83 miles – our longest day yet
Five days down and we are somewhere up past Birmingham, which feels like a miracle! After the blog delay uproar we hope you’ve all managed to return to business as usual since the days 3 and 4 combo was published. Please keep all your comments and words of support / mockery coming, it really gets us through the tough patches.
And on day five, Sal came up hard against one such patch. Having had Matt and Zara to laugh through the gravel canal pathways on day four, we started day five somewhat hopeful about the impending terrain. We got off to a flying start (all credit due to the Wetherspoons breakfast – economical, delicious and the perfect end to our first stay at a ‘Spoons with rooms – if you ever get the chance to check out The Royal Hop Pole in Tewkesbury, don’t hesitate for a moment) and had our first break somewhere outside Kidderminster at around 30 miles. Excited at the prospect of an earlier finish (by which we mean time to properly invest in the day’s blog, obviously) we didn’t even mind the semi-tarmac-ed canal paths which wound us through the Black Country (which were, it has to be said, accompanied by some lovely canal scenery… canal boat holiday 2019, anyone?!). That is, until the whatsapps started arriving.
Dad (David) and Jane’s support crew and cycling mash-up has been seamless. Each day they’ve been with us (since the handover from Lee and Jo in Clevedon) they have driven our spare kit to our daily end-point and cycled back towards us for twenty miles or so, then cycled with us to our accomodation for the night. Unfortunately, on day five this apparently included their first taste of grassy canal verge, and it quickly became clear that they weren’t hugely keen on cycling it for a second time in one day. The messages relaying this coincided with us joining our c. thirtieth mile of muddy / gravelly path for the day, resulting in a mild sense of humour failure from Sally who decided we would be taking hair-raising A roads the rest of the way to Stafford. Fortunately, these were largely flanked by beautifully smooth tarmac cycleways, but it has made us think a bit more carefully about what’s in store for us for the next few days, and whether we need to think about some creative route work ourselves.
The highlight of day five was one of Abs’ longstanding clients – Charlie – motorbiking our from Worcestorshire to meet us on the outskirts of Wolverhampton (actually Katie Young’s hometown of Wombourne) to say hello and wish us well up to Scotland. Now that is cheerleading dedication. Thanks Charlie!
Day five ended with a lovely last evening with David and Jane, who have cycled a not insignificant 120 miles during their few days supporting us, and have gone out of their way to make sure we end our days exceptionally well-fed and watered. Getting taxis to meet them for dinner has had the additional bonus of two lovely cab drivers donating to the Strong for Strong cause. People are wonderful.
Next stop is Hindley as we edge ever closer to the Scottish border. We will be in touch!
Lots of love
Abs and Sal xxx