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6th to 7th October 2006: Autumn Meet at Bridges Youth Hostel (Sunday ride)

- Friday ride - Saturday ride - Report of the weekend -

RSF members looking at Fred Lloyd bike.

Outside the hostel.

Getting ready to set off on the ride.

The first puncture stop of the day.

On the first bit of off-road of the day.

A bit further along the lane.

Fred Lloyd and Ian Burns heading down the lane.

The view looking towards Stiperstones.

A closer view of the Stiperstones.

The view from the bridleway.

The view from the bridleway.

Heading along the bridleway.

The view looking towards the Stiperstones.

Ian looking at the view.

Looking at the information board.

The information board.

A mining museum view.

A view on the way back to the hostel.

Ian and Fred chatting.

All pack up for long drive back to Lancashire.

A report of the weekend by Richard Harries (Which first published in the January -February 2007 issue of the Rough-Stuff Journal).

A sunny Saturday morning saw a good crowd gather outside Bridges Youth Hostel. We first picked up a stony lane that wound up to the ridge of the Long Mynd. Although involving a long climb the track was nearly all ridable, in fact all the tracks we used over the weekend were easily ridable and dry. An hour brought us to the viewpoint on Pole Bank, highest point on the Mynd, where although the sunshine was still hazy we could pick out the mountain groups of Wales and see far into England. Beyond the gliding club we turned off to drop through the forestry to Hamperley where we picked up the attractive lane that runs along the foot of the Long Mynd through Minton to Little Stretton, with various peeps into the steep-sided recesses of the hills.

At Church Stretton we split up for various cafes, shops and butty-eating spots, all amazingly finding our way to bowling green rendezvous after lunch. Our way now led onto cart track to Cwms Farm. This becomes a sporting bridleway through the bracken, but still for the most part ridable. There are not so many off-road  opportunities on this side of Church Stretton, but this loop offers good cycling  with excellent scenery. Eventually we joined an old road up from Church Stretton at the col below Caer Caradoc, and followed it east to the resumption of the tarmac at Willstone. At the hill foot near Comley a few weak souls yielded to temptation of the Copper Kettle cafe at Leebotwood, while we of sterner stuff headed across the A49 to All Stretton. Here we entered The Batch - one of the smallest of the narrow valleys incised into the Long Mynd, but one of loveliest. The bridleway winds along the valley foor for a mile, then shoots up the hillside onto a spur of the main hill. At the top we waited for the tailenders to arrive.

Sunday rides on these weekends is a bit like cycling with von Trapps you set off with a big group that gradually shed riders so that by the time you back only few dedicated riders (or those who forgot to bring the map) are still with you. Having done the Long Mynd on the Saturday, we turned our attention to the Stipperstones, the long line of rocky outcrops that crown the ridge to the west. We looped round to the ridge end and followed the bridleway below the main summits, the bulk of us enjoying a nice suntrap while the combined brains of Lancashire fixed Simeon’s puncture. Heading up to join the ridge, we then followed the bridleway northwards,  taking in views extending deep into Wales and enjoying the long downhill gradient. This is a really splendid track, but needs to be taken this direction. The only one disappointed was Andrew, who couldn’t find any puddles to ride through.

If you fancy going to Autumn Meet its usually held on first weekend in October and is organize by the national committee of the RSF the off road cycle touring club.

You can click here to see photos of 22nd October ride to Skeggles Water and the Kentmere Valley or you can check out forthcoming events on the Diary of cycle club Events. Also checkout the What’s New Page to see what’s new on the site and you can also signup for site’s free weekly newsletter.


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