Got up at about 6, leisurely breakfast and was en route to Yorkshire at 07:39. The roads were still a bit wet from the previous night's downpour when I set off. Got a few grimy splashmarks on the frame, I'll have to give it a wipe down tomorrow. It was cold but I wrapped up warm and wasn't uncomfortable. Took a couple of layers off later on and stuffed them in my backpack.
The first ten miles of the route I took to South Yorkshire is my old ride to our office in Donington. That's mostly pleasant enough, but the next 20 miles, and indeed most of the remaining ten, were a bit joyless. I quite enjoyed a stretch north of Mansfield and some of the B683 north of Nottingham but mostly it was busy A roads.
Missed a turn at Beeston, but got back on track by cutting through a housing estate, with the help of Google Maps of course. Was slightly disconcerted that one of the roads I took had a Dead End sign at its entrance, but while it did have concrete pillars at the end designed to prevent cars passing through to the main road, it was easy to navigate through on a bike.
Seemed odd to be entering Derbyshire after 43 miles, when I can do that only 6 or 7 miles from home on another route.
Anyway, stopped at a petrol station near Worksop to take on fuel, then took a left up a dual carriageway section of the A57, only two miles from my destination. Unfortunately this was undergoing resurfacing and had a temporary road surface about 100 metres in. This was incredibly lumpy and bone-shaking and after about 30 metres of it I decided that I was simply not having it. I stopped on the grass verge, plotted a detour then wheeled the bike over to the central reservation, lifted it over the crash barrier, climbed over it myself and joined the traffic coming the other way.
Unfortunately the detour I planned involved a section of road that was more or less a stony footpath round the back of a rugby club, but that bit was short. A few minutes later I was at my destination at the base of South Yorkshire, just north of Worksop.
I chose a more sensible if slightly longer detour to avoid the lumpy road on the way back. Stopped at a bench in Worksop for lunch. I decided to come home a different way involving taking a right along the A611 south of Mansfield. I knew that this would involve a fair bit more climbing, but quite fancied a sentimental visit to Derby. In particular this route featured a stretch between Heanor and Oakwood (in Derby), that I did a couple of times in the early noughties when I lived in Oakwood.
I'd planned to avoid Raynesway in Derby which is an insanely fast multi-lane dual carriageway by giving it a wide berth via Ockbrook and Elvaston. But by the time I got there I decided I'd had as much cycling as I needed for one day, so I decided I'd just take my life in my hands rather than bother with the long way round. Fortunately though I didn't need to as I discovered that it has a fairly well-maintained cycle path. I almost never use them as they tend to be scattered with stones, bits of broken glass and the lower classes walking dogs, but this one was pretty good.
From there I whizzed through Shardlow, hung a right to Donington and came the usual way home from the office.
Nice weather for cycling after it warmed up a bit from 11AM or so, sunny, not too warm and not much wind. I was back just on sunset.
Was rather pleased that the alkaline batteries in my DAB lasted all day. Usually I take the extreme capacity lithium ones on a long ride.
I have to admit I didn't enjoy that one a lot. I'd have had more fun if I'd got up a couple of hours later and done a 60-odd miler to Belvoir Castle or Rutland and back, along scenic and quiet lanes through sprawling fields puncuated by idyllic villages in the autumn sunshine instead of pushing along mile after mile of charmless busy roads. But I'm very satisfied to have ticked the Yorkshire box and bagged another county.
114.6 miles, which boosts the September tally to 306.