Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Bring it on !

So who followed me all the way round Shropshire this weekend? As a special treat, I had the live tracking switched on to test it out and make sure everything goes to plan when we are on the real thing. I do know that it amused my family quite a bit as they did follow me and even called when the tracking seemed to stop. Unfortunately that was out of my control as there were no mobile reception at Bridges YHA or surroundings. So mostly I was followed but seemed to vanish into thin air whenever we approached the YHA!
 I would miraculously appear the next morning, probably about 5miles or so away from the YHA, on the next bike ride ready to be followed.

I really had a marvellous time! A room full of girls - who chopped and change a bit over the few days but mostly stayed the same - was great. We even thought back of school days when on activity events and all sorts :-)

I did four rides over the four days. Setting out on Friday took me to Farndon where I met up with Sue and Susie and setting off on our 53mi journey down to Shropshire.The whole weekend was uneventful apart from one puncture which happened to someone who could actually repair it too! Very convenient !

The first ride, which happened on Saturday, took us over Long Mynd which was in less than ideal weather. It was light rain down at the YHA but as we progressed up the mountain, it became worse. At the top it was very foggy and very cold. My fingers (which were in summer gloves) ached and really needed TLC.

We climbed a total of 2635ft after leaving the YHA until we were back there again. It was a long winding climb followed by a very steep descent which literally took my breath away.I was worrying about my brakes and not for no reason. When I took my bike out of the YHA shed on Sunday morning, it was squeaking due to all the grit and grime it gathered during Saturday. The brake blocks were also looking suspicious - it looked like it was burned as something that looked like burnt ash fell of the blocks!

After well deserved hot tea at Church Stretton, we visited Acton Scott Working farm where we had lunch and a look around.

The evenings were delightful with very tired girls heading for the showers, putting some descent clothes on (after being in Lycra all day) and heading for the local pub where we all had some really lovely food.

Sunday morning was bright and sunny. No rain and no wind, a great day for cycling. We headed on towards Montgomery which is just inside the Welsh border. We went for lunch at The Ivy House (which served gorgeous quiches) and then winded up the hill towards the castle which had a stunning view towards Wales. From there we cycled towards The Bog and just made it (with about 3 minutes to spare) to the visitor's centre where Sue rushed in and convinced them that there are six thirsty girls cyclists outside ready to demolish their cakes and Brownies (which were gorgeous!)

After the cake and tea we went up Stipenstones to get to the best descent I've ever had! Super fast downhill (over lots of cattle grids) reaching speeds of well over 30mi an hour (not me...I got scared and used my brakes!). The total ascent on Sunday was 3713ft which is higher than Mt Snowdon ( at 3560ft). Just imagine my aching legs after that climb!

The evening saw us having our dinner in the YHA as the Pub didn't do Sunday evening meals but we did head that way for after dinner drinks. There were even a lovely fire that awaited us at the Pub.

Monday morning was the long ride back home. Great descents and beautiful country lanes with lots and lots of flowers along the way. Hubby joined us halfway from home and 51 miles later and I was back home after a GREAT weekend out!

THANK you everyone! It was marvellous!

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