I’ve never been to….Wales – Day 1 – Sheffield to Whitchurch

In an effort to make the most of my weekends, me and my bike have decided that, we want to hit the road together, and go places. The very idea of being a sofa lizard, scares me into adventure and to seek out  life experience. This week, I purchased some panniers and a lightweight sleeping bag for bike trips. All that was left for me to do, was ‘G’ myself up for some exploring and then get down on it.

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This weekend, I’m going to ride my way, South West to Wales, then over 100 miles east to mums house to have a hang out on mothers day, and then capping it off with another big ride north, back home to Sheffield. Here is how it went….

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I finished work at 13:30. As the weather was fine like wine, I was itching to get outside and drink it in. Before I could get properly drunk on the sunshine though, I had the task of fitting my panniers and weekend luggage to my bike. A small part of me dies inside when I have to ‘shackle it up’ in the conversion from ‘speed mode’ to ‘touring mode’. There will always be a part of my internal workings that just loves going as fast as possible. With everything ready, I let out a small WHOOP! at the prospect of the weekend ahead.

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The 1st 60kms of my journey, took me through The Peak District and spat me out somewhere the other side of Buxton. My mood was up high, and was only being elevated further as I traversed the sun soaked rolling lands that these roads had to offer. Impersonating the Titanic, the sun was taking ages to go down, which was welcomed as it was radiating the colours of a freshly poured tequila sunrise. If you ever get the opportunity to cycle these roads, you 100% should. They are tough and technical at times, but are rewarding and fast to.

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I carried on without stopping for another 2 hours. It was now dark outside and starting to get cold. Food was on my brain, and because I had been casual with the battery life of my GPS (leaving it looking for WiFi kills it much quicker), I was running low on that too. A village chip shop was the first place that I came across. They were friendly conversationalists and were nice enough to let me use their electricity sockets. After a consultation of the map, I realised that, I had committed to cycling down the wrong road for the last half an hour. It wasn’t the end of the world, but did mean I would be sleeping on English soil that night.

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I carried on for another hour until I was 5 kilometers from the boarder. Saving the 8% battery remaining on my Garmin for the morning, and more than content with the days efforts.

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It was time to find some where to set up my tent. It was surprisingly quick and easy. I got lucky, and saw a small opening in what looked like a wooded area away from the roadside. It was ideal for what I was looking for, quiet, sheltered and remote. All that was left to do was lock my bike up to the nearest tree and wrap up warm for the night.

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“The size of your dreams must always exceed your current capacity to achieve them. If your dreams do not scare you, they are not big enough.”
― Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

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