Sixteen of us set off on Tuesday morning for what turned out to be the toughest ride for sometime. Keith led us – actually he just pointed out the general direction from time to time, through Meole Village and then on to Pontesbury, Minsterley and left turn at Ploxgreen.
There the climb became steeper and steeper as we cycled, or pushed, our way through Snailbeach, on up through Pennerley with eventually a well deserved rest at the Bog. We re-grouped there as by now we straggled out over some distance. Unfortunately the climbing didn't stop there and we continued climbing well above the cloud level.
For those in cars, it was headlights full on and what would have been fantastic views were just lost in the clouds. We seemed to be so high I'm sure the bearded gentleman by one gate was St. Peter but he closed it pretty sharpish when he saw us getting closer! Keith did promise that eventually we would go down hill and we did with a magnificant downhill ride that took us through the Gatten Plantation, Westcott and on to Habberley.
Despite what Keith led us to believe, we still encountered a few more steep climbs before we arrived at the Red Lion, Longden Common for lunch. Given it was then 1:55pm and most were feeling quite hungry, it was a good job (for Keith) it was an "open all day" pub. After lunch some went different ways depending on where they lived. I went home via Stapleton, Wheathall, Frodesley, Acton Burnell and, to complete the hill climbing for the day, up the hill at Bull Farm into Kenley so I could enjoy the long downhill into Cressage.
Thanks to Keith for leading a hard and enjoyable ride, pity the weather wasn't better. Perhaps Keith will repeat it in the late Spring next year when the weather might be better.