Naturally the circumstances this year means the planned ride to Greece has been postponed.
Instead Dale has carefully planned a tour of Anglo-Saxon Britain which leaves the Kingdom of Kent (long live King Æthelberht!) and neatly circumnavigates Mercia by travelling through Wessex and Wales, skirting the borders of Danelaw before returning south via the borderlands between the Kingdoms of the East Angles and East Saxons.
Naturally there will be dangers. Not least in Wales where it is rumoured many long lost relatives still remain. Some attempts will be made to contact them though the language barrier may prove difficult.
At the northern-most extreme the party will seek refuge in a local hostelry somewhere in the vicinity of Lincoln. They will face certain danger here if they are tempted to stay too long.
From here they will scurry southwards through Saxon country before reclaiming the refuge of the Kentish.
Ronde van Rhondda 2020
Of course it’s not really a tour of the Rhonnda – it’s more of a circumnavigation of the old Kingdom of Mercia – but the tour will be passing through the Rhondda valley in South Wales and in particular the Little Rhondda valley and the village of Ynyshir. This is the Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau (Old Land of My Fathers). Our father was born here in 1933 and of course Nana and Grandad House lived here before unemplyment took them to the Pits of Kent in about 1936.
Over the years we’ve made family visits here in particular to visit Nan’s sister, Aunti Sis (a Great-Aunt really) and all her family. Her son Uncle Norman I remember very well. I’ve no idea what’s left of this family or the generations that came after. It’ll be interesting to see what Dale and Keith discover.
From South Wales they will head to Denbigh in North Wales and track down some other relatives who moved back to Wales from Kent (usually via Leicester). I expect they’ll drop in to see our father’s sisters Auntie Doreen and Auntie Irene along with Uncle Alan and no doubt a few of our many cousins!
From Wales the team will head east over the Peak District towards Lincolnshire where they will rendezvous at the Dambusters Inn in Scranton. The pub is managed by family friend and village compatriot Steve Plews. I fully expect a night of boisterous shenanigans. They will be lucky to escape alive.
Geting it together
On the ride will be Dale, Keith, Dave Austen and Andy Stupples, and of course as it’s a bike-camping tour there is no minibus support and driver.
Sadly no pre-tour photographs came from Andy Stupples.
Test Run to East Sussex
Here are some shots from a pre-tour excursion down to East Sussex to test out the bikes and equipment.