Welcome to day 2 of Pedalling for St.Peter’s, Julia Mercer’s blog about her 292 mile pilgrimage from Huddersfield Parish Church to Canterbury Cathedral. Julia’s aim is to raise funds to help in the repair of the ceiling at the Parish Church, as well as demonstrating sustainable travel via the use of the UK’s National Cycle Network.
Today I cycled through Wales and Rhodesia! Only joking… Wales is a pretty village in South Yorkshire and Rhodesia is a suburb of Worksop!
Sheffield was a bit of a nightmare to get out of, in spite of much preliminary map reading from the Sustrans website. Somehow the map and the actual route did not appear to have much in common. At one point I set off along route 6 (which will be my route for much of the way to London) and then realised I was going in the WRONG DIRECTION. But eventually was headed out south and east to Rother Country Park where I had a wonderfully cheap early lunch (£2.20 for a huge tuna salad roll and a big cup of coffee!)
It was a long day, 42 miles altogether, as the cycle route wiggles about quite a bit. Lovely tracks through Clumber Park and Sherwood Forest, canal towpath through Worksop, and some tarmac tracks out of Sheffield through Woodhouse that you can fairly whizz along. Much flatter than yesterday’s route.
South of Wales the route runs along close to the M1: but what a different world! Over the low growl of motorway traffic I could hear birdsong and smell the sweet after-rain scent of the vegetation . I ate my first blackberry of the season by a level crossing at Shireoaks. Just missed running over a large frog coming into Sherwood forest.
With only 3 miles to go before I got to Rainworth Vicarage, run out of water and fairly tired, disaster struck – a puncture! Luckily I was in a beautiful glade in Clipstone forest and got the spare inner tube on ok. Was very glad to arrive, and meet Hazel and John. Hazel is vicar and looks after Rainworth and Blidworth next door. They are the soul of hospitality and are looking after me wonderfully well: lovely food, hot showers, comfy bed.
Tomorrow I have a rest day, and will go to church with them and pay some attention to my trusty bike.
Love to all.
Be sure to check back soon for Julia’s next instalment of her extraordinary journey.