|Brian on top of The Long Mynd|
Christened ‘Brian’ by my eldest daughter for obvious reasons, it all started with a chance conversation with a friend of mine. “I’ve got an old Rourke frame you can have if you want it” said Simon, “but it’s in a fairly bad way”. When I walked through the door with a rusty, and rather sorry looking frame over my shoulder after one of our regular Tuesday night rides, Mrs L was not so amused.
So back to the final ride. With a family and friends holiday booked down in the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire, it was obvious. Whilst the kids and my eternally understanding VMH travelled down in the car, I’d use the opportunity to ride there. With a route plotted and the afternoon secured off work, it seemed the perfect way to enjoy Brian for one last time.
The first 50km or so were on familiar roads as I headed South from Shifnal towards Kinver and Bewdley. From here on in, it was all new, and I wasn’t really sure what to expect. It was certainly a hilly one, and the 20% climb away from the ford(I used the bridge!) was a particularly lung busting section. Brian, as has been typical of our time together, soaked it all up. Quiet lanes and picturesque villages passed and the views across the Worcestershire roads were spectacular. 100km passed and I was in the home straight, surely. One last effort was required to get up and over the Forest of Dean, before being rewarded with a fantastic last 10km or so as I dropped off towards Parkend where we were staying for the weekend.