De amicitia

My best friend had great friends, it was great to spend time with them.

I got to Leek Wootton last Thursday and spent a few days in Warwickshire, a place where I have spent on and off lots of time in the last seventeen years. I was guest of Jo and Martin and I loved spending time with them and their two wonderful children.

Bike ready and off I go again, thanks for the lovely time.
It is strange and a bit hard to be back around here, everywhere I look I catch glimpses of my past life. Don’t get me wrong I loved my life but it is precisely the love for it mixed with the realisation that I will never have it again that makes it hard.
Said that some of the great bits of it keep cropping up in my current life. On Friday night we went to eat at The Anchor Inn and we were joined by Mark, Claire, Helen and Louise AKA an array of past and present staff from Bonhams Knowle. The night was great, the food was good and the conversation was livened up by the laughter generated by some of the less inspired choices I have made in the first weeks of my trip.
Tarn was truly lucky to get her job in Knowle and in the process to become part of a group of great people that I now, without deserving it, appear to have inherited from her. I will treasure these friends and carry them in my hart for the rest of this trip and beyond. Their embrace will give me confort in the times of adversity, their encouragement will push me all those times I will want to give up, and the memory of their laughter will help me celebrate the good times.
Sunday morning and the time to leave Leek Wootton has come and there was just another stop to make before hitting the trail, Liz. Liz was Tarn’s physiotherapist and has been another of the great people I inherited from my beautiful wife. Tarn told me very many times she thought of her as less of a physiotherapist than a friend and a counsellor. Over the last eighteen months I have come to appreciate where that love and affection came from. Liz cooked Max and me a lovely brunch and we had a good chat before it was time for me to get on my way into the Cotswold.

Route 2,837,384 – powered by

The journey was easy, as usual restarting with a couple of days of rest in the legs is easy. The only tricky bit was in the latest part where the average speed reduced proportionally to the steepness of the road. I took the A429 all the way from Warwick to Stow on the Wold as I was, well, frankly quite lazy. The A429 runs in the main on the trace of a roman road so it will be no surprise to anybody that it’s pretty straight and goes onto easier grounds than the more scenic side roads. The problem is that it can get pretty traffiky. It was not lethal today, perhaps it being a Sunday, but it is not greatly enjoyable to get overtaken by a big lorry at high speed so I might try and give a miss to road like this in the future.

je voudrais une baguette s’il vous plait

When I got to Morton in Marsh the shape of things to come was laid in front of me, a French Market. I considered buying some carbs (baguette, croissant, etc..) then i remembered I already had stuff and, oh yes, If I buy I must carry. I will have a good three weeks of France to use for sampling all of that.

While on a drink and nose-around stop in the square I got approached by a lovely 85 years old almost deaf chap who wanted to know all about me. I shouted most of it and he was really impressed, not sure if more by my lung capacity after a day cycling or my story. I continue finding really quite interesting how older people in this country have a much better attitude towards people doing crazy things like this. Something else that can be exported from the UK to Italy.

5 Comments Add yours

  1. Julca says:

    Buona settimana Alex!

  2. Helen Bolus says:

    It was lovely to see you too. Take care on your travels. X

  3. Jo Ward says:

    Thank you for sharing some treasure memories Alex, we loved having you as our ‘inspirational’ guest for the weekend, safe journey x

  4. Jayne Thomson says:

    Wow Alex – what a fab video! Fantastic! Not sure how it’s done but very impressed. Almost makes me want to take to the road! Ha ha.

  5. Jimmy. says:

    Hello Alex,
    Brenda and I are following your route with
    interest.Glad you enjoyed Cumbria and the Lake
    District.[ Land of my ancestors ].We also spent happy
    days walking in Yorkshire ,the High Peak and the
    Cotswold and visiting many of the towns and villages
    you passed through.I spoke to the Fordy sisters,[Louie was Tarn’s Godmother],they were both
    interested in your trip and asked about sponsorship.
    Fred Johnstone,a boyhood friend of Stan’s also
    wished to sponsor .
    I promised to keep them updated
    on your travels .
    Happy and safe pedaling
    Jimmy and Brenda.

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