Twenty-five years after running twenty-six miles, half of the original team are bravely cycling all or part of the 1,050 mile route in support of LandAid, Dementia UK & other nominated charities.
Mr Hyland, Deputy Chairman and I cycled together for 98 miles today in glorious sunshine. My thighs were still screaming after yesterday’s battles on the moors. This morning was a struggle as I stared for hours at the revolution of my shoes. I couldn't lift my head and positivity was sunk deep beneath a thick crusty layer of aching muscles. The sun and birdsong eventually lightened my spirit as the hills of Shropshire gradually drew close.
The route was difficult to follow and mistakes cost us a further 4 miles or so. Boy is that a heavy sentence for heavy legs at the last knockings of a long day…
Scotland and England are an unfolding topography of parochial architecture, accents, field patterns, hedgerows and big, big views. And pies. It is me that ate all the pies. Nice Pukka steak and kidney today.
I am told we are 750 odd miles into our 1050 now. 119 miles from Shropshire to Somerset tomorrow. On the eighty day the good Lord said 'how about a cycle ride?'. And so they went forth, in search of pies…
After 14 days of traveling from John O'Groats we at last enjoyed a day of warm unbroken sunshine throughout the day, and probably not many better places to spend it than cycling across Somerset; England at it's very best. We left a busy Saturday morning traffic scene in Bristol and quickly had to climb steeply up into the Mendip Hills; not that easy when the body is feeling somewhat tired after 14 days of dong approximately 60 miles a day. Our efforts however were rewarded with some wonderful views back to the North and East, and then with an amazing non-stop descend through the Cheddar Gorge: thank god we weren't going up. We stopped for morning coffee in the sunshine in Cheddar and then headed for lunch near Blackstone to meet up with Richard (Skinny to his friends) and his wife Julia who very kindly bought drinks and lunch for everybody. Richard and Julia, many thanks for your time and hospitality.
Well fortified, we then cycled roughly 20 miles with no stops to Taunton. The countryside at the top of the Mendips was just miles of open grassland with a huge variety of flowering plants and fortunately only small hills, so we made really good progress to the Holiday Inn our destination for the night. Our group continues to grow with Mike Slade, Peter Beckwith and David Cripps joining us for the last 3 days. The weather looks good for tomorrow as we head into the final straight, but Monday and Tuesday seem likely to bring strong westerlies and rain. At least we had a great cycling day today.