2nd July 2013
This was the day that we heard there were fatalities on the A30, involving two cyclist doing Lejog on a charity cycle for Holiday for Heroes. When I relayed that information to Tony, our Peak Tours support driver, he said ‘that’s why we take you on the routes we take you on’. I have to admit that this is pretty self evident, so far. If you want a tour that gets you from end to end in the quickest time, then this is not the one for you. If you want to see Britain, at its very best, to wander down quiet lanes & along tracks & by riversides (not always on tarmac, but certainly not totally unsuitable for our road bikes), without too much regard for average speed or breaking records, then Peak Tours have the answer. It’s impossible to imagine how many hours & how much effort has gone into the planning, when 4 miles can equate to a full page of written directional instructions.
Today we set off on what was billed as another tough day & immediately it lived up to its reputation by giving us a steep climb out of Moretonhampstead. However, we were then given our fair share of down hills & undulating countryside which made for a very pleasant ride through this lovely part of the country, some glorious views & woodland areas, with more than a few very impressive residences. With the considerable expertise of Rebs & Tony (the Garmon Etrek still not helping with this role), we made a good job of navigating through Exeter & the morning coffee break came around remarkably quickly, just after passing over the M4. About this time however, the rain came down, so we donned the rain gear, Paul D is his cape & not totally unfamiliar to a cinema hero who has been seen in such garb.
Pre lunch gave us a fair share of undulations with some wonderful downhills. It also saw us into Somerset, our 3rd County in three days. We passed towns with such evocative names as Ham & North Curry & marvelled at a property that could boast its own suspension bridge.
Lunch at Broadenberry was an excellent choice of the very best of English pub grub & a great atmosphere, all mildly clouded by the threat of a monster hill, promised to us as dessert. Again, they weren’t exaggerating & this was a brute, which rose at 15%, straight to the cloudy sky & flanked by muddy tracks & woodlands & which saw Rodney’s heart monitor earning every penny of its cost. With that over, cycling life looked up & we had some wonderful flat stuff, & more than our fair share of exhilaration as we wandered around back lanes & Sustrans tracks, towards Taunton, which we approached via the most amazing of downhill runs.
Glastonbury came shortly after, although not quite quickly enough for Rodney, whose system was reacting in a most violent way to all those odd energy boost formulas & subjecting his legs to a life of constant motion……other parts of his anatomy were not impressed. However, a few hours on, a fine meal & a pint of Cider & I can confidently state that he is a new man & ready for day four!
So that’s day 3. We’ve had a great meal in a lovely restaurant called ‘Who Would Have Thought It’, we’re in a great little B&B called ‘Apple’ & face day 4 when our northern journey takes us into the Principality of Wales.
Awards of the Day
Paul D painful, knackered knees but soldiered on
Philosophical thought of the day
Rebs commenting how many Stags there were for sale in this part of the world;
We’ve yet to tell him ‘Stags – For Sale’ is the billboard of a local Estate Agent
Vital stats for the day;
Average Speed 11.2 mph
Time in saddle 6 hours 36 minutes
Climbing 3,818 feet