Posted by: Emily | October 27, 2010

Cycling to Derby (day zero)

The tyres are pumped, panniers are packed and my Garmin is fully charged. It can only mean one thing – another cycle adventure. In less than 12 hours I’ll be starting a six day trip that will take me from London to Derby (and back). On my way I’ll be passing through Windsor, Oxford, Stratford-Upon-Avon, Bromsgrove, Birmingham, Leicester, Market Harborough, Northampton and Milton Keynes. I’ll be covering just over 500 miles which I’ll be doing on my Van Nicholas Yukon. As with my last trip, I’ll be using the National Cycle Network – for the most part National Cycle Routes 5 and 6. These are also known as Thames Vally Route (London to Oxford), West Midlands Cycle Route (Oxford to Derby via Birmingham) and South Midlands Cycle Route (Derby to Oxford via Leicester).

A number of people have asked why I picked Derby. It’s a good question. Having enjoyed my South West adventure so much I wanted to do another cycling holiday, but thought I should try somewhere new. Cycling from London to Oxford on the Thames Valley route immediately came to mind, but it wasn’t in itself enough miles to warrant a six day trip (there’s only so many Starbucks stops even I can make). After studying the National Cycle Network map I decided Derby was an ideal distance and having never been there before, it was a good opportunity to visit somewhere new.

The weekend before last I tried out the first part of my trip and cycled to Windsor and back. It was an 85 mile ride in total and although it was very flat, it ended up taking me most of the day. I did, however, manage to get lost quite a few times, stopped twice for extended Starbucks visits and had a fall – none of which I’m planning on repeating tomorrow. The weather when I did the Windsor ride was absolutely wonderful and it was great fun following the Thames. If it’s like that again tomorrow I’ll be very happy, if not, I’ve got my overshoes and Stowaway packed and ready. Derby here I come!

The Thames



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