The first chills of autumn were in the air when we met at Sainsbury’s Café in Whitchurch. In the café we discover that the town was a leading centre for clockmaking, having made the Eastgate Clock in Chester as well as clocks for Shangai Custom House and St Pauls Cathedral. The moderate riders were George, Bryan, Macca and me – Dave H had called off due to an attack of man flu. Clive had put together a brisk and a moderate route to Longdon on Tern near Telford.
We set off south-eastwards through Ash Magna and Calverhall, but before reaching Market Drayton turned south through Stoke upon Tern and Great Bolus. The initial chill of the morning had passed and at times we could feel the warm sun on our backs. We travelled at a ‘brisk’ pace delighting in the quiet lanes and the absence of hills. The only thing that interrupted our progress was a stop to clean some mud from beneath our mudguards. Our progress was such that we arrived at our destination at 12.05, almost half an hour early.
The Tayleur Arms had set aside tables for both groups, with the brisk riders arriving a little after ourselves. Our group sampled the three real ales on offer with much satisfaction, and were equally pleased with the fish and the steak pies. If the pub were nearer we would probably be coming here frequently.
|Photos by Macca|
Our return promised to be a shorter ride, but with one climb. The route passed through Stanton upon Hine Heath and then up the very steep Marchamley Hill, not made easier by a rough surface, neither of which appeared to stop George powering ahead. We avoided any rain from some dark clouds, though the chill of the morning returned. From Marchamley we detoured from Clive’s route into Prees to avoid the A49, and then through Tilstock back into Whitchurch.
Back in Sainsbury’s Café enjoying coffee and cake at only a little after 3pm, we reflect on an excellent ride with decent October weather, good company and a splendid route – thanks Clive! In total we covered 50 miles.