A hot one

I think today was the hottest day this year so far…so guess who chose to do the longest distance yet on this trip? From Stoke Mandeville to Great Dunmow – came in at 107 km (66.5 miles for the metrically challenged) and took me 5 hours 40 minutes and three refills of my water bottles! There were a surprising number of hills – none too long, as the route followed the Chiltern scarp line for a while. My wonderful navigation system did take me down a closed road followed by a bike lift over a stile.

Lifting a 35 kg bike over this was an extra challenge today!
I once went for an interview here – Beech Grove in Tring. In those days it was the headquarters of the British Trust for Ornithology- I was told later that I cam second, but should have got the job. BTO would them likely have taken on seabirds rather than NCC and the course of history might have changed! (it is now flats)

The route took me across a number of north-south arteries from/to London, some used more than others.

Todays hot track
The original main north-south route – the Roman Ermine Street – not heavily used by the legions any more
The more heavily used M11. Those who know me may remember that I helped to build this road in summer 1977 – we could not believe that there was a need for more than 2 carriageways either side, but I think it could do with another two now. A lot of vehicles on the move in the south-east these days
I learned of another place name to be wary of – anything with “ford” at the end of its name means yet another hill climb afterwards!
Difficult to illustrate, but my arms/face/beard/bare legs all collected a fair number of insects today – on my arms stuck in a nice combination of sweat and sun cream!

Totals yesterday and today: 59.4 km and 340 m ascent, no tubs; 107 km, 965 m ascent, no tubs! Totals: 795 km, 9314 m. I have also realised that the total distance that I’ll do is equivalent to riding from Lands End to John O’Groats, then turning around and returning to Lands End!

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