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Land's End to John O'Groats Day 6 - Clun to Runcorn 79 miles


Day 6 started very early, somewhere around 1 minute past midnight when the 5 LeJog occupants of the Clun YHA room were all lying awake hearing the sound of the snoring of the room's other occupant. Seriously, this guy could snore for Europe. In a "Snore For Europe" competition, he would run the housemate of someone else I know a close duel. This of course was of no consequence to the rest of us in the room, and we all tried various methods of trying to shut him out, from putting on music playing headphones, to leaving the room altogether and going and sleeping on the floor downstairs. No method was entirely successful, we were all grateful for the 15 minutes of sleep we got when he left the room at 6:45am.

Apart from that hiccough, Day 6 appeared to take my challenge yesterday to heart. It may have been hampered by the fact it was our longest day so far by some distance, and did lack as much of the scenery of the previous day, but boy did it deliver with both the weather and the terrain. Because every day has to start with a climb, it did give us the standard fare straight out of the blocks, but after the initial two climbs, the downhill to brew stop was a joy to behold. The sun had thus far been making occasional appearances between clouds, but once we started on the descent, where we would need some help staying warm because of the cool breeze generated by our speed, the sun burnt away the clouds and warmed us on the most epic of downhill stretches. It is possible that I went 3 miles today without pedalling such was the length of that downhill. In fact, from the top of the hill, I didn't pedal once until *AFTER* morning brew!

We then had a brief sojourn through some country lanes before winding through Shrewsbury, but despite it being some 20 odd miles between brew and lunch, all of that was filled with pretty flat riding, with maybe a few small undulations to go through. We also had the wind firmly at our backs. So much so in fact that people arrived at lunch early, before the pub had a chance to put out the delicious buffet for us. After lunch, it was even longer to brew stop, yet again we seemed to be making record time without really pushing at all, and Rob in the van only just beat the front riders to the brew stop location.

The day did ultimately let itself down right at the end as we came into the Friday evening rush hour in the towns and villages on the way to Runcorn, and after the country lanes we had ridden through, this was a definite black mark on the day, but overall, despite being 80 miles (give or take), this wass very much my favourite day of the tour so far, and I think actually easier than the advertised easiest day.

This evening has found us all in the same hotel - a Holiday Inn. It's not amazing, it's a standard Holiday Inn really. The food is ok, the bar is on the expensive side, but I have had my first ever professional massage, and there is WiFi, so after last night, I probably shouldn't complain too much.

Tomorrow, the route notes say that we are back on a hard day, which is a shame, so as usual, I am expecting a vicious climb straight out of the blocks. However, I think the elevation profile must be wrong, as it says that our first real climb doesn't start until around mile 20. I can't believe that, so will just assume it's wrong and await the inevitable wakey wakey climb!

Fun fact: we are half way through the ride at the end of tomorrow!


Still not in John O'Groats

K.

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