Ride out to Yorktown and Jamestown Settlements. Tropical Storm Irma is coming as the wind is getting up and it’s starting to try and rain.


The weather is supposed to turn tomorrow so I knew I had to get out on a ride today. I’d been west of Williamsburg on the previous two rides so planned a ride to the east this time.

The first part was up the Colonial Parkway to Yorktown. This is a beautiful and quiet road bordered by trees and lakes the whole way and with hardly any cars. Just beautiful!


At Yorktown I stopped at the cafe at the Revolution Museum for a coffee and cake. Not a lot of choice cake wise but I did have a nice chocolate cookie.


After that I rode through historic downtown Yorktown and then onwards through the Civil War battlefields – a really beautiful part of the route.

After this, the route went a bit downhill as it joined this REALLY busy main road with 3 lanes each side! Like cycling down the side of a motorway and no fun at all.


Thankfully the route eventually turned off but the remaining roads were still pretty busy. Shame there were no other choices of quieter roads heading back to Williamsburg as I’d have gladly taken them.

Back in Williamsburg I headed for the DoG Street Pub for some post ride refreshment, before making the short ride back to our rented apartment.


A real ride of two halves. The first half was first class and absolutely beautiful but the second half was not that much fun.

Route: click here

Exploring the Powhatan Native American Indian backwoods around the Chicahominy River area to the west of Colonial Williamsburg.


Today I decided to get up early and get out on a 50+ mile ride before everyone else got up. It didn’t quite work that way as I was up later than planned, but not a problem as they went out doing touristy things while I rode.

I’d planned a 58 mile ride around the Chicahominy River area to the west of Williamsburg last night, so set off on this.


The first part of the route out of Williamsburg was on pretty busy roads but thankfully the route soon turned off onto nice quiet roads. Absolutely stunning countryside too, mainly in wooded areas, but also with some more open areas and some great vistas over lakes.

At the far end of the route, about 28 miles in, I stopped for the equivalent of a cafe break and had an energy bar. I’d have loved to stop at a nice cafe somewhere but it’s totally different to the UK and the closest I could find is a gas station, which is not exactly my idea of a cafe stop.


The ride back was pretty easy and at the souther end of the route I joined what I imagined might be a pretty busy road, but it had a lovely cycle path along the side, teeming with all sorts of cyclists.

From there I had a lovely ride back, saying hello to fellow riders as they passed and stopping to admire the great views from the top of the bridge over the very wide Chicahominy River.


When I arrived back in Williamsburg I headed for the fab pub on the main street that I’d spotted yesterday, for a well deserved pint and to arrange with the others to meet up.

A great ride out in lovely countryside and with perfect weather.

Route: click here

Lone Raider – Cycling up the Williamsburg peninsula on a Garmin 50 mile random route. Worked out really well and was a lovely scenic route. Only one dirt road and one blocked off road to negotiate.


We’d just driven down from Washington DC to spend a few days in the Colonial Williamsburg area of beautiful Virginia, so stopped by at Bikes Unlimited to pick up the Raleigh Revenio di2 bike I’d rented off them.

I got changed into my Nova Raiders gear and decided to ride back to the apartment we have rented for our stay and from there off on a 50 mile ride.


The only problem was I thought I’d loaded the routes I’d pre-planned onto my bike computers, but it turned out I had not. Sounds simple to sort out? Well, it should have been but was not, especially as I’d forgotten my USB-C adapter for my MacBook so could not just plug the GPS into my laptop and transfer the routes that way.

In the end I had my Garmin do a random 50 mile route starting and ending at the apartment. The route it suggested looked decent so off I set.


The first part of the route went right through the historic area of Williamsburg with horse and carts and lots of people dressed as they would have a few hundred years ago. Loved it! After leaving Williamsburg, the roads quietened down a lot and I was cycling along nice quiet lanes in glorious countryside. Lovely!

About half way round and in the middle of nowhere, some concrete barriers blocked the road by this little lake. My heart sank as it was miles back the way I’d come to get to an alternative road. Thankfully I could see a weak looking wooden bridge the other side of the barriers and wondered if it was too weak for cars and trucks, but ok for bikes. I gingerly tried it and it was absolutely fine, so was soon over the concrete barriers on the other side and off on my way. Phew!


The route back from the far end of the ride was a bit more direct and nice and flat so I could open up the taps and get a decent head of speed going.

It was getting late and the sun was starting to go down, so I opted not to stop and say hello to the others who were out shopping at a mall I was to ride past.


I made it back to our apartment in plenty of time thankfully and had a really lovely ride in stunning countryside.

Route: click here

Bridgemere Garden World for coffee and cake, then The Falcon for Sunday lunch.


