Today was probably very close to the ideal bike ride. It started with a fabulous breakfast in the Old Forge B&B. The weather was cool but not too cool that you wanted to start with warmers, just right. Following the idea that we were riding roads without a center line we were down a lot of small secondary roads and lanes and a few bike trails. As an added benefit we were riding through the Cotswold area which is considered to be one of the most beautiful areas. It has rolling hills with beautiful green pastures and hills, lots of quaint villages and magnificent manor houses.
We had lots of fun cruising along through the rolling hills. Of course when I saw rolling hills doesn’t mean no steep hills as that is the down side of smaller roads, there are always lots of steep pitches. I think that there were a least five major climbs to day and all of them in the second half of the day. Several of them hit 15% and all of them were in the 2-5 mile (3-8 kms) range. None of them were really terrible but certainly a few of them had me huffing and puffing.
One of the good things about the ride today was there wasn’t a lot of really rough road. The off road bike paths which are not paved and rough really take their toll. When you can only ride at 6-7 mph (10-12 kms/hr) so you can’t cover much ground. Plus you are riding as hard as you can so it is really exhausting. The last 6 miles into town was down rails to trails path which wasn’t paved but it was hard packed dirt. There hasn’t been any rain here for a while so the path had about 0.5 inches of dust on it. So the bikes are just covered in dirt. It would have been a total mud bath if there had of been a normal amount of rain. The dust is easy to deal with.
The path took us right into the backdoor of Stratford of Avon and to our apartment. We are in a very nice modern apartment right on the corner of the main street of Stratford on Avon. It has a roof top patio which overlooks the downtown. Shakespeare’s house is four doors down the road. This place just reeks of history. The window of the shop next door has Yorick in the window. We ate supper in a pub which has been in constant business since 1600 and the place down the street says it is the oldest pub in Stratford on Avon. I am sure that the next few days are going to be filled with bad Shakespeare jokes.
Agnes stopped and visited a Roman villa which was built in 200 AD and was in operation through 400 AD. She also stopped and visited a couple of manor homes. The pictures look really fantastic. I will try and make a couple of picture posts of some of her pictures when I get a chance to process some of them.