Waking up in the beautiful town of Monmouth was a reminder of the beauty of this United Kingdom. surely it was an omen of a great day ahead.
Think again Peter.
After last night’s gentle last ten miles from Tintern to Monmouth, I expected more of the same today. How wrong I was. The road to Hereford was not only very lumpy, but was accompanied by a strong headwind. Indeed, in the first hour I had done little more than nine miles. I had a 100 mile day ahead of me. I despaired of being able to complete the same. I was hoping to head to Whitchurch in Shropshire and meet my parents there. I texted them to suggest that Shrewsbury would be a better meeting place some 20 miles less distance.
I eventually reached Hereford and found myself outside the local football ground. Being a Newcastle fan, blessed with that always say die attitude, I had to take a picture of the ground. As I took the picture, a man approached me and said, “You wouldn’t believe that lot once beat Newcastle!” AAAAARRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
How did he know I was a Toon fan or is this the only thing that people in Hereford have to speak about. happy to be leaving Hereford, I continued up the main A49 towards Shrewsbury fighting the North Easterly wind as I headed in a generally North/ North East direction. However, I was feeling good and strong and was eating up the miles. Lunch in Craven Arms (not, its a place not a pub) was followed by a good ride up to Shrewsbury where after a total of 76 miles
I met my parents in a service station. I was able to give my bags to my mother who was driving a support car. My father and I then rode briskly into the headwind towards Whitchurch after having arranged to meet my mother at a Little Chef my father knew. However he appeared to have a bit of insomnia and was unable to find the same. So we rode into the centre of Whitchurch and rang my mother to meet us at Tesco’s in the town centre.
Whilst waiting for my mother to arrive, I had a ride round the town to try to find a B&B. the town centre did not have any apparent B&Bs, nor did it have anything more modern than about 1975. I don’t want to say it was a dump, but…..I asked a male in Tesco’s car park if he could recommend anywhere to stay for the night. He asked me where I had ridden from and when told Lands End he suggested I should head back there as Whitchurch was a dump.
Eventually we did find a decent hotel run by a former time-trialler cyclist. The hotel regularly gets LEJoGers or JoGLErs staying over.
A strange town indeed So to sum up today, another 100 miler day through glorious English/ Welsh rolling countryside. At times this morning as I progressed in the rural areas I was reminded of the Famous 5.
I did resist the temptation to have lashings of ginger beer for lunch.
100 miles ridden (over 350 in total)
Riding time 7hrs 32mins
Av speed 13.3mph
6243 feet climbed (& this was supposed to be a flat day!)