[caption id="attachment_979" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Aberystwyth MP Mark Williams wishes the cyclists well at the start of the ride"][/caption]
Today our cyclists set off from Bishop's Castle, heading for Redditch. An update on how they fared on Monday - Day 1 from cyclist/reporter Ian Tallamy:
"The first part of the day involved a tough climb from Aberystwyth up to Devil’s Bridge. The road was quite steep in places but we had beautiful views looking down through the valleys in the Welsh Countryside, as we pedalled onwards and upwards.
There have been lots of hills we’ve had to negotiate, those energy-draining, muscle-sapping hills that remind you why the landscape is so beautiful.
There was one small incident when Chris Atherton had a minor fall only 10 minutes into the bike ride, ending up with a cut leg and some bruises, but his pride was probably hurt more than his limbs.
Although there are different ability levels within the group, everyone is really encouraging and helping out each other in the true Smiths News style. The weather was very hot, so we were really pleased to have the support vehicle where we could refill our water bottles.
The great news is that all the riders made it to Bishop's Castle just across the Welsh Border in Shropshire and we're all waiting to start Tuesday's adventure.
[caption id="attachment_981" align="alignleft" width="400" caption="Our cyclists set off on their journey"][/caption]
Bishop's Castle is a fairly small village so it wasn't possible for us all to stay in the same location, so we’re scattered in different guest houses. Last night we met up to share our war stories.
Day 1 over and done with, a pretty hard start to the week, but a very rewarding one."
Well done to all our cycling staff who have made it through a gruelling Day 1. We look forward to hearing how Day 2 has gone...
Today's Route = 69 miles: Far less climbing today (1442m, max 248m) and a glorious start through the South Shropshire countryside alongside the River Kemp, crossing the River Clun to join the Teme Valley before passing over "The Goggin" adjacent to Richard's Castle.
Back into the Teme valley and a scheduled stop at Tenbury Wells, before turning more Easterly and crossing the River Severn, to take a route that passes between Droitwich and Bromsgrove before ending up at Redditch. A glorious day's riding in quiet countryside throughout.