We left the Royal Umpire early. This was one of the least eventful days of our trip. However the end of the day was to prove interesting. Most of the day was spent riding down the A49 and bypassing the bigger towns we visited. We went through Wigan to start with and found a Premier Inn to have an all you can eat breakfasts. These are highly recommended if you need to pack in calories for the day, when they say all you can eat they mean it, Adie loves a 4 sausage breakfast. We continued down the A9 until we got close to Whitchurch. Phil had sent us a text the previous day, warning us that the road to Witchurch was closed, due to bridge repairs. He had reached this a couple of days before and turned left at the diversion and found himself climbing some big hills. On his advice we turned right and the trip was much easier. We stopped in a lovely cafe near the canal in Whitchurch for coffee.
Back on the A49 we headed towards Shrewsbury, most of the roads were in good condition and reasonably flat and we were starting to think it would be a reasonably easy days riding. Just after stopping to eat a flap jack in a lay-by, whilst riding along a busy dual carriageway, I heard a shout from behind. It was Adie, who had forgotten to put his helmet back on after our stop and realised it had fallen off his pannier. I remember discussing riding on dual carriageways with Adie before the trip and we had agreed to avoid the like the plague, because they were too dangerous......it’s amazing how things can change once you’ve been on the road for a few days, this type of road helped us to keep a very good pace during the day and you get a little pull along from passing trucks. Adie made the decision, against my better judgement, that his helmet couldn’t be too far back and he could ride the wrong way down the carriageway to retrieve his helmet. I offered to buy him a new one instead, but he was determined. So off he went, whilst I sat at the side of the road waiting for the sound of sirens. It wasn’t long before he was back, with a grin on his face and his helmet on his head.
Shortly after we left the main roads and started to ride through country lanes for the first time that day. I didn’t realise that the area was so hilly, we had ridden about 85 miles and the legs were tired. My knee was playing up again and we hit a series of very long steep hills. However we were very pleased when we were riding down the 2 mile long steep hill towards the campsite. When we planned the route this campsite looked like it was in a little village, so we presumed that there would be a pub to eat at. That was not to be, the nearest pub was back up the 2 mile long hill and then a further 1 ½ miles alongthe road.
The campsite its self was quiet nice, but expensive, it cost £5 each for the washer and drier and we really needed to get some washing done, we were slightly whiff. We pitched our tents and popped down and put some washing on. We then decided to ride to the pub for dinner, this was the first time that I had thought I might not be able to complete our trip. My knee was in agony and I had started to get some pain in my ankle too. When we got back to the hill I couldn’t ride the bike back up and Adie was finding it hard too. We ended up pushing our bikes 1 ½ up the hill and then riding along the flat to the pub. The pub itself was probably the most expensive place we ate in the whole trip, but we did have a nice meal, before riding back down the steep hill to the campsite, in the dark, with only one headlight. It was a little unnerving. Back at the site we transferred the washing to the drier and headed back to the tents, on the way I told Adie about my fears of not being able to climb the hill the next morning. We would need to see what happened after we picked the washing up in the morning and got on the road.
7.08 Hour riding
13.6 MPH Average
36.2 Max MPH
5798 Calories Burnt
2798 Feet climbed
Mill Farm Caravan Park (not recommended due to position)
£5 each, but £5 each for washer and drier and then we had to pay for the showers too.