A longish ride today, out west to the little-visited Clee Hills and back. Pretty good countryside: no great climbs or heart-stopping views, which given the lack of defibrillators round here is not a bad thing, but plenty enough to make it worthwhile.
It was a misty start to the day, and I could see little of the Severn Valley. The Sustrans route crosses the river twice on car-free bridges: options to swop banks are few and far between on this stretch. You can’t just pick and choose your side according to your whim like, say, wannabe Prime Ministers selecting their Brexit position according to populist advantage.
After Stottesden the sun came out and the Clee Hills came into view, looking like smaller versions of the Malverns perhaps. Titterstone Clee Hill has a Ventoux-like profile thanks to its summit radar golfball, but at 533m compared to 1909m, it doesn’t dominate the landscape quite as much.
In Clee St Margaret I was tempted to ride through an 80m ford – one of those fords that’s really a shared-use stream-cum-lane – but with a wet-foot experience from a ford earlier in the day, whose slimy cobbles proved a lot more slippery than I expected, I desisted.
There were good ridge views from the long. long constant downhill east from Bromdon to Prescott, and I came back through Wyre Forest’s trails – the roads can be busy and unpleasant round here.
There were some spectacular fungi which looked as though they’d be delicious sauteed with garlic and accompanied by a glass of crisp white wine and maybe an ambulance.
From Bewdley, a Sustrans route runs back through woodland and a confusing council estate to Kidderminster, where I was staying at a Premier Inn on the canalside for giveaway Sunday-evening prices. I like cycle touring.