Huge day yesterday as we left Worksop early and set off along Sustrans route 6 along the canal and then on little gravel and sand tracks through Clumber Park.
Unfortunately the signs are almost impossible to follow at times as they are sometimes missing or unclear. Their routes are always complicated to avoid main roads, so then the inevitable happened and we lost the route, frustratingly often today.
We missed Clumber Park lake, but then stumbled across the route again and a not very useful sign - Dover 504 miles and Inverness 788.
After about 40 kilometres that were mainly off road, we stopped less than 200 metres from the entrance to Newstead Abbey because I thought that my tyre was a bit soft. Tipping the bike upside down, sure enough, we found a blackberry thorn had pierced the back tyre.
Darren speedily set about fixing it, while at a loose end, I decided to check the other tyre. There was what looked like a tiny twig on the it so I went to pull it off. There was a loud hissing sound as another thorn came out of the front tyre.
The two punctures delayed us, so instead of a scenic view of the Abbey and lake, we took the main road and headed to my mum and dad's house. My mum had made a lovely lemon drizzle cake and we stayed a bit longer than planned, so we then raced over to my sister's. She was working from home and we chatted briefly to her before she started another zoom meeting.
Quick chat to Steve E who was laying a patio in her garden, and then off again to cycle to our final rendezvous point with Mark and Pauline.
Absolutely beautiful cycling along the canal, and this time we weren't in a rush because we had loads of spare time to reach them.
It was quite a long way, with a major detour as the towpath was closed near the Boot's site, but eventually we got to Trent Loch and only about 10 kilometres left to go.
After stopping to study the map and work out where to cross the Trent, we got back on our bikes and on the first turn of his pedal, Darren snapped his bike chain.
He didn't have a tool to fix it, and after some attempts to use my bike lock as a hammer he had to give up. Checking my phone, I found that there was a bike shop 15 minutes ride away, but it was closing in 25 minutes.
Darren jumped on my bike and set off to find them and I phoned them to check that they had the right chain in stock.
All's well that ends well, because he got there in time, and I phoned M and P changed the plan and they drove to meet us at the pub at Trent Loch.
A good time was had by all and then we set off for to cycle the last 13 kilometres to our hotel by the airport, and arrived just after dark.
Long, long day, quick dinner at the hotel and then an early night.