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I went for a bike ride with my friend Cyril and stepson Ian this morning.  Ian and I rode over from Olney to rendezvous with Cyril between Olney and Wellingborough near Earls Barton.

We went on a circular route from there and round to Pitsford reservoir where I have done a lot of fly fishing for trout in the past.  There is a good cafe there at one of the car parks.  Its quite a large reservoir, there is a walking and mountain bike trail around it that’s 9 miles long.

Pitsford Reservoir, Northamptonshire

Pitsford Reservoir

We stopped off at the cafe for a drink and were just about coming to the end of our drinks when I felt a hand on the back of mychair.  I looked around, a sweet old lady was there and she said “So was Cavendish (Mark Cavendish) guilty or not ? ”  we looked taken aback and she clarified her question and said “did he get away with being towed up Mt Etna in the Tour of Italy”.  She was referring to the allegations by one of the riders that he saw him hanging on to a car going up the mountain.  Anyway we explained we thought it was just sour grapes by the Italian rider that complained as lots of riders take the opportunity to have an extended hold on to the water bottle that’s being passed to them from the team car.  Either that or they hold on to the car while the mechanic leans out, apparently to fix a problem with the bike that may or may not be a genuine problem.  But being a sprinter, along with the other sprinters, they were a long way off the leaders and were just content to get up the mountain and to the end of the stage inside the cut off time to avoid elimination.  I also said that on the day before this alleged incident I saw an Italian rider being blatantly paced back to the leading bunch for a long way after he had a puncture, but being an Italian in the Tour of Italy nothing more was said.  Similar also to one of the previous days when Mark Cavendish was balatantly blocked by an Italian rider in a sprint finish and Cavendish came second.  No more was said about that either!

The conversation proceeded from there to her telling us that she used to still ride a bike at 78 and her late husband rode until he was 80.   She said also thats there’s plenty of cycling to be done even when you are not racing.  As she left she said she loves to see the cyclists out and about in all their bright colours enjoying themselves.  She was with a party of walkers and stopped off for a chat as the party were on their way out.  It was nice little interlude to our ride.

After coffee we were on our way again to comple the loop back to Mears Ashby where we parted company with Cyril then we retraced the route of our journey out, back to Olney.  A nice little warm up ride of around 45 miles before a more intense training ride with Team MK tomorrow morning.