Before I even started my little foray down to Torquay today, I had to do a days work. So at 7.45am I left the house, bike fully loaded. Picking it up in my hall it felt like a lump so I was surprised when I shot away from the house, the bike was quite spritely.
The first test was the drag over the Lickeys. From experience I know the score now. Low n Slow. It was going to be a long day so I was in no rush. Down the gears taking it easy was the first thing I did. No drama and the legs felt good.
After Alvechurch, Weatheroak Hill beckoned. Its a short sharp fucker, even on a normal bike. I slapped it in 2nd gear and actually enjoyed the 30 inner ring which although slow made for easy climbing. It was going to be ok.
In Knowle, it was the busiest I’ve seen it. School run time. I was in a queue of cars and watched a cyclist pull out from a side road on the left and then watched the driver of an Audi #WankPanzer get annoyed and jump out to try and get ahead of them. Embarassing given he’d joined a stationary queue. I pulled out and filtered past him, on the right, to get the expected horn from him. I stopped and asked what was up. All he could say was what I did was dangerous. For who? I doubt he cared about me and he was perfectly fine in his tin box. Muppet. And it must have broken his heart he had to sit behind me all the way to work for some 800m lol. The look from him when I pulled up at the shop was priceless.
My camera will show my filtering was perfectly safe. He just didn’t like me overtaking him #MGIF
I tried to get away early at 4.30pm but work faff meant it was nearly 5pm when I did get away. The weather was warm and sunny. Couldn’t have asked for a better night to ride. I dropped out of Knowle and got into the lanes. So quiet. From Lapworth to Preston Bagot I didn’t see a car, only fellow cyclists.
I was meeting my mate in Broadway so I was keen to get a lick on as the nights are drawing in. I messaged him I was 30 mins from Broadway but I got stuck at multiple sets of lights in Bidford which delayed me. I pushed on and met him in the town. We span down to Toddington and stopped for a quick break and chat. The sun was going down so I donned my gilet and munched a slab (literally) of bread pudding I’d bought at lunchtime.
Cleeve Hill was on the horizon. A quick spin through a quiet Winchcombe and then it was up. Low n Slow which meant it took a long time to get to the top but I was rewarded with a great sunset and awesome views over to the Malvern Hills. Great pic opportunity but I didn’t have time, had to crack on as it was getting dark.
After the long, rewarding descent I’d mapped a straightish route through some random residential streets which skirted and avoided Cheltenham Town Centre. I had no idea where I was and prayed the Garmin held it together.
To avoid what looked a busy road that connected Cheltenham and Gloucester, I’d decided to finish in the lanes. Well 1. the main road was a quiet as a mouse and 2. the lanes were very dark. Couldn’t see a thing really. I recognised where I was when I dropped under the A417 dual track and then out of nowhere the Premier Inn popped out of the darkness.
I rolled into reception and left my bike at the door. The receptionist was walking across the back of her office and literally stopped in her tracks when she saw me. I said I had a reservation and she booked me in. It was 8.20pm and she decided to tell me the restaurant shuts at 9pm. I need to book you in. Can you do 8.30pm? errrr not really, ok I’ll book you in for 8.45pm. She could see my bike. She could see I was a cyclist. Do you have a car? No. ok your room is 107, just up the stairs on the left. Do you have a lift. Sorry no. FFS so I had to carry my bike up the stairs through multiple fire doors and Premier Inns are supposed to be bike friendly.
So dinner in 20 mins, it was a rush to shower and get dressed. I went into the bathroom and I looked like I’d been in a fight as I’d had a nosebleed at some point and it had dribbled down my face lol
Dinner done, I restricted myself to just the one pint like a good boy
Blog and bed now, time to rest