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.

Coventry to Fenny Stratford

By Stuart Lowe on

In Allesley I stopped at The Village Barbers to get a trim. Actually I got a number 1 as then I don't have to worry about washing my hair for a while. Thanks to Mark and Stacey for the haircut and good wishes.

Mark and Stacey

It was a short ride into Coventry and I found the Starley Memorial. I stopped to recreate the illustration in Thomas Stevens' book. In using the self-timer my camera blew over in the wind and I had to dive to the concrete to save it. I then co-opted local man Paul to take the picture for me. He recommended the Coventry Transport Museum so that is where I went next.

The Starley Memorial

The Starley Memorial illustration courtesy of the British Library

Local Paul

The museum was being refurbished but was really good and had free entry. They started with the history of the Penny Farthing and progressed through the motor industry to the ThrustSSC.

Penny Farthings


Even a quick look around the museum meant I left Coventry after midday. Last night I'd tried having a cold shower for 15 minutes on my knees. That was as close as I could get to an ice bath. It had seemed to have helped as it wasn't as sore as yesterday.

I had some lovely views of Northamptonshire and reached Weedon Barracks by 15:45. The Barracks are no longer military so I couldn't get a pint of stout with an officer like Thomas Stevens did. Instead I briefly chatted to the security guard who let me take a picture.


Weedon Barracks

After Daventry I rode along the ancient Roman road of Watling Street which, unfortunately, is now the A5 and not the most pleasant cycling. On the outskirts of Milton Keynes, in Stony Stratford, I paid a visit to the Cycle King bike shop to get spare brake pads as mine are wearing down. I had a bit of a chat with the guys in the shop then pressed on around the south side of Milton Keynes.

Cycle Kings

Milton Keynes didn't exist in Stevens' day so I was going to Fenny Stratford. Handily, Milton Keynes has a great network of cycle lanes so I was able to keep off-road for quite a stretch.

About 17:30 I arrived at Fenny Stratford which seemed to be a retail park. I gorged on high calory pizza and pasties at Greggs and purchased a bright pink 5100 mAh battery pack whilst searching for toilets. I needed somewhere cheap to stay and I found a campsite a few miles further on by the canal.