Monday, 2 July 2012

The Queens Head - Newton Regis

With France a fading memory, the cold, wet roads of North Warwickshire made an unwelcome return to our cycling schedule for the beer ride. I was running late and opted to meet the peloton at Clifton Campville, it was an impressive turn out. Norman, Baz, Paul from across the road, Pete, Ian on his Brompton, another chap I hadn't seen before and Ken. We cycled up to Thorpe Constantine, then across the usually busy Ashby Road to Seckington and from there an easy saunter to Newton Regis.

The duck pond - Newton Regis
Newton was the northernmost village in Warwickshire when it became a Royal Manor of King Henry II in 1159. It was privileged to take the title of 'Regis' and the estate was granted to Geoffrey Savage and his heirs. Like many villages Newton Regis has lost its range of 'trades' - a century ago there was a shoemaker, a tailor, carpenters, wheelwrights, bakers, butchers and a grocer - all with apprentices. Today all are long gone. and the village dozes around its duck pond with the Queens Head sitting slightly back from the road.

It seems a pleasant enough pub, low, beamed ceilings, a fireplace, locals dotted around the tables and a few people eating. There was an interesting poster advertising 'Pie Night' and also a Quiz Evening.
Beer was just OK - nothing special really and not a great choice. We opted for Timothy Taylor 'Landlord'.

The Queens Head
I brought back some pieces of stone that I'd gathered from around the Tom Simpson Memorial on Mont Ventoux - I handed these out to those who were interested and Gary and I told our tale. There was another rider there who met us at the pub - We see him rarely, maybe once or twice a year, but he too had ridden up the Ventoux. In fact he has ridden up most of the Alpine mountains, and completed the fabled 'Marmotte' Sportive - probably the hardest bike ride in Europe or even the World. The route is 174Km and features over 5180metre of climbing over the Col du Glandon, Col du Telegraphe, Col du Galibiers and then finishes on top of the most famous Tour de France climb, Alpe d'Huez. Oh, and he's also climbed the Matterhorn and been up the foothills of Everest. Suddenly our efforts seemed unimpressive.

After three pints and a bag of crisps we were on our way home. The light was fading by now and with a long ride ahead, lights were needed. I split off from the main group and made my way home via Austrey, up the sharp uphill stretch past the radio mast towards Appleby Magna and then out to Snarestone, Shackerstone, Congerstone and home, I made it back well before midnight which was pleasing - and I certainly slept well that night.

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