On the 130th anniversary, I recreated part of the journey of the first person to cycle around the world on a bicycle. Taking it one day at a time. View the archive.

Through the Chilterns to Watford

By Stuart Lowe on

I alternated between main road and canal towpath this morning. On the main road I had large, high-sided trucks overtaking at 60 mph leaving minimal space. They blocked the wind sucking me towards them. After they passed I got buffeted by the wind again after. The towpath was slower but far safer and prettier. It also meant I could admire the wildlife.

photo
Heron on the canal

photo
Canal

As the route swung around to the south through Bletchley and Leighton Buzzard, the side wind of the past couple of days turned into a bit of a head wind. In Aldbury, in the Chilterns, my route took a left up a big hill. It then took me through a bluebell filled wood. On the bridleway there was a horse and rider. I'd cycled cautiously past a few in Cheshire and Staffordshire without any problems. This one however looked nervous and the rider wasn't giving me any hints as to what I should do. As it went by me I decided to slowly move off but even this movement spooked the horse and it jumped sideways to the annoyance of the rider and gave me a shock too.

photo
Aldbury in the Chilterns

photo
Bluebells

I paused in Berkhampstead for pie and mash (not just any pie and mash - M&S pie and mash). There was a Penny Farthing hotel but it was over £115 a night! It seemed all the local accommodation was over £100 or fully booked. Onwards. I crossed the M25 - London's orbital motorway - and headed south to Watford.

photo
M25

Over the phone I negotiated a £30 room in a B&B. In trying to find it, a big, blue, nox caught my attention. There was a TARDIS in someone's front garden. Next to it was a velociraptor and a robot dog!

photo
The Doctor?

photo
Ska-V-Goldsmith on his cyborg-dino-dog

As I stopped to take a picture the owner jumped out and said he'd move his car for me. His name was "Ska-V-Goldsmith" (or Nigel) and he seemed to be a modern day polymath with claims of a background in nuclear fission, rocket science and art. Nigel was certainly a very interesting person.

At the B&B I was greeted by Julien who was originally from the Congo and was a fan of MSF. He helped me get my bike into the back yard.