Day 7 – Shifnal to Youlgreave

Posted in Lejog with tags , , on July 16, 2013 by lejogsb9
Our bed for the night - The old Co Operative stores.

Our bed for the night – The old Co Operative stores.


A fair to middling day from Staffordshire en-route to Derbyshire. With soaring temperatures we encountered a big climb at the hottest part of the day! It was at this point that we lost contact with Sandra and Sye who literally ended up cycling past the gates of Alton Towers! Overall it was a mix of cycling terrain that included grotty off road, steep descents, long stretches of paved disused railway track that offer a very scenic and relaxed approach to our ride into the Peak District. Seven miles before Youlgreave we stopped for a long, lazy lunch and a bit of a stretch. After a very hot and extremely dusty day we swiftly headed to the local pub for a much needed quench of the thirst. Debbie was also able to meet up with Dave for the evening.

Day 6 – Hereford to Shifnal

Posted in Lejog with tags , , , on July 11, 2013 by lejogsb9

Crossing at Ironbridge

Today was an easy day compared to what we have been experiencing over the last few days. Did you think we would every say “Shropshire made for easy cycling?” With an early start some of us were making the most of catching up with family as were so close to home. We had a mid morning break in Ludlow and pedalled onto Much Wenlock where Richard caught up with us having gone AWOL the previous evening. Within 10 minutes of arriving home he was up a ladder carrying out some remedial work on the house. We arrived in Ironbridge early afternoon where we could almost smell the faggots and peas in the Black Country. Alas, we couldn’t escape the climb out of Coalport. We reached Shifnal around 2.30 and made the most of a sports massage and a dip in the hotel pool.

Day 5 – Exeter to Hereford

Posted in Lejog with tags , , on July 11, 2013 by lejogsb9

Exeter to Hereford

Today was a day of 3 tours. Le tour de Richard, who left extremely early as this was to be the longest day at just over 80 miles and he was making a quick trip home.

Le tour de Sally, Patrick, Deb and Jane who were looking to get to Hereford as soon as possible. They were trailed by Le tour de Holiday by Sandra, Sye, Wendy and Pauline.  Still a fairly tough day with some big climbs in very slightly cooler weather.  Points of interest included crossing the Severn Bridge, Chepstow for lunch and Ross on Wye for afternoon tea and a bit of retail therapy.
Factoid of the day: We are now a quarter of the way there.
photo (4)
Sye in his usual style made friends with Jean Morgan, a 97 year old who kindly filled our water bottles for us. Jean was a right character and tells us that she has ordered a special bikini to wear for her 100th birthday!
Sye and his new friend Jean.

Sye and his new friend Jean.

Day 4 – Exeter to Sidcot

Posted in Lejog with tags , , , on July 10, 2013 by lejogsb9
Exeter to Sidcot.
The nine ‘bugs’ woke up this morning hoping for an easier day after the mega hilly day of yesterday. We set off from Exeter at 8.45 and after stocking up with supplies at Sainburys, headed off for Sidcot, Cheddar. We had some wonderful stretches of flat roads, some gradual climbs and a few steep hills, but compared to the climbs of yesterday everyone found it much easier.  That is until the last 2 miles.  We got lost on a disused railway line.  The Garmins lost their signals when we encountered a long dark tunnel on a disused railway track “3 times” by mistake.  Sye thought we were in Netherton!  The day ended an hour later than expected with 70 miles on the clock.  Sandra also achieved a milestone today.  She has cycled 20,000 miles since joining Stourbug 4 1/2 years ago.  Congratulations Sandra!
Sandra celebrates 20,000 miles!

Sandra celebrates 20,000 miles!

Day 3 – Lostwithiel to Exeter

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on July 10, 2013 by lejogsb9
3 miles out of Lostwithiel Wendy’s tyre burst.  It sounded like a gun going off and Patrick thought Sye had been shot!  With a new tyre and inner tube in situ Patrick and Sye serenaded Wendy all the way to the highest cafe in Cornwall by singing Elvis songs. Regrouping we refuelled well before heading towards the Devonshire border and up onto Exmoor.  We knew this was going to be a fairly tough day and in the searing heat it proved to be a bit of a slog. We did manage to take time out to admire the fantastic views on top of Exmoor and also stopped to admire the ponies. By the time we made it to Exeter we were all fairly tired and very pleased with our achievement, especially as it was so hot.
Photo taken on the Devonshire border.

Photo taken on the Devonshire border.

Day 2 – Penzance to Lostwithiel

Posted in Lejog with tags , , on July 10, 2013 by lejogsb9

An introduction to the Cornish Hills

The day started with 9 Garmins and 4 wrong turnings by the time we left Penzance. A taxi had also tried to take Patrick out. A lovely start to the day as we cycled past St Michael’s Mount. We appreciated a well earned rest from the undulations of the Cornish hills as we crossed the River Fowey on the King Harry Ferry. In pretty hot weather we stopped at Charlestown for a look at the tall ships in the harbour followed by a much needed ice cream! Compared to tomorrow this was a relatively easy day.

Day 1 and we’re off!

Posted in Uncategorized on July 7, 2013 by lejogsb9

..... and we're off!

Today was a day of not many miles. 9.5 to be precise. A bit of a settling in day with everyone in good spirits and looking forward to making a start. Lots of hilarity in the ladies dorm at Penzance Hostel with several attempts at repacking, unpacking, repacking…. I think you get the picture! The day ended with a true to form Patrick dragging everyone off to Wetherspoons.

Taking delivery of our bikes.

Posted in Lejog on July 7, 2013 by lejogsb9

A big thank you to Robert and Stephen. Another Clarke’s delivery on time.

Last minute preparations

Posted in Lejog with tags , , on July 6, 2013 by lejogsb9

Last minute preparations

Carb loading in St Ives

Whilst Patrick and Richard were toughing it out in those Cornish hills, some final attention was being applied to the nutritional plans of Sandra, Sally and Pauline.

The Breakaway’s

Posted in Lejog with tags , , , , on July 3, 2013 by lejogsb9

Early starters1

Day 3 Okehampton – Penzance
The wind continued to charge headlong into the path of Patrick and Richard. Coupled by the increasing number of hills to climb and their gradients, today’s ride became a bit a of a slog at times. Shaving a few grams off their bikes would have been of benefit. Penzance was reached by early evening and by the time we caught up with them – surprise, surprise they had already made it to the pub! This trip down by bike has turned into a Black Country pub crawl in disguise!

Well done to both of you – see you in Lands End when the real work begins!

Day 2 Cheddar – Okehampton
Still dogged by a strong headwind Patrick and Richard made a stop off in Burnham-on-Sea at a Weatherspoons! Also facing a very hot day all the climbing came in the last 25 miles, 1530 metres of it. They arrived in Okehampton at 5.30. Quote of the day from Patrick “Richard laughed at some of the hills!”

Day 1 Stourbridge – Cheddar
At 8.30am this morning we waved goodbye to Patrick and Richard as they headed southwest. Facing a strong headwind all the way, by 5.15pm they had pedalled the 107 miles to their overnight stay in Cheddar. A much needed refuel stop was taken to make the remaining 5 miles. They have the hostel to themselves this evening, so there will no fighting over the top bunk! Patrick is already lightening the load as he’s ditched his new flip-flops as he can’t walk in them, probably because they don’t have cleats!. As we spoke to them a trip to the pub was uppermost in their minds before organising themselves for the trip to Okehampton tomorrow.