Another day over. This day started in Somerset and ended in Wales.
In the pub tonight looking at the menu I was thinking of how to celebrate being in Wales. I thought I could have sheep, but by the time I had eaten, it was too late!
After yesterday’s hell in Devon, I have proof of God’s existence & his sick sense of humour. Today should have been an easier day over the rolling Somerset countryside and up the Wye Valley. Instead God turned the wind around to a North / North Easterly wind; thus I had a very strong head wind all day. At times I struggled to reach 10mph on the flat owing to the wind.
I had a stroke of luck after I stopped for tea at a Cider farm. As I was leaving I got talking to a fellow cyclist who lived locally. I rode with him for 10-12miles. He provided me with some shelter from the wind & then gave me directions to get round Cheddar Gorge instead of over it. Sadly I didn’t get his name, but he was a proficient runner having won the >60s prize @ the London Marathon. He is also doing LEJoG in July with a big group & proper support to carry their bags.
I eventually got within striking distance of the Avonmouth Bridge cycle route, but then got lost, riding through the Gordano Motorway Service Station & riding away from the bridge. Eventually after a couple of extra miles, I found it & got over it.
Next up was to find the Old Severn Bridge. After using an off road cyclepath for about a mile I got back on route. I found the cycle route across the bridge easily enough. It was a hair raising ride, some 2 miles long. Hair raising as the wind was a cross wind making it difficult to ride across the bridge.
I arrived in Wales around 1630 with only 17.5 miles to cover to get to Monmouth. I was shattered by now though, the headwind and climbing had taken their toll. I limped on to Tintern where I discovered a great little cafe in the Old Station which stayed open late so serve me tea & chocolate cake. This got me over the “bonk” and I was able to carry on towards Monmouth.
I arrived in Monmouth, weary & ready for a shower. However, a glance at my computer revealed I had done a new personal best of 94.1 miles.
This was near to my ambition of riding 100 miles in a day. The evening was glorious, so I explored Monmouth which is beautiful. I brought up my century & did it into a headwind & carrying all my luggage.
I (have) had a dream
Day 4 brings more miles through the Welsh border & the arrival of my parents at the end of the day. Day 5-7/8 will be ridden in the company of my father & my mother driving a support vehicle carrying my bag! This should make the riding easier -hopefully.
Day 4 also brings Day 1 of my son’s GCSE Exams, so good luck Tom.
I still say I am not old enough to have a son doing GCSE’s!
Thanks to my IT geek for all her help sorting out the blog for me
Riding Time 7hrs 47mins
Average Speed 12.9 mph
Distance climbed 6030 feet