Sunday, 19 May 2013

Valentine's Day Ring

Yes, we know it's been a while...

But we also know it is a truth universally acknowledged that the day after St Valentine's Day is often marked by sore legs.  And, to accomplish this, Dr Doug and 'Teen Spirit', mounted their steeds of scandium, and boarded the 10:05 Euston to Tring express for the first of a series of 'bicycle rides'.  Eschewing the sportive, and other pursuits of the MAMIL (the London Loop-excepted), 2013 will be marked by rides characterised by their exploratory character.

1/2 a mile of broken over-head cabling scuppered our initial plans of a fast train to Bedford, and then the countryside beyond, but taking the spirit of spontaneity to heart, put a plan B into operation, which consisted of tickets to Tring, an Ordnance Survey map, a lunch spot, and the notion of a bicycle-crafted M25 circling the Bucks town of Aylesbury, rather like the foot-focussed Aylesbury Ring.

As a plan, it seemed to work.  Setting off, as usual, at too zippy a pace, we soon made it from Tring to Wing, and remarked on the undulating nature of the route.  We had a puncture, which took a bit of time to fix, thanks to the valve giving up on the inner tube after we'd extracted a chunk of flint.  By 12:30 (or something like that; it was tricky to tell as both our odometers were running on variants of Central European Summer Time or BST) it was time for lunch, and Winslow offered up the perfect pub: a warm welcome, a big table for the map, cheese baps and a scotch egg made by one of the bartender's grandmothers.  The Tour of Wessex should outsource their feed station to them immediately.

The return was marked by some spectacular ups and downs, some very pretty villages, a long drag to the railway station, and lots of signs for Whipsnade Zoo.  We may return for the elephants in summer.

Here's the route.  Let us know if you can suggest a song [edit: added Miles Davis].


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