Day 4 – Getting into the Groove (Chepstow to Shrewsbury)

Today was always going to be a hard day – it was supposed to be the first day over 80 miles, the newness would have worn off, and the niggles would have developed into full-blown aches and pains. I was dreading days 3 and 4, figuring that by day 5, we’d get past all of that and get used to it.

Well, for some of us at least, we’re already there. Today had a lot fewer hills – only one just north of Hereford being of any substance. And once we were past that, it was just a matter of ticking off the miles, and arriving. I think a lot of it had to do with the 90 miles done yesterday – anything would seem better in comparison to that.

But the start of the route was absolutely beautiful. Following the river Wye up to Goodrich, then passing by Symonds Yat, and up through the Forest of Dean. Those who have been there will know what I mean.

Even though it feels like it’s getting easier, it’s still taken a toll on my body. My butt is six seventeenths pain free (meaning that out of the 17 possible angles at which it is possible to sit, only six can be achieved without wincing). (My wife, having read this as I type, has just got out the Arnica cream, but refused to apply it. What a honey.) I have a knee that’s more crocky than usual, and my back spends most of the day aching. The good bit is that my shoulder has got used to the strain, and for the first time since Friday afternoon doesn’t feel as though there’s a stake through it with a silver bullet lodged in there somewhere. Now it’s just the bullet – the stake has gone.

But now it’s late, and I need my sleep. So I’ll close off with a link to today’s map. (Apologies for the patchy first section – the GPS struggled through the trees of the forest – it’s a hard life having to cope with beautiful scenery. And due to the on/off again nature, it’s split over two pages. You’ll just have to deal with it.)

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1 Response to Day 4 – Getting into the Groove (Chepstow to Shrewsbury)

  1. Brad Nixon says:

    Nick. Fantastic. Thanks for the posts. Now you’re in Housman country: “Oh I have been to Ludlow fair, and left my necktie god knows where, and carried halfway home — or near — pints and quarts of Ludlow beer.” And “High the vanes of Shrewsbury gleam, Islanded in Severn stream.” After years of wondering, I finally looked up the derivation of “Symonds Yat,” and it’s the name of a person, Symonds, and an obsolete word for “gate” or “pass.” Thanks for the geography lessons. Happy pedaling.

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