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Long, hard and hilly ride today.  Just about 100km for me and I met my friend Cyril on the way at Mears Ashby so it was about 67km for him.

View of Pitsford Water, Northamptonshire

Pitsford Reservoir

First stop was Pitsford reservoir for Cyril to get his back wheel fixed.  He had new rear wheel bearings fitted there earlier in the week and it developed a wobble so we called in the bike shop for them to put it right.  While they did that we sat in the sunshine and had a cup of tea in the Cafe there.  The reservoir is looking very low after the hot weather earlier in the year.  I can’t recall seeing it that low for a long time.  The trout can’t have so much room to escape.  I must get my fly fishing gear out and pop over at some time soon!

On setting off from there I made the mistake of not starting the timer again on my Garmin so I am not sure how accurate the final recorded distance is.  I didn’t realise the mistake until about 10km later after we passed through Spratton, but I think the distance is probably about right.  At least I am under the actual mileage of anything.

I planned the route ‘blind’ just by plotting on the map without knowing the profile of the route.  It turned out to be quite hilly which was quite enjoyable in a funny sort of way.  Quite satisfying to get up them fairly comfortably now.

We headed up to Naseby which was about the furthest point on our route today.  It was the scene of a big battle in the Civil War between the Roundheads and the Cavaliers which took place on a plain just outside the village.

Scene from a historical re-enactment of the Ba...

Civil War Re-Enactment

More hills on the way back but soon we were on familiar territory again so we knew where the hills where and what they were like.  A few miles before Wellingborough we ran in to rain which soon became heavy rain and then deteriorated in to hailstones.  We got soaked and pummelled at the same time.  I thought about stopping for shelter but didn’t know how long the rain would last and I didn’t want to get cold so preferred to keep warm and pedaled on.  I dropped Cyril off just outside Wellingborough near his home, by which time the rain had stopped and rode on home alone for the remaining 24km.

I felt OK when I got home but still a little damp but at least not cold.  The sun had come out as well by the time I got home.  A good ride and a nice route which I hope to repeat some time.

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