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A Technophobe’s Odyssey – Dave Birch reports on a grand day out

Route planned for my Hundred Miler, so what better way to christen my new Wahoo than to download the route so that I can use it on the day. This job was quite beyond me so Carol did it for me. All looked good so we road tested it on Saturday. You may remember that there was intermittent rain on Saturday.

We set off on our bikes and all looked good until we got to West Langton crossroads where we were told to turn right when we wanted to go straight on – we wanted to turn right in Thorpe Langton. By this stage it had turned cold and was raining hard. We turned for home, drenched and shivering.

We modified the route but this time took the Wahoo in the car. We turned right in Thorpe Langton but it still didn’t work. By this stage, my technophobia had reached epic proportions – Carol was a bit miffed too.

Back home again and a long break from it all. The ever patient Carol worked deep into the night to make further adjustments to the route.

Come Sunday morning, Carol had left for her day out with Oadby Hill Walkers (she must have been so relieved to get away from me). I got my bike out, switched on the Wahoo and set off for Thorpe Langton to meet John Welsford but it still didn’t work. While I was waiting outside the Bakers Arms for John, I pressed every button on the Wahoo at least six times – as technophobes do, but still couldn’t get it to go.

We set off from Thorpe Langton Wahoo-less but I chanced to press a button on it (I still can’t remember which one), and it miraculously started working.

We met Rowland (there’s only one) in Desborough and the team was complete. My spirits were now sky high – the disasters forgotten.

Our first stop was Barnwell Country Park, near Oundle at the Kingfisher Café – an idyllic spot with a view from their decking over a pool with waterlilies just coming into flower – reminiscent of Monet – and the coffee was good too.

Eastwards we trundled via Alconbury Weston, and arrived at our lunch stop, the Stibbington Diner, nestled under the A1(M) at, would you believe, Stibbington at about 2pm. The all-day breakfast chef was a master of his craft.

Having refuelled, we rode over the beautiful bridge at Wansford and turned west for home – a wiggly 35 mile route. When we got back to Great Easton, we checked out mileage and realised that we could get home, having achieved our 100 miles without the detour up the Devils Staircase but we went for it anyway – so brave!

We parted company in Slawston, all having done the miles – it was a great day. Full marks to Wahoo.

Just one more thing, in case you were wondering – Rowland was on his E-bike but didn’t use the power, though there was a strange whistling noise now and then.

Dave Birch

Photos by Rowland Summerlin

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