Travellers' Tales: Never Mynd the hills
At 67, after four decades of cycle commuting and day tours, I’ve become an e-bike convert. I bought a Cannondale Synapse e-road bike – and felt I could cycle forever!
The idea of an ‘epic ride’ began to form. I asked my friend Martin, who is 66, if he fancied riding out to Church Stretton, camping overnight, and cycling back. It would be a round trip, for me, of 100 miles. We booked a ‘pod’ at the Mountain Edge campsite in south Shropshire.
We met up at Ironbridge. Martin lives in nearby Telford. He also rides an e-bike. It was a drizzly morning when I set out from Cannock and rode the 25 miles to Ironbridge. After coffee opposite the famous bridge, we set off.
Church Stretton is situated in spectacular countryside on the edge of the Long Mynd. The road to the summit, the Burway, is a formidable challenge. However, using a combination of a low gear and electrical assistance, I was able to ‘twiddle’ the pedals and climb the 1,300ft to the top of the hill. The views were awe inspiring.
After a hearty meal and drinks we collapsed for the night. Meanwhile our bikes recharged their batteries. The ride home took us through beautiful Shropshire countryside: Wenlock Edge, Much Wenlock and Ironbridge, where we parted. I rode home to Cannock after a memorable ride.