Sunday, 10 August 2008

At times like this, you realise you have missed a turning

Today I traced a bit more of the Round Berkshire Cycle route from Maidenhead to Reading and a bit beyond, to Tidmarsh. I covered 30 miles altogether, much of it against a headwind. Mid- afternoon, the rain that had been threatening all morning finally got under way. I felt I had done enough by then, and got the train home from Pangbourne.

This is the ford over the River Loddon, in Charvil, near Twyford on the way out to Reading. It is one of the two fords that are supposed to have given Twyford its name (the other has now been replaced by a bridge).

This is not on the Round Berkshire Route, but if you miss one of the turns you end up here, faced with a foot of water. Despite my relaxed and vague frame of mind on a Sunday morning, at that point even I realised that something had gone amiss.

Berkshire is not all pretty villages, ancient churches, and other historic monuments. It is also crossed by major tansport routes, is the home of numerous large and small companies, and more than 800,000 people live in the county. The Round Berkshire Cycle Route covers all of this, and why shouldn't it? The section I rode today passed through some countryside, and some interesting spots, but unfortunately it contains more than its fair share of ordinary suburban housing, industry, retail parks, and transport links. So while this part of the route is certainly not unpleasant, perhaps it is best described as "varied", rather than "attractive".

Although I have ridden from Maidenhead to Reading a number of times, I've previously followed the national cycle route, rather than the Round Berkshire Cycle Route - so that was new for me. As always, there were interesting things to see, and there is the promise of some pleasant countryside beyond Reading in future.

For now, though, this was my first lengthy ride in weeks, and it was enough to have a very satisfying stretch, and get home feeling thoroughly exercised.


gom1 said...

Co-indicentally, there is more about fords on city exile:

gom1 said...

Or should that be city exile