Wednesday, 13 June 2012


I completed my 150 mile challenge on Sunday despite the rain.  It rained all day and severely tested my wet weather gear.  Journey's end was near Slimbridge in Glos where for some reason there was still some gas left in my tank.

Starting at 4am, I reached Exeter without seeing people.  Haldon Hill which I dread was passed early on.  I did not see the sun rise because of dense clouds but I did see lots of wildlife taking advantage of  the early morning with rabbits scampering everywhere, deer grazing in the fields and birds overhead.

I needed a break in Cullompton and looked for a bus shelter, always a good place for a cyclist to rest in the rain.  I joined a National Cycle Route at Taunton and this took me beside a canal to Bridgwater.  Lots of people were out walking.  This stretch was very scenic as I was now heading into the Somerset Levels.

At Portishead, I had cycled 125 miles.  It was raining hard and gravel had got into my gears making them hard to operate.  My map was soaked and falling apart.  Bristol is complicated to navigate on a bike and for some reason the council had taken down all the Cycle Route signs and substituted them with different ones that did not tie up with my new soggy wet map.  I was at my lowest ebb.  I took a break in the dry under a motorway bridge and somehow it lifted my spirits.  I set off and found the mighty Avonmouth Bridge despite the almost complete absense of signs. 

Once over the bridge, the signs were all in place and it proved to be fairly easy navigating through Avonmouth and onwards into Gloucestershire.

I have cycled the little lanes beside the River Severn north of Bristol earlier this year and they are a good ride.  My energy had unaccountably come back and it was with much enjoyment I peddled up to the 150 mile mark accompanied for the last 6 miles by my wife.  If the weather was better, I would like to have carried on until it was dark but the thought of a hot bath and dry clothes was a better option.


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