Shropshire Highlands Challenge 2009

This annual event takes place in Ludlow, and this is the third time Robin and I have made it down from Scotland to take part. This time Robin had come all the way from Stavanger, Norway!

Len leading the charge across the "roof of the world"

Danny Mason, on behalf of the Wolverhampton Wheelers Cycling Club, designs a 70+ mile route through some of Shropshire’s most dramatic (ie steep) landscapes.

Wolverhampton Wheelers to the rescue

We started with a 1525 ft north face climb of the Long Mynd where unfortunately a few of the “secret” lanes really were a bit steep and I was one of the many cyclists who had no choice but to walk up!

When we were little my dad would bet us one of the new £1 coins that we would have to walk up steep hills to make sure we didn’t, but on this occasion I am not sure that any amount would have kept me on the saddle.


After lunch the afternoon provided a two part “hors categorie” climb to the 1508ft summit. (Unfortunately “hors categorie” would appear to mean in English “get off before you fall off” ). As Danny promised, this ride across the top of the world was well worth the pain, and I enjoyed the views and the red kite soaring above us.




Seventy odd miles didn’t seem so difficult with plentiful village hall stops and lots of tea and cakes provided.

Thanks to all the folk who fed us throughout the event

Final tea break at Bedstone

With only ten miles to go my old bike developed even more rattles, which proved to be a puncture. A job which would have taken me hours was done in five minutes by my very competent team, while I stayed well out of the way taking photographs.

Never go cycling without a team of helpful mechanics

Shropshire Highlands Challenge, sports photography

They'll have my bike back in action very soon

Job well done and soon we were at the end and time for medals 🙂 I’m not called Muttley for nothing! Unfortunately due to the untimely stop for repairs we were beaten by a small boy who didn’t look more than 1o or 11, but well done to him anyway!!

Dastardly and Muttley and the new medals

Dad and Muttley

The event is definitely not a race, it’s for the joy of being on the bike on fantastic roads in glorious Shropshire. And it does rain outside Scotland!!!

(These photographs were taken on a mobile phone, and hence are not up to normal professional standards!!)

Categories: Sport.