Northern Route – Day 1

My Northern Route got off to a flying start start today. 

I wasn’t able to leave until 11.30am for various reasons but the weather was amazing plus the wind gods were with me giving a gentle Easterly tailwind to my first destination, Lichfield.  

The route took me north of Leicester through Bradgate Park and past Cropston Water which was shimmering in the autumn sunshine. Also, met a friendly young cyclist called James who joined me for a few miles…

   
   
I took a short rest in a lovely village near Tamworth called Harlaston which had an interesting church called St Matthew’s that caught my eye. 

   
 
I rolled into Lichfield at around 2.30pm. I’d never been before and I though it was a beautiful town. It had a quaint pedestrianised centre with winding lanes which led past a lake up to the cathedral. 
   
   
I loved the cathedral and its setting with spacious lawned areas which had commissioned sculptures dotted around (sorry didn’t get the name of the artist!). The cathedral building itself dates from around the 12th century and is stunning. Go and visit!

   
    
   
I refuelled at a garage – food not petrol! – and then set off towards Cheshire via the A51. This was a fast main road but still quite picturesque. Power stations aren’t traditionally thought of as pretty, but I thought these water towers looked cool near Rugeley…

  

The last 15 miles were really hilly and I was tired but finally rolled into Sandbach at about 6.30pm where some friends are kindly putting me up. Popped into town where the ‘super moon’ was hanging over the church, and then went to the Old Hall for some food and a well earned pint of ‘Headless’ from the local Redwillow Brewery. 

   
   
Chester, Liverpool and Manchester tomorrow!

First cathedral done – Only 41 to go!

The challenge is underway!

On Sat 17th of January I cycled to Lincoln Cathedral for lunch and back with two cycling buddies Chris and Gavin from my local cycling club, Velo Club Rutland.

We headed out at 10.00am to avoid the ice but still had to dismount a couple of times to avoid falling off. A closed road also forced us to cycle on a mud track alongside the River Witham between Long Bennington and Dry Doddington.

A nice tailwind blew us out to Lincoln in around 3 hours and we finished the outward journey in style by riding up the famous cobbled Michaelgate and up to Castle Hill Square for some well deserved lunch!

The return journey was a slog. Terrible headwind for the first 20 miles out on some pretty boring, unrelenting, straight roads with no shelter from the wind. Still, got back safely in time for a couple of beers at The Grainstore Brewery Tap. Mmmm….

Total distance 102 miles in about 6.5 hours. Here’s the route…

https://www.strava.com/activities/242295482

Me at Lincoln Cathedral
Me at Lincoln Cathedral
Lincoln Cathedral - Interior of course!
Lincoln Cathedral – Interior of course!

 

Chris, Me and Gavin at Lincoln
Chris, Me and Gavin at Lincoln
Lunch!
Lunch!
The reward!
The reward!

Cathedral Cycle Tour Blog

Welcome to my Blog which I’ve set up so people can keep up to date on the progress of my challenge to cycle to all 42 cathedrals in England in 2015 in aid of the charity ‘Rethink Mental Illness’.

Thanks for reading, sharing, supporting and generally showing an interest. With your help I will get there!

David Graham JustGiving - Sponsor me now!