Feature: Johnny Lord's 212-mile cycle ride

Article written by Jonathan Lord, June 2004

Week commencing 7 June 2004 my son Daniel (21) and myself (39 - more like 44!!!) completed a 212 mile cycle route from Sowerby Bridge Deep Lock to Stroud in Gloucestershire.

The whole route followed the inland waterways of central England and on Day 1 included the Rochdale Canal from Sowerby Bridge to Manchester which then led us onto the Ashton Canal to Portland Basin where we joined the Peak Forest Canal to Macclesfield and a good nights sleep in the local travel lodge.
Day 2 took us to Stafford along the whole of the Stafford and Worcestershire Canal through the potteries, encountering along the route the Harecastle Tunnel the longest navigable underground tunnel in England. Needless to say we had to find an alternative as there is no towpath - in fact barges have to be walked through like in't olden days. We followed the packhorse trail and re joined t'other end.
Day 3 Stafford to Stourport-On-Severn via Worcester, Wolverhampton and Tewksbury (long day) 3 punctures on route but enjoyable. Stopped overnight in a super village called Upton- Upon-Severn where we had a suprise visitor as Janice had driven down to find us, en-route to Helen's, my sister who lives in Stroud (hence our finish point).
Day 4 Shortest day in mileage but longest day for many other reasons !! To Gloucester Docks 16 miles the sign said !! anyway on arrival at the docks home straight to Frampton On Severn along the Gloucester Sharpness canal a small reception at this unofficial finish consisting of Helen, Janice and Sally dog.
A few beers later we were off the the grand finale along the disused Stroudwater Canal towards Cirencester which passes through Helen's village. Strict instructions not to be there till after 3.30 so my nephews could see the homecoming. A few beers later.... any way all that cycling in hot weather entitled us to a few bevvies, what a reception banners champagne and hugs all round BRILLIANT, finished at last a cold dip in the local stream, bike and all was very needed.

A big thank-you to all who has contributed to my cause which is Yorkshire Cancer Research in memory of a recently departed work colleague of mine.

Overall we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, a well planned route with pre booked overnight stays for which as you would all expect was down to Janice.

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This page created on 6th July 2004