Tuesday 31 August 2010

LEJOG day 3 The slog to Shrewsbury

Awoke today feeling absolutely knackered. Did not go to bed till just after midnight and todays wake up was at around 6 a.m. We had to get up so early because a chap called Phil wanted to cycle the first 6 miles with us before he went on to work. Getting up so early was soon eased when the Downend Christadelphians cooked us porridge and other breakfast items. Just after breakfast we readied ourselves by filling water bottles and I kindly pumped up everybody's tyres. We set off later than planned following Phil in a stop/start fashion. Phil was a lovely guy, but the voices in my head were shouting 'you got up 3 hours early just to cycle 6 miles with this random dude'. Once Phil left us, we sped on a little way and then BANG, Dave's tube had exploded and blew his tyre off the rim (wonder if this had anything to do with my pumping action earlier?!). This took hours to fix, we didn't have a spare tyre and people kept me amused as they tried to inflate the tyre with grass (I really have seen it all now!). Suffice to say the grass didn't work, but Ian sped away and returned with a new tyre. After this major incident we crossed the Severn bridge and were now in Wales. Woo hoo! The bridge crossing was not half as windy as it was the time I crossed it during LEJOG 2009. Just after the Severn crossing we stopped for our first legitimate stop. Ian's family were there and his little kids made LEJOG banners which they proudly showed us. Awesome. A random woman, whose drive we were blocking, came out and made us all tea and coffee. We stuffed ourselves with plenty of food and set off again.
This next section was super zoomy! We had a fantastic descent all the way down to Tintern Abbey, which just went on and on and on. This will be hard to beat. After the descent we had quite a hilly section back into England. Once in Hereford, we met another LEJOGer who was making his way along on a fixed wheel bike. We stopped in Hereford, at another Christadelphian Hall, for more sarnies and food. When we left Hereford it was starting to get dark so we kitted our cycles up with lights. My lights were pretty naff, but they were better than nothing. This last trek was tough going, it was late and dark and I was tired and in much discomfort. My backside was sore, my knees were shot, my body was riddled in sweat but thankfully the voices in my head were singing a sweet tune. Ian left us near this juncture too, to return to family and work life. Ian was a great guy and cycling with him was fun, such a shame he can't continue along with us. Still, we are 8, and that's pretty great. Fleur, by the way, has no intention of joining our party now either. I may cycle some more with Ian somewhere in time.

It was nearly 9 p.m by the time we reached our destination - Shrewsbury Christadelphian Hall. (This late finish explains why I have blogged this entry a day late). On reflection though we had a great day and an awful lot to reflect on, stories and memories that'll last a long time.

The Shrewsbury Christadelphians looked after us real good too and cooked us pasta and bolognese and catered to all our needs. The helpful Hannah left us here but will return and help some more towards the end of our trip. A guy called Mike has taken on the support role for a few days - I hope he knows what he has let himself in for! After feeding, I made my way to bed and promptly crashed out.

Cycled a distance of 104.81 miles, at an average speed of 13.5 mph and a max speed of 41.5mph.

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