Sunday, 20 July 2008

Thames Traditional Boat Rally

The destination of today's ride was the "Thames Traditional Boat Rally" near Henley. This is an annual event, which does pretty much what it says on the tin. It is a rally of traditional boats, on the Thames.

(they also have old cars and some old bicycles on display, as well as a collection of the kind of stalls and exhibitions that you would expect at this sort of event)

The rally has been running for 30 years, but I came across it by accident last year. On the day I visited a year ago the river was very high and in the end the event was pretty much flooded out. This year, the weather was more amenable, and it was well attended.

The ride there and back on the bike came to about 28 miles, which is the longest distance that I have covered in nearly three weeks. I thoroughly enjoyed it. There was a bit of wind, but on the whole the weather was kind. I now know the area fairly well, and I could choose a route to avoid the worst of the traffic, without meandering around too many quiet back lanes.

The aim was to reach the destination, not see the best of the countryside, rack up the miles, set up a speed record, or any kind of training. So I took things fairly sedately, and by the time I got home, I was a bit disappointed to find that I had only averaged about 11mph. I had already realised that I was using pathetically low gears up some of the hills. What I think that goes to show is that the improvements I thought I was making last month were pretty superficial. They have quickly disappeared over a couple of weeks when I've done relatively little cycling. Obviously I will need to keep putting the work in.

Nevertheless it was a very enjoyable outing, and apart from getting some healthy exercise and seeing some shiny wooden boats, I've also captured some photos of old bikes that will come in useful for illustrating future posts.

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