Accommodation booked. Routed sorted. My 3 day amble down to Babbacombe in 3 weeks is on.
After spending a bit of time on the routes, my favourite bit of this sort of stuff, I decided riding 90 miles from Gloucester to Taunton on Day 2 was a bit much and unnecessary so I’ve moved things around a bit. Here we go.
First up I’m now going Wed night to arrive Friday so I get an extra day down there. The downside is we can’t get in the apartment until after 5pm but thats fine I can have a lie-in, lazy breakfast and pootle down at my own pace taking in the sights when I hit the coast. Which is the point really isn’t it?
So Day 1. I’m going to leave work an hour early and ride the 80km to Gloucester as planned. In mid-Sept I anticipate I’ll be rocking up at the hotel about 8pm so it will be dark. Lights required. I’ve decided to skip the busy A3400 and ride out through some of my old training lanes through Lapworth & Lowsonford instead, I’ll skirt Henley-in-Arden and cross the A3400 at Wootton Wawen to pick up the lanes through Aston Cantlow, cross the A46 and ride down to Bidford-on-Avon. Over the river its then out to Broadway on the Roman road via Honeybourne then onto Winchcombe before the meaty climb of Cleeve Hill and a well earned descent riding through Cheltenham to get to the hotel on the outskirts of Gloucester. Then its a quick shower and into the pub for beer and grub.
For Day 2 I’ve eased up on the distance for a more manageable 110km in favour of a longer day on Day 3 which will help the legs. Originally I’d opted for a long one to Taunton but I’m now going to stay in Glastonbury. Still hilly though. Its a busy start to get out of Gloucester but I’ll be leaving after rush hour so I hope not so bad. Then just outside Painswick I go ‘off-piste’ and enjoy some quiet lanes to Stroud and Nailsworth. Its lumpy round there. Cross country again to Chipping Sodbury which is an obvious choice to stop and refuel. When I get going again I skirt Bristol and even pick up the traffic-free Bristol to Bath National Cycle Route for a bit. I traverse the Mendips and then finally drop onto the Somerset levels and finish in Glastonbury for a well earned beer (again).
Day 3 I’m riding south straight out of the door across the levels to Somerton then due West on B roads until I pick up lanes all the way to Exeter. I cross the River Exe then I ride South along the estuary on a traffic-free route to Dawlish. Here I pick up the main road, cross another estuary at Teignmouth and then its the lumpy and busy coast road to Torquay and Babbacome Downs for a planned arrival late PM. 320km in the bag.
Next up is deciding whether I take a rack and panniers for ease or my bikepacking bag to save weight.
I’ll keep you posted. Until next time