John re-joined us in Worcester after getting his knee seen to by a physio in Bath. Mum and Dad made the trip up to see us and we spent a great evening together.
On Thursday morning, with a taped-up knee John was back in the team as we left Worcester. We did a few navigationally-flawed figure of eights around the city centre to warm the legs up and it was the point where we were just leaving the city for real when distaster struck. The pain in John’s knee was too much and he decided to head back for some proper r&r. There’s no point pressing on when injury is causing that much pain. Losing John was a big blow as he was the one who had provided the most entertainment for Dave as they nattered at the back of the pelaton.
So that left Dave and I to press on and cover the day’s 89 miles by ourselves. And that we did.
When trying to compare the size of things, Journalists often use Wales as a unit of measurement. If they ever needed a unit of measurement for “hilliness”, then I can proudly give them the unit “Cornwall”. Using that measurement, I’d say that the first half of day 5 was probably a 3rd of a Cornwall in hilliness. Not quite as relentless as Cornwall itself, but still bloody hard on the legs for a good few miles.
We plodded on towards Iron Bridge Gorge though, and it was on the 40mph decent into the gorge that I hit a massive pothole which, only a day later I’ve realised, catapulted my rear light straight off the bike. Still, it’s summer so won’t be needing it!
After an ice cream at the Iron Bridge, we climbed out of the gorge but this is where Dave’s knee really started to show signs of deterioration.
Nevertheless, we pressed on, passing some lovely villages – most of which had a large manor house.
Our route had been planned to take us over the footbridge near the village of Wrenbury but that had been dismantled for repairs, which forced a detour to get back on track.
We finally made it to Tarporley where we were greeted by Alicia (Dave’s gf) and, as he went off to get physio on his knee, I treated myself to a swim, sauna and steam room at the plush hotel we’d booked as a one off.
A mountain of pasta at the Italian in Tarporley then bed. Weary after Our longest day yet
Stats for LEJoG day 5:
4,85ft ascent. 4,698ft descent.
Fastest speed 38.9mph.
Average speed 12.8mph
Average Heart Rate: 126bpm
Max heart rate 179bpm.
Average cadence 72rpm