2005 Buckinghamshire

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Total distance: 166 miles (265.6 kilometres)

On this ride we started and stopped in Thame, with an overnight in Olney, which had been recommended to us by someone who had been there.

I have two main memories of this ride: The first was right at the beginning on day one. We cycled the Phoenix Trail eastwards from Thame at dawn directly towards the rising sun, which lit the dew-laden spider webs stretched across the trail, and made everything ethereal and beautiful. The moment was only spoiled by the lead rider coughing and spitting out strands of web and possibly spider legs.

The second memory was later that afternoon, when we had stopped for a euphemistic "rest break" at the entrance to the Nissan factory near Cranfield. We had moved off the road for a bit of privacy and spread out a little, and our esteemed leader was closest to the entrance. He was just about to, er, get started when the bollard beside the gate a couple of feet from him spoke. It said, "Please do not urinate in my bushes."

He managed to contain himself, but we've been laughing about it ever since.