Autumn Tour Day Two

The IF Club Racer stands proud

Looking back at day one, we decided our performance was somewhat more impressive than we initially thought; over 70 miles in under four and a half miles over arduous terrain with luggage in rubbish conditions  is reliability trial going.

Today, day two, was similarly stern stuff but a complete contrast in every other way; a beautiful mid-October day  once early mist and cloud cleared allowed us to appreciate the Salopian Arcadia through which we rode.

Morning coffee in Ludlow was followed by lunch – home-made parsnip soup with a side dish of pork and apple pie washed down with a bottle of Shropshire Lass – and the ascent from Church Stretton of the Long Mynd.

Applying exteme pressure from the gun, your correspondent built a small lead; looking back I noted Simon ‘The Pie Dog’ Smythe closing fast and did the manly thing, climbing off while still in front to take a pic of the Wrekin in the distance.

The descent of the Mynd was decidedly dangerous; 25percent for a good mile with a sharp bend and cattle grid at the bottom. Andy got off, felt his rim, withdrew his hand sharply and exclaimed ; “Good lord, the rims are hot” just as his tyre blew off the rim with a sharp report.

Visiting the ruins of Hopton Castle, scene of one of the bloodiest sieges  of the Civil War, we found scaffolding and a repair programme funded by the National Lottery.

The last hour of the ride was pure enjoyment, the westering sun bathing the Shropshire hills in a warm pink as we sped back to Leominster and a supper of faggots, peas, mash and ale.

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