Left 10 am for Henley. Last time we’d been this way Rich had been ill with a stomach bug and apart from a cafe and its toilet we hadn’t seen much of Henley. So we thought we’d go back and have better luck this time hopefully.
Had once more nice quiet country roads towards Bicester, Thame then into the Chilterns and Henley. Sunny weather helped and not too much traffic made it a very pleasant ride. Just the odd slow car here and there, but no traffic piling up behind them.
Arrived in Henley at noon. The first car park had only one small m/c space and that was taken so Rich took the lead to find our way to Waitrose. Coming out of a small road he said it was clear, it wasn’t, I braked whilst turning, dropped the bike. FFS!!! Not his fault at all but mine. I was a bit mad at myself there. It’s one of those moments when you know you’re doing the wrong things but all you can do is watch yourself fail. Without heavy panniers I would’ve held it. But hey, that’s life. Broke a bit of the clutch lever off, case of the indicator came off and some minor scratches. All in all not big of an issue.
Rich got the bike back up with the help of a young chap passing by. And off to Waitrose we went. I was a bit grumpy afterwards simply because it was all my own fault and would cost me a bit in parts. BMW is not cheap.
Walked through the small market that was on, bought a couple of new chili sauces from one stall. Rude not to. Really vibrant little town. Lots of cafés and little shops, pubs, restaurants. Got a table at The Angel pub right by the river, good shout Rich. Had a small meal each and enjoyed the atmosphere. Shame we couldn’t stay longer.
Back on the bikes it was getting proper hot now. Whenever we stopped the bikes were blowing up heat at us. Cut back through the Chilterns and then South and East avoiding Reading via smaller country roads. Good views, quiet roads. From Newbury it was East all the way to Bristol. Usual coffee stop in Marlborough again sitting in the shade of the trees at the church.
Back home at 4pm. Good ride again today. Did once more a few good overtakes that surprised Rich in how confident and progressive I did them. I’ve really learned how to do this on this trip, haha.
So that was week one. Bit of a mixed bag. The High Weald AONB is lovely and we really enjoyed staying at The Dorset Arms. Lots of green, lots of stunning villages and lots to explore. More chilled riding with all the speed limits and no long stretches between villages.
The area around Buckingham didn’t impress us in terms of riding, but we really liked the place a lot. What we liked though was Warwickshire and the area just outside the Cotswolds up there. Highlight of the trip for me was the ride up to see our mate Ben and catching up with him after such a long time. Closely followed by our visit to Scotney Castle.
We now have a couple of days off, before heading up to mid Wales to stay with our dog in a shepherd’s hut near Presteigne for three nights. Just chilling and going out for a few easy walks. Really looking forward to it!!!