Bike Ride Day 4 - 24th July 2010
Today was the first of the longer rides, and it's been a mixed sort of a day. The first section, through the Somerset Levels, was great - as the name suggests, nice and level! Wedmore, Cheddar and Axbridge, picking up the A38 to Bristol (up a much bigger hill than I remember being here when we used to live down this way), left at Barrow Gurney and then the big hill up into Failand, leading into Bristol over the Clifton Suspension Bridge. This was a trip down memory lane, as we lived in Bristol for 8 years and knew the city, especially Clifton and Redland, well. Cycled past one of the places we used to live, and then past my old theological college, before heading out of the city up towards Cribbs Causeway and the last few miles to the Severn Bridge.
Then it was in to Wales, through Chepstow, and I met up for lunch with Gill at Tintern Abbey, the stunning ruined abbey on the banks of the River Wye - another place we both have fond memories of.
The last stretch was the hardest for me - OK to Monmouth, following the river, but then my route took me cross country through the Welsh hills. They didn't look anything much on the map but that only goes to prove that maps can be highly misleading! My legs were already tired after 75 miles, but the last hour and a half was murder, up and down some pretty steep climbs. Decided that someone must have been out covering the roads in treacle, so slow was my pace by now. Had a funny moment (in retrospect) as I was heading for Grosmont, only for it to suddenly dawn on me what 'Grosmont' meant! Absolutely enormous mont more like.
But eventually arrived at the Lancaster Arms in Pandy, the only place I could find to stay for miles around because there is a big choral festival this weekend at Abbey Dore, which is where we are MEANT to be tonight! Involves a 10 mile detour that to be honest I could have done without.
Never mind. 4 days down, only another 8 to go. I could stop now and feel that I'd already done enough! But I'll just have to plough on.
There are moments when you can loook around and appreciate the sheer beauty and grandeur of the scenery you're travelling through, and then there are moments when all you can think about is how tired your body feels. I cannot believe how the winds seem to have been northerlies this week! The whole point of travelling in this direction - from Lands End to John O Groats - is to catch the prevailing south westerly breezes, but apart from the first day these seem to have perversely switched around and been in my face. Maybe tomorrow will bring a southerly wind............
|14:30||University of Kent Graduation Day|