Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Cycle Touring Day 4

Route: Banbury - EttingtonStratford-upon-Avon - Aston Cantlow

Today started off very foggy and pretty cold. In taking out some of the extra load at the end of day one, I could not find my skull cap, neck tube or winter gloves. Bugger! My friend and overnight host @GreenBikeUK, who would be joining me for the first part of the cycle today, lent me a pair or winter gloves and boy did I need them!

Within an hour of setting off though, the fog had lifted and it had warmed up quite a bit. Another hour or so later the clouds started to disperse and the sun began to shine through. After the 35km my companion departed and headed for home, leaving me as a solo cycle tourist once again.

I reached Banbury Cross around 1.30pm just as the rain began to fall, so I found a dry spot and had lunch. As I set off again the rain was still just a drizzle but over the course of the next three hours it got heavier and more miserable, a strong headwind also began to pick up. I reached Stratford-upon-Avon around 4.30pm and had planned to stop and have a look around, as I had only passed through there briefly once before, but with the weather still bad I pressed on towards the campsite I had chosen for that night.

I pulled into Island Meadow at 5pm on the dot and just as I did so, the rain stopped. I was shown to a dry, sheltered spot and within 10 minutes the tent was up and all my gear was inside. I then treated myself to a hot shower. Bliss! As a result of having to rummage through all four panniers to find the stuff I needed (another reason for a trailer becoming more appealing), I had my first bit of good fortune - the cold weather clothing which I thought I had left behind, was to be found nestling at the bottom of one of the bags. Marvellous!

By the time I settled down for the night, the wind had dropped considerably and judging by how dry the tent was the following morning, it didn't rained much overnight either. In such a rural setting, at the edge of a flowing stream, I slept pretty well that first night.

After two hours and 35km, @GreenBikeUK headed for home.

If my cycle touring adventure was in need of a slogan, I think I found it today.

My first ever camp in the shadow of a large tree which had kept the ground dry.

The following morning I think this fella would have come along with me.


  1. Ah yes, it's all coming back to me - the bliss of a hot shower and the satisfaction of getting through another day. :-) Hope the weather improves for you very soon.

    1. Thank you! The irony is that the two weeks before I set off, which I spent painting and doing the final preparations, were gorgeous, hot and sunny and I was stuck indoors!!!