Sunday, April 30, 2006

Shropshire : Family Wkend

...posted on behalf of Rob...Well, where do I start! The Plume of Feathers hotel in Harley was a nice quaint pub affair, but I didn’t know that the main road was a motorcycle race track!

On the Saturday we rode over to Ironbridge on a mix of small lanes and bridleways, I thought it would be better to go for the easier stuff with kids. There wasn't too much moaning on the hills as the sun shone beautifully for us.

In Ironbridge we spotted a perfect spot by the river in the sunshine for lunch, Jayne wanted to stop, all were hungry but some confusion caused us all to follow Dozer rather than head in so we ended up in a towny bar/ restaurant which was OK. A couple of beers in the sunshine went down very nicely.

After lunch we followed the old railway along the riverside for a while then turned back up west towards the hotel. A nasty climb followed but it was on the road so not too bad. Later Sam had a very bad crash, on a steep winding hill on the road he got in the gravel at the side and he was off. I was horrified, poor lad was very knocked about and you can imagine my guilt was colossal as it was the only time all day that I’d left his side. Luckily his injuries are only superficial, his helmet protected his head, mitts worked well, his Camelbak was badly scuffed so had protected his back. Only his arms were unprotected and in future he will always wear long sleeves. Sam was an absolute hero as usual, shocked and scared at first he was straight on his feet and soon got himself together.

I was horrified to learn that Stephen had been raiding my first aid kit without telling me, I only had a couple of bits left and was lucky to get away with it so now I’m decided that I will invest in a complete new 1st aid kit and he will be banned from touching it!!

On Sunday I decided on a different approach, damn roads however quiet are just too dangerous so I planned out a route from Bridgnorth station to Bewdley following the river and railway line downriver with a return on the steam train. It was virtually all off road and everyone seemed to enjoy it. Anne-Marie had one slip and took a knock to the thigh which looked quite sore. Sam quickly relaxed off road and was soon riding really well despite his nasty injuries, I was able to relax knowing he was safer and could let him do his own thing although I still stayed close all the time.

I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen this many stiles before, as I was riding up front and Dozer shotgun so you can imagine I was aching on Monday from all the lifting. I had to push pretty hard to get everyone over these smartly because our progress was reducing to walking pace.

The Severn Valley Railway must be the best steam train in the world, trains passed every 20-30minutes, all steam hauled, many with 8 coaches and all totally stunning. Riding alongside was thrilling apart from more insane motorbikes howling up and down local roads attempting to break the light barrier, presumably for their pleasure as it certainly brings none to anyone else. The sights and sounds of the steam trains in beautiful countryside served to impress all with the tranquillity and beauty of Shropshire. I can only assume that this place has been classified as secret and Birmingham has been designed to hide it away from prying eyes as it’s a real gem. The sounds of the countryside here are rarely broken and for those interested in industrial archaeology and history the area is rich beyond your wildest dreams!

Tracklogs of both rides can be found within the Routes section.


Farqui said...

Sounds like you all had a good time, especially in the good weather.

I'm sorry to hear that Stephen came a cropper, it seems like he dusted himself off well tho. I also hear that Jayne had a "brown leg" kinda moment...

It seems that Virtual Shropshire has some good info of the region.

On Saturday, we managed a blat along the Brampton Valley Way and it was brilliant to see just how fast this trail is when it's dry.