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In search of longer rides as preparation for the 207km Tour of the Cotswolds I have entered for the 28th June I picked Naseby as my target for yesterdays ride.  It was a total ride of 109km and had over 1100 metres of height gain in the climbs.

I planned the route ‘blind’ once it was away from my locally known roads.  I didn’t do too bad a job on the outward stretch but the homeward half left something to be desired, not helped by missing a turn on the Garmin and it recalculating the route to my final destination, which was more direct than I had originally planned and took me all around the middle of Northampton.  I didn’t realise the recalculation had taken place until it was too late to do much about it.

It was all little lanes and the odd ‘B’ road on the way out but very little traffic, altogether a very nice ride.  I was in good humour and feeling good about life as I reached Naseby and saw this sign.IMG_2367

I realised I had just missed the anniversary of the battle by one day.  The Battle of Naseby was the decisive battle of the first English Civil War.  On 14 June 1645, the main army of King Charles I was destroyed by the Parliamentarian New Model Army commanded by Sir Thomas Fairfax and Oliver Cromwell.

The memorial to the battle involved a detour to just is outside the village.  The signpost said it was one mile.  I think it s more than that or maybe just a delusion my behalf because the entire detour was either up or down.. no level road.

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Panoramic View of the battlefield.

Having had a little stay there and a pause for thought about the carnage that must have taken place in this now peaceful looking scene, I headed back to the village and the village shop to find some food.  I picked up a nice fresh ham salad sandwich and set off again until I found a suitable gateway for ‘lunch’.

Lunch is served...

Lunch is served…

It was just after lunch that it all went wrong.  After about half a mile I turned left onto the A5199.  I should have turned left againat at Creaton after a few miles but somehow the Garmin and I missed the turn completely and I stayed on the same road all the way to Northampton and it wasn’t the best of surfaces I have to say!!  I entered the north of Northampton and, navigating by a bit of local knowledge and not the Garmin I found my way across to the East side and back onto my originally planned route at Earls Barton.

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Altogether the ride was 109km, about at the halfway stage of the ride on the 28th.  I felt pretty good at the end of it all despite the large amount of climbing involved (about 1100metres).  I plan a few more long distance rides in the next couple of weeks pushing up toward the 150km mark.

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