Long Mynd !!! Boy oh boy!!!

Long Mynd is Long Mountain in local speak and they certainly got it right. It is a vicious climb that joins Church Stretton to Asterton.

The day starts being bright and sunny at 4am. By 5am we are on the bikes and pedalling off to another adventurous day

Although it is bright sunshine it is very crisp and I am reminded of our early winter morning club rides around the lakes at Sedgefield in South Africa. I am thinking about my club mates, Dave Symm and Karen Keller, freezing in our best SA winter protective gear and Dave’s words on how we would not be doing any sport in England if we hang around waiting for good weather. This is so true because I have hardly had one idyllic summers day out here and would have been sitting at the Dublin airport waiting for it. As I reflect over the 3weejs that have flown by I have built many lasting memories of people and places that will remain with me forever.

On a personal note, I last night had an interrupted call to my granddaughter, Steffy-Lea and did want to get to a good signal to be able to phone home. She had cried because she was missing me so much and I must say the feelings are mutual. I have such strong family ties that being away from them is the toughest part. So lotsaluv to you all!!!

We depart from Nantwich while the town sleeps and get the opportunity to see the beautiful old part of town without the crowds.

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This sign greets you as you leave town and I quite liked it so had to take a pic.

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The first big village we reached after Nantwich was Wem and again one is reminded of the history of the area.

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Being Sunday and early morning too there was not much activity in Wem so we kept going towards Shrewsbury.

We reached Shrewsbury by midday and liked the look of the White Horse Inn pub. As usual they had WiFi so we ordered a pot of tea and sat in the back garden eating our lunch. I then got the opportunity to finish my call to a very pleased little girl in South Africa.

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I had noticed a buckle in Suz Phillip’s rear wheel due to a broken spoke a few days before. Now a second spoke had broken and caused a bigger problem. With the weight it had to carry and of course the brake dragging this needed urgent attention. after having tried a few bike shops before reaching Shrewsbury I was not confident about finding a replacement or an open shop.

Well again I was pleasantly surprised. We found Stan’s Cycles and were given carte blanche in a fully Park tool stocked work shop. I had soon fitted both spokes and trued the wheel.

Now this part blew me away!! “How much do we owe you” we asked Beccy and Richard. “No charge” was the immediate response and I thought I was in my own shop, Cycleworx Sedgefield, for a moment. Proof once again of the generosity still around today.

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Big up for Stan’s Cycles in Shrewsbury for this amazing treatment I thought only happened in my own shop!!! Thanks also for the logo water bottle – Beccy. Find them at 53-53 Wyle Cop, Shrewsbury, SY1 1XJ or www.stanscycles.co.uk

After leaving Shrewsbury we scurried down the dreaded A49 with lots of traffic and hardly a shoulder to speak of headed for Church Stretton and the Long Mynd climb to get to Asterton in Shropshire. We had been travelling parallel to the Welsh border for a while and would now turn east towards the Breccon Beacon.

After spending a night at the foot of the Long Mynd bear Granny’s Asterton cottage hosted by Mary and Peter Luckeman, filled with good food, good cheer and a hot bath it will be back to camping for a while. Thanks for a superb stay including a big breakfast Mary and Peter.

Off to Wales – well across the valley really!!!

Eugene on a bike somewhere in the world