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Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Winchester to Slough (nearly)

After a night spent in a drying room the team woke to ... rain!

A very depressing sight and the bag packing and delaying tactics were to have a big impact later in the day.  At least we left with £10 sponsorship from a couple on a coach outing to Winchester.

Not far down the road we hit another milestone - 1000 miles cycled.
If it hadn't been for the heavy drizzle (rain), the whole journey would have been great as we sped through picturesque villages alongside the river Itchen, wooded areas, past the watercress beds and along unexplored bits of Hampshire.  We hit the edge of a real storm and were left to negotiate a lot of flooding and loose chippings washed onto the road - puncture!
Sedately does it

Jake detected some uncalled for bubbles
under his rear tyre - nice hole.

20 minute repair - good team work
Nic - replace inner tube
Jake - tools man and putting on wheel
Philip - puncture repair on damaged tube

More flood water

We made it to Basingstoke (NOT Nic's favourite place!). Fuelled up and got Jake's tyre pressure checked. Off to Reading and Slough.

The decision had been made to use cycle routes to get us to our destination.  Certainly quieter but also meandering to the point of distraction at times.

Reading was simple to negotiate and comes highly praised from a cyclist's point of view, the unfortunate bit was that Jake's cleat (the clip bit) in his shoe broke off in his new pedal - probably irrepairable.  The weather was closing in.  It was now 6:00pm, we were cycling like demons, it just felt like a very long day.

We tracked NCR4 into some back lanes and forests - it was very dark, big clouds above and now 7:45pm, Jake's cycling glasses went missing through the woods.  Just 10 miles from our destination (according to a local history group out for an evening tour) more bubbles under a tyre, this time Philip's front wheel.
More repairs completed
It threw it down with rain as Nic replaced the tube and the boys sorted all the necessary stuff out.  Enough was enough - the history group caught up with us again and told us of a local pub.  The team decided to find a local hotel which we did, just outside Maidenhead.  Lewis at Riders Country Hotel was a star and we are camped out in a room munching peanuts and consuming complimentary biscuits at some unfashionable hour.

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