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Saturday, 5 June 2010

The Weakest Link

We were so close!

We left at 9.00a.m. just 30 minutes later than planned; clothes still drying, panniers being packed, that last cup of tea being downed.

Morning sunshine speeding up the drying process.

What a fantastic morning! We got a full 2 miles down the road before having to stop for the herd of milking cows lazily wandering from farmyard to field. As we rolled past, gate shut, we could hear the cattle, demeanour transformed by lush Spring grass, galloping alongside us.

The ride was improved by Nic managing to get her gearing sorted and make it up the hill that had yesterday caused much muttering and resulted in Nic walking.

The junction that heralded 'Nic's' hill.

We decided on an early stop because we couldn't pass up the opportunity to see a dinosaur footprint (photo below). We saw some fabulous carp cresting the water at the site much to the amusement of the cackling moorhens on the lake's central island.

We pedalled happily through villages that give the Cotswolds it's well-earned reputation; Donnington, Broadwell (our first stop), Churchill, Bledington. What a choice for a lunch-time stop - The King's Head, Bledington. Superbly peaceful surrounding, shattered a little by a slightly hyperactive, hungry Jake who was soon quietened by the plateful of cheesy chips and a go on the see-saw.

Not all of us had the energy for swinging on the playground equipment but this pose was more fitting to the tranquil atmosphere.

Refuelled, we headed home for the last 10 miles of our ride, planning to revisit Broadwell via Upper and Lower Oddington. It was not to be, almost at the junction for Upper Oddington Jake's chain, the weakest link, pinged - again. Twice in three rides but this time not 100 yards from our door but 3.5 miles of walking and coasting.

Jake, there's something missing! You are the weakest link.
So, our average speed got hammered, our target 40 miles was cut short by 5 miles but we have a result. Matt at Bourton Cycles was great, a quick check showed that our 10 year old's legs had stretched the chain to
a length no self-respecting chain should reach.
Together with the new chain we got a scary tip-off about the Cornish hills and have been pointed in the direction of the local 'training' hill know as 'The Drainpipe'.
Let's do it!

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