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. I will be there

    Need I say anymore, other than will there be any fords to negotiate?

  2. G’luck lads! These Cogal things are a hoot! Don’t forget to take photos…….

  3. I want some photos of the post-ride re-hydration in a cozy pub. This sounds like a great day on the bike, I wish I could join.

  4. You are riding in countryside I grew up in. I was born less than 5 miles from Shifnal. Makes me all nostalgic. I cannot be there ( unless something quite incredible or bizzare occurs) but 936adl when I am next there I will be in touch for a ride!

  5. Thanks for organising this, love the flyer.

    Very very keen, an imperial century on home turf sounds fantastic. Need to pull some swaps at work… will start hassling people on Monday!

  6. Arse!! I was looking fro flights to get me from Palma to Brum on my way back from club trip to Mallorca, when I realised you are doing this the weekend before! Damn and double damn

    So sad to miss this – maybe we can do a North Wales or West Scotland Cogal later in the year before the light gets to short??

    I love middle England – all that quality Ale and traditional English fare, like Lamb Tikka Massala

  7. That sounds really fun! Wish I could be there. Have a pint and a Vindaloo for me!

  8. Bugger… Will have used up all my goodwill vouchers on Belgium

    AWESOME flyer, and have a great ride

  9. I’m jealous. Not that Washington State isn’t amazing for cycling (and beer), but one thing I sorely miss about England is the pubs. Still, it means I climb better for my weight now!

  10. I’m up for it!

    Might to to find a B&B, but will cross that bridge if I need to…

  11. Sounds great, wish I could join ya!

    The most recent English pub I saw was when the local scary movie festival showed “An American Werewolf in London.” Ha, hope the one you lads re-fresh at isn’t so scary!

  12. Sounds great. Of course we know you really mean five, dime and nine…

    Will Her Majesty be lining up for a pull and does she favour clinchers or tubs?

  13. Never have I gotten so excited reading about a forthcoming ride, it sounds fantastic and only an hour and a half’s drive away. Then I read the date and realised that its the same day I am scattering my Nan’s ashes. Gutted isn’t the word, I wanted to be at this Cogal more than anything in the world!

  14. If only the Keepers Tour, spring classics, and this were 6 weeks later. I could make an extended stay of it over summer break. Sounds like a great time Sheila.

  15. @eightzero

    COGAL! COGAL! COGAL!
    Fuck yeah!

    By strange coincidence, that was the same number of flats I had at the Austin version. Worst day of riding ever personally, one of the most fun socially. Cogals rule.

  16. @Gianni

    I want some photos of the post-ride re-hydration in a cozy pub. This sounds like a great day on the bike, I wish I could join.

    Absolutely! Pictures, write up etc will be forthcoming.

    @harminator

    Sounds great. Of course we know you really mean five, dime and nine…
    Will Her Majesty be lining up for a pull and does she favour clinchers or tubs?

    Hell yeah, i’ll have a word with QE2 and see if she can fit in a appearance. It’s a well known fact she’s a Chicken Jalfrezi fan.

  17. This is all pretty surreal to be honest. After a few mails with @Frank we really are going to have a full blown Cogal in Shropshire!

    What could go wrong?

  18. Sounds like it’s going to be a great day. All the best to those that participate!

    So after the ride I’m guessing – a few recovery pints to quench the thirst and refuel then on to the curry house for a meal, possibly a few more ales and if anyone is still standing, a kebab on the way home?

  19. I’m in interested. Should be two-hour drive away! No racer either but form should have come back to normal after a tough winter by then! :D

  20. @zac

    would have to be the same day as one of my races wouldn’t it
    I suggest a cheshire cogal, there are some great climbs over that way like the cat and fiddle, mow cop and my favourite the awesome COBBLED swiss hill! another great thing about swiss hill is that just over the top of it you’ll find the wizard pub and wizard cafe which are very bike friendly
    http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-BFZnlqjYLqY/TqxScbWY1vI/AAAAAAAABC8/WA2r2qLbuF8/s1600/front+door.jpg

    Oh mama, what a photo…I miss the English pubs.

  21. @936adl
    Keep Calm and Stiff Upper Lip

    Looks awesome, I’d love to pop over but like @Roadslave525 I’ll have used all my credits on the Keeper’s Tour.

    I should be back over there for the Edric though.

  22. Sounds like quite a grand time. I wish i could make it. I hope someday to ride a Cogal.

  23. @brett

    @936adlNice one bruvva! The poster is mint, and my English girlfriend even recognised the Keep Calm motif and explained the origins to me.
    Cogals: they even teach you shit.

    I’m glad that your SO reconised the origins of the poster. It’s meant to underline the britishness(whatever that is btw) of the event.

    Being selfless to a fault, i’ve been doing some extensive testing of the post ride facilities this weekend. The ‘Temple of Doom’ in the White Hart was good, the ‘Town Crier’ in the Plough excellent, and the ‘Oracle’ in Odfellows even better. I can also confirm that the East End Balti serves up an awesome Lamb Rezala.

    Bring it on!

  24. @ChrisO

    @brett
    Yes the Keep Calm and Carry On seems to have become popular lately, perhaps in These Troubled Economic Times.
    Personally I think this one is slightly (and sadly) more in tune with the zeitgeist…
    http://www.threadless.com/product/1466/Now_Panic_and_Freak_Out
    Although to be strictly accurate 936adl it could have been “apply the sixpence and shilling” ;-) Not quite the same though…

    Good point, although ‘sixpence and shilling’ doesn’t really have the same ring to it.

  25. Agghhhhhh!

    Right, let’s do an Autumnal UK Cogal that I can do (gotta get the yottin season out of the way) – Hampshire, Midlands, Wales, Devon, whatever, but have it near an airport so I can get over – come to think of it, maybe I’ll organise one myself, to make sure I can get there!

  26. @zac

    would have to be the same day as one of my races wouldn’t it
    I suggest a cheshire cogal, there are some great climbs over that way like the cat and fiddle, mow cop and my favourite the awesome COBBLED swiss hill! another great thing about swiss hill is that just over the top of it you’ll find the wizard pub and wizard cafe which are very bike friendly

    Awesome idea! I fancy doing the Shropshire Cogal but a local one would be perfect.

  27. Let’s hope that a successful Shropshire Cogal can be a springboard for future events in the UK.

    There are really too many options…. The Lakes, Scotland, C2C, South West, Wales. All i need is much much more time!

  28. I’m definitely in, just need to do some enthusiastic parenting between now and then square it the VMH. Velominababy #1 was born last week. She hasn’t got her own bike yet but as she has nearly two months to peak before the cogal I reckon she’ll be laying down some serious hurt on the day. On the plus side new born babies don’t seem to have to shave their legs so she’s already Rule #33 compliant!

  29. @acciaio
    Now is the time to set the standard – you will be away for one day only, which will give your VMH a welcome break from your ineptitude as a new father (yes that is a generalisation, but perceptually, it’s true, regardless how hard you try)

    Trust me, stick it in the diary

  30. It’s great that this ride seems to have generated a fair bit of interest, and hopefully we’ll get a fair few turn up.

    All we need to do then is keep everything crossed for a decent day and we should be fine.

    @acciaio

    This sounds like the perfect antidote to VMB #1. Congrats btw!

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