After the late last night, we arranged for a leisurely ride out on the 3 counties route to Bridgemere Garden World for cake and coffee.

I drove up to Hinstock as I did not need any extra miles in my legs this week. We set off and had a lovely ride to the cafe stop, with near perfect weather.

On the way back we decided to call into the Falcon in Hinstock for drinks and some Sunday lunch. I’ve not eaten here before and had some really nice food. Just enough without being too much.


Another fab ride out with great company too. Better head home now as we’re off to the USA in the morning on holiday and I’ve not even thought about packing yet!

Route: click here

Social ride to the Most Shed for lunch


I’m finally getting round to catching up on some missing blog posts as I’ve not had time to write them as we’ve been away on holiday!

Today was a pre-arranged day for a Velothon Wales reunion ride. In the end, it was just me, John Watts, Nicole and Tracy and we’d decided to head out to the excellent Moat Shed near Wem.

We all met up in Hinstock and headed off out on our ride, following the same route Nic, Tracy and me had ridden on Easter Sunday. A really nice route too!


At the Moat Shed we’d pre-booked a table, which always seems to be a good idea these days as I get the distinct impression they don’t like cyclists in their wet and sweaty gear visiting.

After some lovely food, we headed back to Hinstock. On the way back we had to stop for about 200 cows to cross the lane in front of us. There was literally an orderly line of them stretching right across the field they were coming out of!


As we passed the Tiddly in Ellerdine Heath we decided to stop for a quick pint. Then back in Hinstock, we retired to the Falcon for a pint or two.

I then spent a lovely evening at Nic’s with a nice curry take away and a few more drinks, before heading home at nearly midnight.

A fab day out with friends and a fab ride too.

Route: click here

Ride out to Dearnford Lake for coffee and cake. Very windy but thankfully avoided the rain!


I was supposed to be working today but had an invite out on a ride to my favourite cafe, Dearnford Lake, with 40 minutes notice and could not refuse. I can always work into the evening so not a problem.

I drove over to Hinstock as I did not have time to ride it like I usually do and we set off to Dearnford via the usual route.


The wind was from the west and very strong today, which made parts of the route out very interesting indeed. Still, not a major problem and no worse than the wind I had in my face for 50 miles on the way back from Chester on Wednesday!

At Dearnford we found a seat out by the lake in the sun and had a lovely coffee and cake (coffee and walnut!). We saw some other cyclists and they were all kitted up as if it was a really cold and wet winter day. Did they not get the memo saying this is summer and it’s strictly summer kit only :).


After Dearmford, it was the usual route back via Brown Moss Nature Reserve, where the roads were especially mucky and we all got sprayed with mud off the road. Great fun!

Back in Hinstock we said our goodbye’s and I headed home to wash my bike and get some work done.

Route: click here

Recovery ride, nice and steady to the Fordhall Farm cafe for coffee and cake after the 100 miles yesterday. Just what my legs needed!


I’d arranged a short and very steady recovery ride this afternoon, so as to help my legs after 2 * 100 mile rides in the last few days.

I rode over to Hinstock via Sambrook to meet up with Nic and then we set off on a reasonably flat route to the Fordhall Farm Cafe near Market Drayton. My legs just were not playing ball and it certainly took quite a while to warm them up!


We’d been recommended the cafe by Tim and were not disappointed. Nice coffee and cake and a great outside seating area. The sun was even in attendance, which was really nice, especially after the heavy rain first thing this morning when I opened the curtains!


After the cafe it was an easy ride back via Tern Hill, Wollerton and Stoke on Tern.

A fab ride with great company – just what my legs needed. Now to get back to work!

Route: click here

Ride out to Chester for a 99 by the River Dee and then lunch in Holt on the Welsh border. Then back via Ellesmere and Wem. Easy going out but suffering from bad wind all the way back!


With us going away on Monday I wanted to get my 100 mile ride in sometime this week and today looked perfect for it. I opted to test another route I’d had lying around for ages – this time to Chester and back.

I set off on the usual quick route up to Market Drayton and then instead of taking the main road to Audlem, I dropped down onto the lanes and enjoyed the scenery instead. I then cut out Nantwich too by routing via Aston and Sound Heath.


The other side of Nantwich, I headed direct to Bunbury, near Beeston Castle and stopped for elevenses (coffee and a small cake) at the excellent Tilly’s in Bunbury. Here I bumped into a couple of other cyclists and spent a while sat on the verandah at the front swapping cycling stories.

Onwards to Chester, I headed up around the base of Beeston Castle and into Chester via the Hoole Road. A quick short cut through Grosvenor Park and I was down by the river and the suspension bridge. I stopped for a 99 (not a 69 as I initially mistakenly put on a Facebook post – oops!).


