Only one way to test the depth of floods blocking the road near Upton Nervet . . . send on a recce rider in the form of globe-trotting John, a bikie with a formidable record of derring-do adventures beyond the UK. He turned out in shorts and sort of cutaway shoes and discovered the water came up to the bottom bracket. Then the wimps followed him through . . . Bucklebury in Berkshire is a rewarding, picturesque journey, and you know you are beyond our usual boundaries when you see such unfamiliar place names as Midgham, with its traffic-light controlled canal crossing and level crossing within yards of each other. Not to mention Beenham, Brimpton and Woolhampton. The farm shop was teeming with mothers and well-behaved small children on their Easter break, some of them consuming vast plates of full English breakfasts and one biting into a well-filled bun as big as her foot. The first animal to greet us was an extremely large, noisy turkey, prompting a string of predictable jokes about Christmas. Jim's troupe of eight took up a bench in the marquee for an assortment of cakes and drinks before heading home . . . 25 miles out and exactly 25 miles back. Great ride, Jim. And ne'er a drop of rain.