Tuesday 5th June 2012 – a long ride in the countryside.

A much longer ride today – 19.28 miles in all – and my single longest ride on Bob to-date.

Today I didn’t mind pushing myself somewhat, starting with Quinta Drive which I found first time today – proof that the age of miracles isn’t over yet! Not only that, I also succeeded in cycling all the way to the top, having to pause near the top only for a recycling collection lorry…and then finish the climb from a standing start on an uphill slope – something I managed without much of a problem this time. 

At the top of the road I checked Bob’s seat again as I did feel that I was beginning to stretch for the pedals a bit.  I was right – over the last few rides the seat had slipped ba k about an inch.  Not much, and clearly not easily, but something I do need to keep an eye on. It’s amazing how much difference that one inch makes to the comfort of the ride.

I made my way to Galley Lane where I enjoyed a somewhat longer and faster descent than I had the day before on Quinta Drive. Following Galley Lane to the end I took the horse bridge over the A1, this time without getting my pedal caught in any loose cables, and made my way up Holmshill Lane.

One thing that soon became obvious was how quickly the countryside changes during the summer: the hedges had filled out a lot with foliage, and the oilseed rape flowers had almost entirely vanished. However none of this prevented  Bob from enjoying the view when we paused by a gate.

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On we went, past Buckettsland Lane today and on towards the village of Ridge.  Summerswood Lane provides an even faster descent than Galley Lane and as the road started to go upwards again towards Ridge I found myself in the unusual position of starting to pedal in 14th gear but still spinning out due to the momentum I’d gathered. 

Just getting to Ridge had already taken me further into the countryside than I’d been with Bob before, but I really wanted to go all the way up to Shenley. Most of the roads going there are pretty much single track, and with the hedgerows filling out there aren’t as many views as there are passing places. It’s just every now and then that one opens up to be appreciated.

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It was tempting to come a longer route back along Rectory Lane and Packhorse Lane, both lovely, quiet country lanes, but as I was reaching Shenley I knew that if I was going to have an enjoyable ride rather than a test of endurance, it was time to go back.

Bob and I retraced our route, stopping only for a quick portrait .

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