Monday, 22 November 2010

Boudica's last battle...

6.30am - Its cold and dark, I'm scrabbling about trying to find my thermal socks and an extra layer of insulation. Soon I'm outside wondering if it might rain later? I put lights onto the winter bike and set off - 7.15 sharp - its still dark but not for long now. I get to Measham and realise I've forgotten my bidon, no chance of going back so I call in to a petrol station and buy a bottle of lucozade sport!

I'm on time arriving a Gary's and we are quickly on our way to Burton-on-Trent to meet up with Mercia Cycling Club. Today's ride is tantalisingly entitled 'Boudica's Last Battle' No one seems entirely sure where that means we will be heading?

Eleven of us set off and soon we are climbing up towards Rosliston - we lose our first rider here, Alan has a problem with his freewheel hub and has to abandon for the day. We press on and as we pass through Botany Bay, Neil punctures. He urges us to continue and assures us he will meet us at the first cafe stop. We ride on at a comfortable pace through Lullington and Clifton and then up through the Thorpe Estate winding our way towards Atherstone. We stop for breakfast at the Co-op and tuck into bacon, egg, fried bread, beans and sausage!!! - very welcome on this cold morning. A couple of cups of coffee provides a caffeine boost and with Neil back with us, plus the addition of Norman (he finally made it!) we set off again.

The ride leader today is Ian who has a strong interest in history - He leads us, via a network of backroads, to Mancetter and then gives us a short talk on the possible site of Boudica's last battle against the Roman leader Seutonious - Of course no one can be absolutely sure about this - and there are two or three other sites that also have some claim to the title. Incidentally 'Boudica' is the correct spelling and pronunciation, not 'Boedecia' - which apparently is the latinised version. Anyway the whole thing was most interesting.

We set off back towards home heading through Stoke Golding and Daddlington towards Sutton Cheney - We now stopped at another historic battle site - this time on the outskirts of Market Bosworth - The Battle of Bosworth field took place in 1485 and marked the end of the wars of the roses - King Richard III was killed in the battle. We enjoyed a bowl of soup and a cup of coffee here in the impressive Tithe Barn Restaurant.

After this it was time to head for home, it was getting colder now, I left the main group and looped around Congerstone and Carlton adding a little to the journey to increase my mileage - Total covered today - 68 miles

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