Rutland Water – the New Tolo Harbour

I woke up at 7 (Saturday morning, 1st April 2017) with a pre-determined plan which was going to be abandoned. When I woke up again and see the blazing sun on my blinds (forecast said rainy day), I jumped out of bed knowing that this plan has to be accomplished. I even deleted 1.9 GB of photos on my little iPhone 5S to make sure I can operate the “shutter”.

If I realised sooner that 12 miles away from where I live sits a nice 23-mile traffic-free national cycling route I would have visited weekly. How wrong was I to think that it was comparable to the Inspiration Lake next to Disneyland, Hong Kong. In the summer when I went home, I cannot miss a trip to my favourite cycling route around the Tolo Harbour, but if you imagine you could make a circle by pedalling from Tai Mei Tuk (Plover cove Reservoir) back to Ma On Shan, the feeling of the completion of one circle would cure any troubled mind and soul.

That is not what I quite accoomplished, however. First, I put a bottle rack I bought in 2011 onto my newly acquired bike, feeling good about keeping brand new unused trash like that. Then I had a pink Magnum for breakfast, realising that I left my water bottle at home. Thirdly, I went to park at the most pricey paying car park so that I must finish the ride within 3 hours otherwise I need to pay £6, even though my supervisor showed me the perfect place to park for free. I was also wrong to think that the bike shop at the water park sells anthing cheap. My plan was to go from Whitwell in an anti-clockwise direction and do one round of the peninsula before I ride back to my car the same way I came.

After riding in circles in the car park, I found my way towards Barnsdale and Egleton. I got to as far as Lyndon Road of Manton, and the jogger told me that I missed the peninsula. I turned around to face the clockwise direction, when the sun decided to come out. This mean that I had to stop and retake all the nice photos I just took on my way when weather was just acceptable. I did not do that because I know I will come back on a nicer day.

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The couple who walked into my frame as soon as they saw me trying to take a picture…

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One’s bottom makes a nice pillow, sister.

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Dazzling birds and poor digital zoom.

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The actual water – blue and crisp.

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Yep I missed Hambleton.

I dismantled the front wheel at the car park – I know for sure now that this £60 bike will be suficient for the season. Commuting on my road bike in the last few years, I completely forgot that you can ride in the woods and over rocky bumps for the fun of it. I was as slow as the couple who overtook me (by walking!) about 3 times as I stopped to look at the view, so these decaying original knobbly tyres will go. Finally, I will not miss this road sign again!

Next destination: Maybe heading back to Tissington where I could explore the Peak Trail and the adjacent Carsington Water. More Victoria sponge cake and ice-cream if lucky. The goal is to finish the ride by noon. Let’s go round in circles again!

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