family over convivial meals.