The objective of this ride was to get to Stratford-upon-Avon. With the iPhone mounted on the handle bars meant easier access but the screen didn't respond to gloved hands. Finding the right position to mount the iPhone had been a problem and the angle that I mounted it made it unreadable. Even stepping off the bike, it was difficult to read the screen because of the reflections. The other frustration was that I couldn't hear the phone ring and the mounting case seemed to muffle the speakers. I am not sure that I want to be tethered to my handlebars by ear plugs.
The first part down route 55 was the homeward leg from my previous ride although I took a quicker path to get to it rather than cycle the full length of route 55. Being primarily downhill and slightly warmer conditions than my last ride, I made good time to Ridditch. Although this photo shows the worst climb on this leg, the down hills were longer and reasonably fast. In a couple of places there was icy slush across the road.
The first part of route 5 heading south from Redditch through the Arrow Valley Park. The way marker in the park was colourful. It does show the direction and distances. There were a lot of people out enjoying a morning's walk on a cool and cloudy morning.
Exploring the English countryside always takes you past interesting places. Coughton Court near Alcester. Just down the road, is a ford. Thankfully there is a pedestrian bridge. Being a national cycle route doesn't mean that there aren't obstacles to negotiate along the way.
Another historic place along the ride is Mary Arden's House at Wilmcote, just three miles north of Stratford-upon-Avon. This a large Tudor farmhouse. Some of the out buildings looked worthy of exploration but it wasn't open and cycling gear isn't really the best to wear when exploring historic places.
Heading into Stratford-upon-Avon, route 5 turns along the canal path. Getting onto the canal path involved negotiating a rather interesting gate. I had to swing the gate away from and then back the bike in between two fences that narrowed to be little more than the width of the rear wheel. Swinging the gate back the other way allowed me to get onto the canal path. Nothing but conventional bikes on this canal path. I should have taken a photo but was thinking about the end of the journey.
I didn't count the actual locks down this stretch of the canal but there were at least six and I wouldn't be surprised if there were ten. Most were full of ice as one was under repair so apart from the overflow path, there was little actual flow in the canal.
This was near where Marilyn actually picked me up but I continued along route 5 thinking it would be heading into the town centre. I stopped when I came to some train carriages from which a bike hire operation was operating (maybe during summer). It looked fairly closed. Forgot to take a photo as I discovered Marilyn was trying to call me. Back tracking, I realised that I should have taken route 41 to head into the town centre.
The journey distance was 45.57 km taking 2 hours 20 mins 15 seconds according to the bike computer. I again used MotionX-GPS to track the journey and travelled on my old Avanti Montari. A lot of this ride was on fairly good country roads but there were enough rough roads to mean that I wouldn't want to use a good road bike for these journeys.