Well day 2 was to be a ride from Cornwall to Somerset if all went well. The hard part was behind me now as I only had about 20miles of the planned 79 in Cornwall.
The challenges for today would be
1) It would be my longest ever ride
2) Fatigue after day 1
3) The first 18 miles to Tavistock which had some steepish hills (I reconnoitred the terrain last weekend when down for Plymouth v Barnsley)
1) It was my longest ever ride
2) I did have some fatigue after day 1
3) The first 18 miles to Tavistock were as hard I had expected. Indeed I only average about 12 mph by the time I got there.
4) Leaving Cornwall & entering Devon I encountered something unexpected. Who the hell placed Dartmoor there. I had an 8 mile climb (with several dips & more climbs) to Princetown & Dartmoor Prison @ 1500ft above sea level.
The ride over Dartmoor was the hardest physical & mental challenge I have ever faced. At times I was riding at under 4 mph! Its hard to balance at such a low speed.
The cars that passed me were labouring to get up parts of the climb!
Did I mention the headwind? Even on some of the descents I was struggling to get above 12 mph owing to the headwind.
Remember as well as my bike and my rather large body mass, I also have a bag weighing circa 20 lbs to get up the hills. Its a lot of weight to try to get up against Mr Newton’s gravity.
I’m not saying it is steep up there, but I’m sure Sir Edmund Hilary only decided to climb Everest as Dartmoor was too hard!
Having set off at 0830 in the morning, I made a stop in Tavistock for coffee and a sandwich at about 1015 or so. That was 18miles done. I left Tavistock circa 1100 & by the time I reached Moretonhampstead some 21miles (39 for the day) later it was 1415! That is 3 1/4 hours to do 21 miles – very slow.
I left Moretonhampstead’s highly recommended Central Stores Coffee Shop & Bakery @ 1500 with 40miles to go to Wellington & feeling very tired. I slogged it to Exeter (50miles). This was a very hard 11miles with some short sharp climbs.
So @ around 1610 I left Exeter with still 29 miles to go to Wellington. Sense would say that I should find a bed for the night, soon. However, being the stubborn pig headed person I am, I was determined to reach Wellington which I did @ 1900.
Wellington is in Somerset, so I started the day in Cornwall, ended it in Somerset having ridden through Devon & over Dartmoor. When I reached the Devon/ Somerset county boundary, I took the obligatory snap which I sent with a caption from the heart. Unfortunately the caption cannot be repeated on this website! It did capture my feelings towards Devon accurately!
Blasphemous Rumours? God does have a sick sense of humour putting Dartmoor on this LEJoG route!
NB Editor – you may have mastered the blog & making posts on here, but you have not mastered the cycling lingo. Devon is not lumpy, its evil and like cycling up mountains! I look forward to lumpy days, they are wishful thinking at present.
79.1 miles ridden
6 hrs 54 mins riding time
11.5 mph average speed
7807 feet climbed today