TUESDAY 7TH MAY SHENNINGTON TO ELMSTHORPE.
Today we MEET "SPICY PETE" I will dedicate a chapter especially to Spicy Pete when we arrive at Elmsthorpe.
We awoke to rain; our bike seats were soaking first time they hadnít been under cover.
As we ate breakfast it faired up although still drizzling as we loaded up and edged out of the village, first hill of the morning a local brickie tried to scare us with trying to alarm us of the hill ahead, but we are the Multi day Men weíre used to uphill starts and uphill finishes, its something we get every time. (especially the sting in the tail at the end of the day)
We followed the Oxford Cycle way for a few miles and then left on the Graeme Brass Heart of England cycle way!!! We crossed the M 40 and followed quiet undulating countryside. We stopped for a cuppa in a small village called Claydon at the Bygones Museum owned by some smart coiffered ladies, we cycled on to the Warwickshire county border, we arrived at the county sign and it was covered in green moss hardly legible so Graeme did his cleaning duties with some grass and leaves so we could get a photo of the moment we crossed another Landmark, reaching Warwickshire, still pleasant undulating countryside and quiet villages we cycled over Knapton on the Hill which was nasty climb with flatlands all around, we dropped down the other side and had our last pint of Hookeys at the Kings Head at the bottom of the hill, while sitting outside enjoying the beer, I talked of writing a book about our great cycle rides especially when we complete the Lands End John o Groats. Then when itís a best seller and itís a film we discussed who would play the various characters and we had great fun, we still hadnít met Spicy Pete at this stage.
Graeme said he couldnít think of anyone devastingly Good looking enough to play him, Colin said Clement Freud could play me??? talk about being deflated, I was expecting Burt Reynolds. Or at least Danny De Vito, but he,d have to learn to ride a bike?
We cycled across the flatlands over the Grand Union canal and on through the Midlands, this was to be interesting as we approached we had to pick our way on country lanes between some Major Towns and Conhabitations. We had some trouble getting over the A40 because of a realigned junction, had to pass some landfill sites and eventually hit countryside, We had some tea and sandwiches in a garden centre, when we eventually found our way in to the coffee shop, you had to walk right through the shop to get a drink, We had some fun with some bullocks, who on seeing our yellow jackets came sprinting to the gateway, Obviously the farmer wears a yellow jacket when its feeding time.
We rode past a village called HILL Colin covering the sign to lessen the blow, we rode through some really upmarket villages with some modern mansions and as the sun came out .We cycled into Leicestershire, passing Stretton under Fosse and the Prison Service College where Graeme had done his Prison Service Basic training .
We crossed the county line and the places just changed, a Trained monkey on a bike came out of a driveway riding right in front of us, well it was a teenage boy but he looked like a monkey with dyed blonde hair, Graeme quipped training monkeys to ride bikes!!! Round here.
As we cycled into Leicestershire the first two pubs were trashed and boarded up buildings were fraying. The last hour was hard work the area got depressing to ride through. The villages not quiet as pretty as the Cotswolds; we cycled off the planned route and picked our way to Elmsthorpe. Around 6 30pm we arrived at the village with a steady incline through the village and eventually down a lane to Water Meadows farm.
Our Bed and Breakfast for the night, it was here we met our host Mr Peter Robinson who from now I will refer to as Spicy Pete why all will be revealed. This Man deserves a chapter of this to himself. He was a very nice guy if a tad eccentric ... So here goes
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