After my ice cream, I headed over the River Dee and southwards towards Holt, where I planned to stop for lunch. I was amazed how quickly I managed to get out of the urban areas of Chester, as I was seeing fields almost as soon as I had crossed the Dee!

The route to Holt took me into Wales and was the start of a very windy section pretty much in my face the whole way home. Very hard going in places!

IMG_4229.jpgIn Holt I stopped at Cleopatra’s for a panini and coffee before heading across the bridge back into England. It was then onwards to Ellesmere via Overton. At Ellesmere, I stopped at the excellent Boat House to fill up with water and also had a cheeky pint.

I then tried a different lane down to Wem, which worked out very nicely indeed and was reasonably sheltered so I had less of an issue with the wind. In Wem, I stopped to refill with water for the last section of my ride and had a pint of Blonde.


The ride home was nice and easy but as I approached Little Bolas I realised I’d get home with 98 miles on the clock. Not sure how this happened as Strava said the route would be 102 miles. Not to worry, I’ll route home via Childs Ercall which will add about 5 miles!

I got home with just over 103 miles showing and a fab ride out in a different area.

Route: click here

Wiggle Sussex Surrey Scramble Sportive, Epic Course. Absolutely sublime ride in gorgeous rolling and hilly countryside and perfect weather too. Amazing day out on the bike.


Today was the day of the Wiggle Sussex Surrey Scramble Sportive, starting in Pulborough in West Sussex and taking in 100 miles of the South and North Downs.

I stopped overnight and drove over to the venue early doors. I can never quite get used to the very early mornings you need for these long sportives, but I know the ride is going to be amazing and the weather looks perfect!


The venue was at part of the campus for Chichester College and was pretty compact. I parked up, got ready and headed over for registration and my obligatory pre-ride latte.

Once we set off the first part of the course was almost totally flat as we headed towards the hills. I need not have worried though as we soon passed a sign informing us that the hill was 15% and it certainly was. Went on for quite a while too but with my legs nicely warmed up by now it was ok.


The route then wended its own undulating way towards Chichester and the coast. The first feed stop was at a pub just before you arrived in Chichester and I was starting to get hungry, despite already having breakfast so stocked up on food.

Next, we went past Goodwood and started out northbound journey. This section was frequented by familiar named from old WW2 Spitfire airfields like Goodwood, Tangmere and Haslemere. I didn’t actually see any evidence of the old airfields though, which is a shame. Always love seeing bits of history like that!

4521-WSSS01.jpgJust before the second feed stop I totally missed the direction signs twice in the same village (Lodsworth), so ended up seeing more of the village than I needed to! Not a worry though as it was a lovely place.

At the top of the course we went past Dunsfold, another old WW2 airfield, but the one where they used to film Top Gear and the one with the test track they used on the show. As I was getting used to on this ride, we didn’t actually see any of it apart from the gate.


At the final feed stop, I bumped into one of the Wiggle staff I was chatting to after last week’s ride in the Chilterns so stopped for a quick chat.

It was then an easy 20-mile ride back to the finish line, although true to form, they had arranged for a few more hills in the last few miles!

IMG_4206A great day out on the bike with lots of hills to climb, lots of rolling countryside, an unbelievable amount of trees (at least a third of the route must have been under tree canopy!).

Route: click here

Bridgemere Garden World with friends and back via Ollerton to get the 50 miles in


With a hilly sportive in the North and South Downs this Sunday I could do with getting 30 miles of reasonably steady riding in today. I arranged to meet up with some friends (Nicole, Tim, Baz and Kacey Round) for a 30 mile or so ride from Hinstock. Perfect!

I rode up to Hinstock to meet the others via Sambrook as it’s a slightly shorter way than going via Childs Ercall. We then set off on the usual 3 counties ride via Market Drayton, Norton In Hales, Woore and Cheswardine.

IMG_4172.jpgSomeone mentioned a cafe stop so we decided to re-route a bit at the northern end of the ride to stop at Bridgemere Garden World. Luckily I knew just a route that would also keep us off the busy A51 as much as possible.

At the cafe, the coffee and cake were as good as ever (always nice here, even if it is a bit of a trek through the garden centre to get to the cafe!).

After the cafe, it was an easy ride back to Hinstock, although the wind had got up quite a bit during the morning. Not too bad though.


From Hinstock I headed home via Childs Ercall but noticed I would be just short of 50 miles when I got home, so opted to extend a bit via Ollerton and Great Bolas to get at least 50 miles for the ride.

A fab morning out and back in time for a small lunch and back to work.

Route: click here