The weather was perfect; bright skies, lots of sunshine and a northerly headwind - an autumn day to relish riding down, for most riders, new country lanes - what's not to like about this ride! So a cyclist's dozen of bikes with 12 riders (Liz, Martin, Liz & Dave, Petar, Steve, Dave M, Bryan, Brian, Ray, Andy and I) congregated at the Sleap Airfield café overlooking runway 05-23. Bacon sandwiches and coffee set us up for a 47 miler calling at Shrewsbury for lunch at the Coach and Horses on Swan Hill.
Photographs by Brian MacDonald
There were so many small villages and hamlets on this ride that I have chosen not to name them all including the blogger's eponymously named village that we cycled through, but the photo tells all. On an easterly loop out, I manage not to disappoint the group in finding a tiny lane to Stanton upon Hine Heath; it was metalled once about 25 years ago! The countryside is open and rolling with high-hedged lanes protecting us from the wind. Turning south to Ellerdine Heath, I deviate from the planned route to ensure we end up in Shrewsbury on time. We wiggle our way to Upton Magna and here, at the confluence of NCR 81 and 45, we take the 81 right into the town centre. My bike nav is playing up, but luckily Andy has been this way before so at Uffington he correctly accesses the former railway line towards the banks of the River Severn. We cycle right on along the river bank for nearly a mile exiting right by Swan Hill.