Having mustered 9 members at the SVR station at 10 o’clock, we moved off out on to route 45 and were met by the first climb of the day, at which point I started to have doubts about my decision to participate on my Dawes folder, especially as we’ve never ventured further than the local shops together! But the sun was out (as were the legs), the weather warm and the company good so what more could you ask for. Having crossed the bypass via a footbridge we made our way through the lanes for a while till we reached Chelmarsh where we turned off the road onto a track that led down to Chelmarsh Reservoir and past Sterns coppice, eventually reaching Hampton and the SVR station where we stopped for a break and a first look at the steam trains.
Being suitably refreshed we started off again following a cycle track through the woods between the railway line and the river. This track was lovely with dappled sunshine coming through the trees and the birds singing, it really felt like May (a rare thing it seems!). We then crossed over the river into the Severn Valley Country Park and climbed up to the visitors centre where we re-joined the public highways.
Eventually we arrived in Arley where we found a lovely spot by the river to have lunch, sitting under the trees watching the world and river go by.
After lunch we made our way up, and I mean UP, into the Wyre Forest which had its ups and downs but was very pleasant, the last part of which I believe was a disused railway line which my Dawes appreciated as did my legs! We came across a carved bench with a train on it as well as other woodland creatures.
Then, dropping down into Bewdley, we had a while to wait for the train so went to the riverside where we partook of various refreshments from ice cream to tea, which were all welcome. After this we made our way to the station to catch the steam train back to Bridgnorth. We piled onto the train, some bikes going into the guards van while others were in a carriage with only a seat in each corner. The atmosphere was very soporific and a few heads started to nod as the sun heated the carriage and the day’s exertions caught us up.
We arrived back in Bridgenorth around an hour later having had a lovely day in some beautiful countryside. I’m sure I speak for everyone that attended – a big thank you to Marion is deserved for the flawless organisation of the ride and the lovely route she chose, and I’m sure everyone had as good a time as myself.
(and my little green Dawes)