Today's mileage: 68
LEJOG mileage to date: 384

Map view:

Google Earth view:

And the ride to date:

A big day: 68 miles, from Warwick to Sherwood, on the north side of Nottingham, taking in Coventry and Leicester along the way.

The Garmin's idea of how to get from Warwick to Coventry was this:

I did later finally figure out what was going on: a combination of two things. First, 'Avoid highways' allows some A-roads and excludes others on a seemingly entirely random basis. Second, selecting 'Bicycle' as the vehicle also causes it to avoid certain roads, also with no apparent rhyme or reason. With 'Avoid highways' off, and vehicle set to car, it gave an excellent route - though I did have to persuade it we weren't going to use the M69. In the meantime, we stuck to our paper-map-plus-GPS tactic.

The campsite was in the centre of the Warwick horse racing course, right next to the start. I didn't dare setup this photo when we arrived in case we were thrown off the site, but I figured there was nothing to lose as we set off in the morning ...

The first few miles of the journey were on a fast A-road, so on with the magic Dinotte rear light. :-)

My rear gears were giving me a lot of trouble, not indexing properly and slipping between the lower gears, so first on the agenda was nipping into the centre of Coventry to try to get this sorted out.

I accosted a random cyclist who directed us here:

An excellent recommendation, as they very kindly agreed to look at it right away.

The bike shop who serviced my bike said it was the shifter, and they went online to show me which one to order:

Unfortunately, they had made a slight numerical error, pointing me to an 8-speed shifter when there were in fact 9 rear cogs. Something we discovered after the mechanic fitted the new shifter and then had to figure out why it wasn't indexing.

The mechanic refitted the original shifter and adjusted it. The result wasn't perfect, but much better than it had been previously.

I'd brought a dozen books with me to read. The bad news was that all of them had been on my (drowned) phone. I popped into the charity shop opposite to pick up a book.

Then back on the road, next stop Leicester.

It had been raining a little as we left the bike shop, but as it was now hot and dry, I decided to thumb my nose at the weather gods by removing my waterproofs.

Warwickshire was not entirely without hills.

You're welcome.

But there were more flat bits than hills.

20 miles in, we did a pub stop for lunch.

I wasn't entirely sure that contained enough calories to see me through to Leicester, so I played safe:

Then a visit to the gents, with this piece of entertainment:

The first few miles after lunch are always tough, so I was pleased to see that we turned out of the pub car-park and headed straight downhill.

A warning that some cyclists ride bizarre two-wheeled bikes:

Another county ticked-off:

We were on lovely roads.

We were going right through the centre of Leicester, but were mostly able to filter through the traffic.

We were at 40 miles, so time for a tea-break. I asked a cabbie for a cafe recommendation, and he pointed us down a pedestrian precinct.

Where we found this:

The owner came out to look at the trikes, asked us about the trip and presented us with some free shortbread biccies. :-)

This was the point at which I finally solved the GPS routing mystery.

Which worked a treat, starting us on the busy dual-carriageway towards Nottingham and then took us off onto some delightful roads in a very straight line towards Nottingham.

And yet another county zapped!

We hit traffic here, but there were enough cooperative cars leaving gaps for us to hop our way up the queue.

I spotted a sign for a helicopter company, and thought I would see whether they'd be kind enough to allow us a quick photo-opp; they were.

Now if we can only find a couple of ropes, I believe we have a sound plan for reaching John O'Groats.

Then onwards and downwards.

My pleasure.

And the final few miles of open road before we hit Nottingham.

Which was surprisingly hilly.

It has to be said that the standard of driving in the Midlands was the worst we'd encountered, so when I spotted a car full of youths approaching slowly from behind and winding down the window, I was expecting the worst. I was very surprised when they instead leaned out to tell us we were going well!

It was a bank holiday weekend, and the unpredictable nature of our schedule made it difficult to book ahead more than a day, so we'd had no luck finding a campsite. Fortunately, Erica had a friend, Pat, in Nottingham, who offered to act as Hotel Nottingham.

Guess where he lived?

Luxury of luxuries, after a week of campsite showers, a real bath!

So a relatively flat day:

Our target for tomorrow is Selby. Probably, given the bank holiday weekend, a layby in Selby ...

Onto day 8 ...