Ross on Wye to Hereford and Hereford to Abermule. - Retyrement on 2 Wheels 2 - CycleBlaze

July 6, 2018

Ross on Wye to Hereford and Hereford to Abermule.

A day of two halves- morning: climbing training ; afternoon: training reclining.

July 6 Friday 41kms 

 Ross on Wye to Hereford and Hereford to Abermule.       
A day of two halves- morning: climbing training ; afternoon: training reclining.

At 5:30am the sun is already warm and so we pack our tent and farewell our 5 star, £25 campground, (mostly undeserved- we tell the commandantess we’d been paying €9 in France and she happily replies ‘I only work here.’) bought breakfast supplies at Lidl  ( this chain is omnipresent in Europe- a Lidl goes a long way) and head out of Ross on the A49, stopping for breakfast  in a pretty green space with seating  just below the castle.

The plan is to reach the B road for Hoarwithy. This entails  a short distance on a lorry-filled A49 before the comparative quiet of the minor road, though even on this road traffic is fairly regular. Unlike France where you can so often cycle in the quiet peace of the countryside, it’s hard to get away from cars in the UK. That said, drivers are very good at giving space and holding back when forward visibility is lacking.

Heart 0 Comment 0

The choice we make  to try the hill route because it is  supposedly truckless, may have been a poor one since it involves  a protracted climb, some walking, and little shade. The payoff is a pleasant gradual descent which has us in the outer suburbs of Hereford before we know it. The red brick semis are already baking in the mid morning sun and berms and lawns are burned brown. What has happened to ‘England’s green and pleasant land’?

The cool of the cathedral, an impressive part 12th century structure , is restorative and relaxing to wander about. There is  an interesting statue of Elgar with his bike, looking remarkably cool despite the heat. A bit of an enigma variation you might say.

View of Hereford Cathedral on approaching city.
Heart 0 Comment 0
Heart 0 Comment 0
Heart 0 Comment 0
Heart 0 Comment 0

At this point we decide that the heat, hills and cars are  more than we wish to continue coping with, and a train to the refuge of Rock Mill in Wales is the solution . There is  one about to leave as we arrive at Hereford station. Boarding is  reasonably painless, despite having to sandwich our cycles over, beside and around other passengers. No one complains, the British habit of resorting to humour in adversity has to be admired and it is  the same on the second train from Shrewsbury to Newtown, the interior of which is  so hot it gives  the expression ‘passengers alight’ a whole new meaning. We have  ourselves soon alighted, and after finding supplies at, yes, another Lidl, the only supermarket with no organised pattern i.e. wine can be found in 3 different locations, we are  on the canal path to Abermule. ‘Watch for hawthorns,’ a kindly local warns us as we hit the trail, but we’re wary having had punctures on the same path a couple of years back.

Rock Mill, our Welsh home away from home, eventually finds us, a green oasis in the evening light. The realisation that we’ve managed to cycle most of the route from Portsmouth is satisfying but the cup of real leaf tea, from a real china teapot, almost eclipses  that feeling.

Today's ride: 41 km (25 miles)
Total: 2,185 km (1,357 miles)

Rate this entry's writing Heart 3
Comment on this entry Comment 0