Wednesday, 26 December 2012

26th December 2012

Boxing Day. Looks like a good start to the day. Fixed the puncture on the road bike only to find that the outer cover is weak and needs replacing. Get the old bike out then and head for the hills; well, the bridle paths and canal towpaths around Warwick and Kenilworth.

Bridle path Kenilworth

After a short trip along Rouncil Lane, turn into Goodrest Farm and pick up the bridle path. This one runs from Kenilworth Castle to Hatton and is a good surface most of the way. After the rains, there are short sections which are far too muddy to ride through so had to take a detour.

Farm Drive Hatton

 The state of this farm drive was a pretty good indicator of how well the paths were today.  Luckily, my lad had bought some 'Crud Catcher' mudguards so I didn't get splattered like some other bikers I had seen out this morning. 

Down on the farm

Strictly speaking, bikers are not really allowed through here. It's Boxing Day so hoping they are all inside listening to the Archers and watching Countryfile. Going this way cuts out having to ride up Hatton Hill as the drive comes out just past the old Waterman Pub. I do like exercise, but if steep hills can be avoided so much the better. 

On the canal
Get onto the canal at Black Lane in Hatton, near to the Country World. There is a mini marina on the opposite side to the towpath. Not sure if there are many folk at home on the barges at this time of year.

Hatton Locks Cafe
Wasn't sure if this would be open today. This is about the half way point for today's ride so it would be foolish not to stop for a cup of tea. It was very busy in there with ramblers and cyclists. The price of a cup of tea was £1.45. When I looked in my puncture kit to see how much change I had it amounted to £1.40! As I am a little bit of a regular they let me off the 5p although I did offer to have a reduction in the amount of hot water they poured on the teabag. It was agreed that I would discharge my debt the next time I go in. 
Forgot the bike lock again so left it insecure in a rack. I need not have rushed my drink, I came out to find both mine, and two other bikes, well guarded.

A good ride out in the countryside today.  The forecast again is not clever, more rain, so best to get this in whilst there is an opportunity. Clocked about 11 miles today, about 8 of which were in muck and bullets.  Got back home and it was a hosepipe in the back garden job to get all the mud off. The bike had a good wash as well! 

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