Welcome to day 5 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.
“Loughborough-Market Harborough. 30miles.
Today felt easy. In fact, though Sustrans give the mileage as 30 on the map I’m sure it was less. The sun shone, but not too much; that troublesome headwind shifted around and tried hard to be a tailwind; the route into Leicester is well signed and away from main roads, following waterways and diving through parks. And I didn’t get lost. (Well, only once very slightly, coming out of Leicester, but quickly picked up the route again).
North of Leicester there were a few scary junctions to cross as the route hugs the A6, then I took to quiet suburban roads for a bit. In Birstall on the east side of the city I had elevenses in an Ecumenical coffee shop in a Methodist church hall. I told the people on my table about the bike ride; they appeared to be slightly impressed but failed to shower me with sponsor money.
Went past a massive woolly mammoth in Watermead country park (honest, I’ve got the photo) and a mile or 2 on was dazzled by the huge silvery weirdness of the Space and Science centre.
South of Leicester the route followed country roads through villages with solid, rather grand looking churches, mostly locked. (Stuart, my Rev. host for Tuesday, says “We have a lead problem.”) I had a picnic lunch under an oak tree in a field of borage, lots of bees and hover flies.
The countryside has become quite different from Nottinghamshire, far fewer trees, more open, lots of ripening wheat fields. I rode along some tiny lanes bordering unfenced fields—it reminded me of cycling in Suffolk.
And so up the final short hill to Church Langton, about 4 miles NE of Market Harborough, and a welcome cup of tea at the Rectory. Which is not in fact a rectory, the vicar lives over in a neighbouring village. Stuart is a director of training for the C of E, and his wife Joyce is a doctor. Once again I’ve been wondrously well looked after.”
Be sure to check back soon for Julia’s next instalment of her extraordinary journey.