July 2020 Ride25/07/2020 ShropshireandStaffordshire
The first Shropshire & Staffordshire Group ride since the Covid outbreak was successfully held in July. 5 tandems took part including Phil and Sue who joined us for the first time. Their Hase Pino with electric assist was much admired, especially when we managed to find a hill or two in the otherwise flat Cheshire countryside. Despite the cool wind, we all enjoyed our picnic at Beeston castle whilst maintaining social distancing and also found time for an ice cream on the return journey at Overwater Marina. It was lovely to meet up with everyone again and swap lockdown stories.
January Ride19/01/2020 ShropshireandStaffordshire
Well we got very lucky with the weather for January's ride. The forecast frost did not appear due to the fog, which lifted just enough to ride by the 10:30am start time. 6 tandems enjoyed a non-stop 22 miles from Market Drayton. Whilst it was not frosty it was cold enough to make everyone wish they had asked for heated socks and gloves for Xmas. The hot soup at the end of the ride was very welcome and warmed everyone up. We also welcomed Steve and Debbie who joined us for the first (and hopefully not the last) time.
Christmas Meal15/12/2019 ShropshireandStaffordshire
Well we all had a great Christmas lunch on Sunday at the Old Rectory in Wem. It was nice to see everyone in normal clothes rather than lycra and I must say you all scrubbed up very nicely! Looking at the rain pouring down outside it was agreed that not riding to the lunch was a good decision. With all the bad weather, it has been a difficult time to find days to ride recently but we managed to go the whole year without cancelling a single monthly tandem club ride so we can't complain too much.
November 2019 Ride17/11/2019 ShropshireandStaffordshire
The November ride was the best attended yet. 10 tandems and a solo set out from Newport and cycled 28 miles including a lunch stop at the Tickled Trout tea room, Loynton Fisheries. The weather was cold and grey but dry except for a short shower whilst we were nice and warm eating our lunch. We were very well looked after by the staff at the tea room who coped admirably with serving 21 hungry cyclists. The roads were a bit wet and muddy but there were no serious floods to impede our way which was a bonus given the amount of rain there has been recently. The timing of the ride could not have been better as it started raining just as we were all ready to depart the car park.
October Ride20/10/2019 ShropshireandStaffordshire
4 tandems set out from Wem for the October ride and we were joined by Robert and Wendy along the route to the Wharf Tavern for lunch. Autumn is now well under way but the weather was mostly good but a little chilly. We did have a slight shower soon after starting but the later sunshine made up for it. Lunch at the Wharf was great, a big square table enabled all 10 of us to join in the conversation which mainly seemed to be discussing Joss and Helen's sanity in planning to do the Coast to Coast next June....in a day!!! To even think about doing 150 miles of very hilly riding in one day is worthy of respect. Karen was kept busy tackling her very large Ploughman's Lunch, her plate contained enough to feed the ploughman and his extended family, the rest of us had time to order and eat dessert whilst she ploughed (groan) away.
September 2019 ride16/09/2019 ShropshireandStaffordshire
Well despite the late change of start location, we had a good turnout for September's ride from Market Drayton to Eccleshall. 6 tandems and a solo set out on a dry and reasonably warm day and we were met part way by Robert and Wendy to make it 7 tandems and a solo riding to Fletchers Tea Room at Eccleshall. Thanks to Rodney and Elizabeth for taking care of all the lunch arrangements which ensured we were all well fed and watered ready for the return trip to Market Drayton. As we live close to the route end we thought it only polite to invite those who were not rushing off to join us for tea and cake to finish off a lovely ride.
August 2019 ride04/08/2019 ShropshireandStaffordshire
The August picnic ride from Audlem to Beeston Castle was enjoyed by 5 tandems. Despite a variable weather forecast we set off from Audlem on a cloudy but dry day and this continued for the rest of the ride. A mostly flat route was very welcome after the Ludlow hills in July. Beeston Castle was a great stop for the picnic with picnic benches available and the cabin serving hot and cold drinks. Andrew even got to practise his puncture repair skills as we had picked up a thorn just before the stop but had managed to roll in just as the tyre totally deflated. On the way back we then had an additional stop at Overwater Marina for a final drink and a slice of cake, though of course you can't have bakewell tart without a bit of ice cream. The additional stop pushed our mileage up to 40 miles but as most of them were flat it didn't matter.
May Ride12/05/2019 ShropshireandStaffordshire
6 tandems started from Newport in glorious sunshine, the temperature was a little chilly to start though some braver souls did opt for shorts. They were justified as it soon warmed up and after a few hills everyone started removing layers. Robert and Wendy joined us en-route to make 7 tandems rolling into Hungersheath tearoom for a well deserved lunch. We were very well looked after making it hard to get started again, but we were soon trundling up a few more hills on our way back to Newport (we still can't work out how it seemed to be uphill going there and uphill going back). A challenging but very enjoyable ride in great weather and even better company.
