14th Sep 2008

First ride on the Ridgeback. I’ve decided only to blog rides from this ride forward, I’ve been doing some training rides on my old hybrid bike over the past few weeks but let’s call yesterday Day One of LEJOG training.

So I’m doing LEJOG with my Brother-in-Law Andrew and his friend Tom at the moment. Andrew and I are both 40 next birthday so maybe this is a classic mid-life crisis thing and you might be right in thinking so! I think my brother, who did the LEJOG with his wife in 2001, maybe tempted to join us. At least for part of the journey, if not the whole thing!

Anyway, back to training ride numero uno. Andrew and I took a fairly easy run through the Vale of White Horse (very flat) from my house through Drayton, Steventon and onto the Hanneys. Turning south through Grove and Wantage we joined the National Cycle Network (NCN) local route 44 towards Didcot. I sometimes wonder if anyone from Sustrans has actually cycled some of these routes, because they are occasionally crazy, making you drop down kerbs and cycle along potholed and dangerous tracks.

Through the beautifully managed villages of Lockinge and Ginge it was a shame it was so foggy as this stretch is lovely and very quiet country lanes. Through the Harwell site (another crazy bit of NCN over a grassy bank) and to the summit of the ride above Upton. A fast descent took us down onto the dismantled Didcot Newbury & Southampton Railway embankment to Didcot. This high embankment has recently been converted into a cycle/footpath and is a pleasure to cycle upon (even if you have to avoid smashed green bottles near Didcot). Through Didcot and joining NCN Route 5 behind the Power Station and home.

Having a good touring bike makes such a difference, the hybrid was hard work over even relatively short distances. Thirty miles on the Ridgeback was a breeze and I could easily have continued.

Distance :: 30.76 mi
Time :: 2h24m36s
Average Active Speed :: 12.75 mph
Run.GPS Training Profile

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John Talbot

The main protagonist behind this nonsense. The website title is inspired by the lyrics of the B-side to Lily the Pink by The Scaffold. "The buttons of your mind were difficult to find and my fingers far too clumsy."