The Shropshire Hills English Cogal

Original artwork by @936adl

April 2012 promises top be a special month for any Velominatus. While the current icons of our great sport do battle in spring classics, many of the Velominati will be enjoying The Keepers Tour.

Meanwhile, in the quiet county of Shropshire, another event promises great things. Epic scenery, some pretty serious climbing, an imperial century, and fine post ride beer and curry, The English Cogal has it all.

@Chris gave us all a taster of the Shropshire Hills in his guest article covering Edric’s Windy, Wet and Wild Wiggle, and The English Cogal will be covering much of the same terrain. After bisecting the Clees in the South of the county, we’ll head across to Stiperstones, before crossing The Long Mynd, so there’s climbing a plenty. As the saying goes, what goes up must come down, and there’s some fairly hairy descents too. Just ask anyone who’s ever ridden down the Burway.

It’s not all about the hills though, and the Cogal will also pass through some of the historic towns which are scattered across the county. From the industrial heritage of the Ironbridge Gorge, to ‘Little Switzerland’, as well as the town that claims to be the birthplace of the Modern Olympic Games, Much Wenlock.

Assuming that we all make it back to Shifnal in one piece I’m guessing that a thirst will have been worked up, and we’ll be aiming to sample some of the fine real ale pubs that are in the town. Once re-hydrated, we’ll be finishing off with a traditional ‘English’ curry.

So, who’s riding? Well I suppose the fact that we frequent this website speaks volumes, but I’m no ex pro or budding racer(and the same can be said for the other locals), and this Cogal will be of the ‘Casually Deliberate’ variety (See The Small Print below).

There are plenty of places to stay in Shifnal, and if anyone wants details of B&Bs etc just let me know.

This could be fun.

The Boring Bits:
Date: Saturday April 14th 2012
Time: Wheels will be turning at V past 9 precisely
Where: Silks Café, Shifnal
Distance: 164km(ish)
Route and location details on the Cogal Event Page.

The Fine Print: This is fairly tough route, and although we’ll be adopting a ‘no drop’ principle, there are limited bail out points and so attendees need to be confident of their ability to complete the route. I’d imagine that the average speed will be somewhere around 23km/h taking into account the hills.

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110 Replies to “The Shropshire Hills English Cogal”

  1. Chaps epic ride today!

    Chapeau to 936adl for taking the time and trouble to organise the gogal.

    Nice to meet you all today and share a little pain. It was a pleasure.

    Now when is this Bristol cogal then!?!?

  2. @muck muck
    I’m working on it now mate!

    Thinking of early September, but I’ll get the details up when all sorted.

    Good to meet everyone today, and a big thanks to @936adl for organising everything.


  3. @Unica

    @muck muck
    I’m working on it now mate!

    Thinking of early September, but I’ll get the details up when all sorted.

    Good to meet everyone today, and a big thanks to @936adl for organising everything.


    Did you boys find your way back okay?

    It was 7 o’clock when we got back to ironbridge! We almost needed lights to get


  4. @muck muck
    Yep, saw about three of you heading into town as we headed out in the van, Think we got back about 3/4 to an hour ahead of you by the time we’d faffed and got going. Arrived home at gone 10pm. Epic ride, many thanks 936adl for organising and apologies again for dashing off like we did.

    Here’s today’s work from me

    Not bad on 42:23 !!!

  5. @Robb1112
    Great day, thanks so much to @936adl for arranging it. Nice to meet you all, look forward to doing it again sometime. Rule #5 was certainly to the fore.

  6. What a day! I’m absolutely blown away by the turn out and how well it all went.

    20120414Cogal_ 21

    It was certainly a tough one. 164km and over 2,300 metres of climbing! Whilst many rules were broken, 5, 10, and 9(a hail storm on the top of the long Mynd!) were religiously adhered to.

    Full route Details – The Shropshire Hills Cogal

    It was a pleasure to share ‘our’ local roads with so many fellow Velominatus, and from the converstaions on the way round, i’m sure this will not be the last Cogal that’s held in England.

    To finish things off properly, beer and curry were duly consumed. I don’t think a Lamb Rezala has ever tasted so good!

  7. @936adl

    Well done mate. Great pics on flicker! Glad you all had a good day, seeing Shifnal made me quite nostalgic. I used to spend some time in the Nell and White Heart many years ago.

    I hope a British Cogal will coincide with a visit for me one of these days.

  8. Thanks again to Andy for organising this Cogal. It was a fantastic experience to meet some of the guys from this humble forum and to be able to totally endulge in all things cycling for a whole day, totally without any self-consciousness in like-minded company. Bliss.

    As for the route, what a beast! A really tough saw-blade of a ride with four-seasons-in-one-day weather left me totally drained at the end of it. But the post-ride beers and curry never tasted so good as a result.

    I feel like some great new riding friendships have been formed and really look forwards to getting out with as many of you guys as possible again!


  9. It was a cracking day out, a proper good stretch of the legs. Looking forward to the ride report and the pictures.

    Cheers to @936adl for putting it together, and to everyone who turned up and did it.

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