Day 5 – Monmouth to Clun – 57 Miles
Today was seen as a holiday, a mere 57 miles lay in front us for LEJOG day 5, however we still had to complete it and this was the first day when my legs began to feel the pain and query the rest of my body on what exactly am I doing?! I was hoping that the legs were just adapting to the demanding daily grind, so after a few nurofen, a good dose of deep heat and a few phone calls to friends in the NHS, I met the rest of the group for Nick’s early morning briefing.
According to our LEJOG cycle route, the morning ride was to see us follow the English/Welsh border as we meandered along the A466 and onto the city of Hereford. A few of the group made a stop to visit Hereford Cathedral and its most famous treasure, the Mappa Mundi – a medieval map of the world.
For the rest of us, our LEJOG route notes were the only map needed to get us through the famous market town and back into the coutryside following the A4110 and onto Aymestry where we stopped for lunch and met up with Steve who provided yet another fine Peak Tours spread.
Back into the sun as we continued our cycle through the glorious countryside, and with only around 20 miles to go, we thought it safe to assume that this was one of the easiest cycling days…we were wrong. Our LEJOG tour leader Nick had ensured he had trick up his sleeve and dealt us an ace card at around 5 miles from the finish line with a “double dip” i.e. two hills closely following each other
To put this double dip into perpective, the LEJOG route notes are very descriptive in terms of hills, roads to follow and war memorials to view, but there is only one sentence that seemed to be underlined within the whole 100 page guide and it happened to be on today’s ride, referring to “a steady climb“. As we approached this “steady climb“, by chance Steve was overtaking us driving the Peak Tours van, and indeeed the temptation was there to try to reach out and hold onto the van!
From the summit, there was a spectacular descent to enjoy as it led us into the picturesque town of Clun, and onto another YHA, located a few miles from the town centre.
After the daily grind of unpacking, showering and washing clothes, we were off to the Pub to meet up with the rest of the group and enjoy some traditional pub grub and also to celebrate Peak Tour’s Steve’s birthday. Jim had somehow managed to ask the local bakers to provide a birthday cake and got it delivered to the pub, and Chris organised a few bottles of champagne which we cracked open to the tune of “Happy Birthday”
The champagne flowed and there was a talk of moving onto a few “top shelf shots” but reality struck, we had 80 miles to complete tomorrow…there is no let up to LEJOG
I would like to thank you for taking the time to read my LEJOG Blog. I hope you’ve found it interesting and feel free to post your thoughts and comments. Once again, thank you for visiting Simon’s LEJOG blog