Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Orleton - Hardwick Hall - Sunday 2nd September

I slept well, and woke at the normal time. Full breakfast, can I have the works please, and straight on the road.

I was still tired, I could feel it in my eyes, but the first gentle downhill stretch cleared that, especially as I looked over to the right and saw the first and highest climb of the day. Turn right and start the climb up to Clee Hill. It is one of those long pernicious ones, just as you think it might give up, it is still there round the corner. The impression is not helped by it being two lanes, one each way, all the way to the top. I was going slowly enough to have a chat with a farmer, who told me I will heve earnt my breakfast by the time I got to the top, I agreed along with lunch and tea. Fortunatley this climb this soon after breakfast was not disturbing said breakfast.

The view back

There was a great view from the top, looking back from where I had come, and I road across the common on the top shouting at sheep to “STAY THERE” before a 40mph plus descent. Still having got to the top and feeling fine, I concluded I would get to the end of the day.

The day continued with an up and down theme. Rolling, but proper rolling, good long dragging ups and downs, not the short sharp stuff I prefer. There was really no change in scenery to report, other than Cannock Chase. Here there was trees and a good patch of heather, which was on anther 40mph downhill, so no stopping for a photo.

I did stop at a mountain biking place, off road trails, cafĂ©, big car park etc. I rode in to curious looks on my skinny wheels. Ice cream and “can you fill my water bottle please” Sat in the sun eating my ice cream waiting to be asked where I had come from and wehre I was going, but sadly let down.

I did notice a change as I got into Derbyshire with stone walls starting to replace hedges. Odd how quickly it happens. I was thinking this as I came across a cow looking over one of the walls. We had a chat about this and that, and I took her photo.

80 miles in seems to be about the time when I begin to feel the ride, my body says it has had enough now, but some extra food and water along with easing back for a bit seems to help. This break point is either going to get further out or come earlier, and either could happen

Finally I saw a sign for Hardwick Hall, my destination. Denise had been at the house there for the afternoon, and as I had done the 100+ miles I text her and asked if she could meet me at the bottom of the mostly uphill 3 mile drive. She did, for which I thank her.


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