April Ride16/04/2019 ShropshireandStaffordshire
7 Tandems enjoyed the April ride on a sunny day though we also had quite a cold breeze. 22 miles from Whitchurch to the lunch stop at the Dusty Miller in Wrenbury left everyone ready for lunch and we were well looked after by the staff at this lovely canal side pub. The 7 miles back to Whitchurch was probably not enough to ride off the calories consumed at lunch time though a few small climbs helped.
March 2019 Ride17/03/2019 ShropshireandStaffordshire
We had a good turnout for the March ride from Newport to Eccleshall with 8 tandems starting out in reasonable weather. It was a little grey and a bit breezy but much better than the torrential rain of the day before! We especially enjoyed the traffic free section on the old railway track between Newport and Stafford. We were met at lunch by Steve and we all appreciated being indoors during the tremendous hail storm.
February 2019 Ride17/02/2019 ShropshireandStaffordshire
Due to sickness and other issues only 3 tandems and a solo made it to the start line for February's ride from Wem to Baschurch. However, Ian and Karen dragged themselves off their sickbed to meet us for lunch at the halfway stop to swell the numbers. Many thanks to Moor Farm café for a great lunch and being understanding about the last minute change in numbers. The weather was reasonable with some sunshine and a brisk wind but nothing to bad to discourage our two new couples, Tony and Bronwen and Rodney and Elizabeth.
Shropshire July Ride22/07/2018 ShropshireandStaffordshire
We had a great ride in July, 7 tandems rode a 33 mile circular route from Bishop's Castle with a great café stop at Clun where we were met by Chris and Roy on tandem number 8 . We all managed to get round despite the hills and the weather was great. A big thank you to Huw and Lou for organising and leading such a great rid
Shropshire June Ride08/06/2018 ShropshireandStaffordshire
Another good ride was enjoyed in June. The weather was perfect for the 34 miles circular ride from Wem, stopping at Roden for lunch. 5 tandems and a solo attended the ride, the solo because Andrew had to ride by himself due to me suffering from a heavy cold. I am told the route was great except the flooded farm track that Andrew insists was marked as a road on the OS map. Still apart from a few wet feet I am assured that no damage was done.
Shropshire May Ride15/05/2018 ShropshireandStaffordshire
After a week of looking at the weather forecast and seeing grey clouds and not very warm temperatures, 5 tandems were very pleased to set off from Audlem with blue skies and the prospect of some warm sunshine. We made good progress through the Shropshire and Cheshire countryside passing through Aston and Ightfield before arriving at our lunch stop, The Olde Jack at Calverhall, a little early but this enabled us to enjoy a drink in the sunshine before our meal. Replenished, we set off again through Moreton Say and Longford before heading back to Audlem. After loading the tandems back on/in the cars we all then went to the local ice cream shop for a well deserved treat. A good ride with great company with no major incidents along the way, though Ian and Carolyn gained all our respect by doing the whole route with just 3 gears due to a mechanical problem at the start of the ride.
Shropshire March Ride17/03/2018 ShropshireandStaffordshire
We had a very successful inaugural ride of the Shropshire and Staffordshire Group on the 11th March. 7 tandems, 1 triple and a solo joined the ride from Market Drayton to Eccleshall in surprisingly dry weather conditions. It was nice to meet so many new people, especially as some had driven a considerable distance (over 45 miles) to join us. It was great to have two families in the group and the average age of the riders was reduced considerably with Ben and Daisy pedalling along with us. After the initial climb out of Market Drayton we cycled along small country lanes and made good time despite another hill at High Offley (the clue was in the name). Our lunch stop was at Fletcher’s garden centre where the service was excellent despite them being very busy because of Mother’s Day. After a good chat getting to know each other over lunch, one tandem left us to make their short way home. Part way along the route our average age increased considerably when Daisy and her parents on the triple left us to make their way home via a more direct route. We arrived back in Market Drayton at 3.30pm and despite a couple of flooded roads and one puncture the ride went very smoothly. As previously mentioned, we are intending to run rides every month on the 2nd Sunday whenever possible, so the next date for the Group diaries is the 8th of April. We hope to have as many riders turn out for a 33 mile ride from Newport (the Shropshire one not the one in Wales!) to Roden, with lunch at the Flowerpot Café in Roden Nurseries. We are looking forwards to meeting some new friends again and welcoming more riders to the Group. We are keen to ensure we ride all over the Group region so if members of the Group would like a future ride to start near them then just either volunteer to lead a ride (perhaps your favourite local route) or just send details of a suitable start point (preferably a free car park with no height barriers and toilets nearby) and a midway lunch stop that can accommodate up to 20 cyclists. We will be happy to organise the rest if we have that at least