Thursday 4th June

Epworth to Grantham

( 70 miles)

(A Hill? And yet another flat)

Down for Breakfast 8.15am and good breakfast. And the sun was shining too. Everyone in good spirits.

Everything was fine was fine till I went for my bike and low and behold another flat rear tyre.

Ah well, pushed it out into the yard and while Colin and I fixed it...Graeme purchased the days provisions.

Our health food diet, hot chocolate and pies?

So with the bike fixed and the photo stop outside the hotel 9.30a m we were on our way, slipped quietly up a side street small hill and out into the Lincolnshire countryside.

Along Side the River Trent

We had to get across the River Trent so we had a 7 miles ride north to go south. But it was a lovely flat ride through pretty villages. To the Trent at Gurness point.

Crossing the Trent

Over the Trent and we swung south alongside the banks of the Trent. Lovely quiet roads and flat riding.

We then swung away from the Trent at a lane called Black Bank not really a bank a long flat steady incline. As we rode along came across two ladies on horseback and over on our left was a golf course, as we neared them Graeme and Colin rang their bells No reaction! So we rang again! We are on right on their tails (forgive the pun) until they moved over... Oh sorry she shouted I thought the bell was being rung at us from a golfer.

After we passed Colin quipped who carries a bell on a golf course?

Black bank was a steady climb onto a ridge and we turned south again. 

Black bank

As we cycled south and we were in a village called Scotter in North Lincoln shire Colin got a text message with the menu from the Travel Plaza Indian restaurant , where we staying on the Friday night in Desborough?

This caused great amusement. It was Karen calling him and letting him know they did Chicken Byrani...we cycled on through quiet Lincolnshire villages. Lunch stop at Corringham on the parish boundary bench Pies and Hot chocolate, we’re going well.

After a leisurely lunch stop we got back into it. Your legs always stiffen after a break. Colin loosened up by chasing a guy on a racing bike as we were approaching Springthorpe village only problem was as he was closing him down he came up to a junction and as he doesn’t know where he is going its game over. And he is circling as we catch him up.

We cycle on a few more miles and are overtaken by an old guy on an old bike in a yellow fleece and ear muffs. Just before he passed he shouted let an old man on a bike pass, and then he came through.

Colin and Graeme thought it was me shouting? Enough said it caused great amusement.

We then had a pretty eventless ride down to Saxilby village, apart from a Gypsy scrap wagon that we kept overtaking plus a bike shop in the middle of nowhere, it may have been an oasis, but today we were running incident free (shhhhhhhhhh)

Down to Saxilby we cross the A57 and skirt round the outskirts of Lincoln, the A46 too and down to Brant Broughton unfortunately it was rat runs for Lincoln traffic and it was not till we turned right to Brant Broughton did we clear the traffic. It was then a 6 mile ride flat countryside and no house or even building for 6 whole miles, rare for this country. At Brant Broughton it was decision time

We had had a long day the countryside was changing. So we chose the slightly shorter route via Hough on the hill which would also give us slightly longer on the main road.

On arrival at Hough on the Hill we passed a sign New Hill, well I shudder to think what the old one was like. It was one tough climb and made more so by the end of the day it kicked in after 60 plus miles. And was the first climb for 3 days. As we were struggling up the hill we were passed by a young girl in full racing gear and on a racing cycle, yes you guessed it the Bishop bullet had to chase her, full panniers and on his Micmo mountain bike.He was catching her too, till she realised what was happening she stood up out of the saddle and pushed away from him not bad for a 50 plus guy who was also giving her weight and tyre advantage. The Bullet does not worry about such things. A long climb is rewarded with a long long descent down to the A607 at Barkston it was then a steady trudge along the main road into Grantham.

Having to negotiate the one way system we found the Digs The Red House on the old A1 and just up from the Shop where Margaret Thatcher our first woman Prime Minister was born, the plaque on the wall for all to see.

Good digs and apart from Colin going in through the front door with his bike and slamming the door in Graeme and I faces plus the room (very nice and roomy) was on the 4th floor and no lift all you need after a 70 mile cycle ride.

We showered and changed as usual Graeme and I were ready first so while Colin got ready Graeme and I strolled into Grantham for a couple of beers at an old Coaching Hotel the Angel and Royal and a walk round. Colin joined us and we decided on Chinese 88 a Chinese buffet, great meal which took some real hammer from 3 starving cyclists.

Just when you think you are having a quiet night another character turns up. Tonight it was in the form of an English guy waiting at tables in the Chinese buffet in Grantham telling us he was an international business man who was the trouble-shooter for advice and business links between U.K and China and how he jetted off every few days.

MMMMMMMMMM so why is he wiping down tables on a Thursday night in Grantham.

We strolled back to the digs and as usual all slept like logs.


Introduction Day One Day Two Day Three
Day Four Day Five Rest Day Awards