Saturday, 5 May 2012

Going up the country

Day 2 was intentionally shorter, at about 75 miles, so that we could catch our breath and have an 'easier' day before getting in to the rhythmn of doing around 100 miles per day for the rest of our lejog.  The first half of the day went off without any notable hitches until we reached a downhill descent that was covered in gravel and extremely steep. A few of us resorted to unclipping or even walking down it was that unpredictable. If in the area it is probably best to avoid Hangman's Hill near to Oakfordbridge on a road bike, it would be good fun on a mountain bike though!

Thankfully during this little bit of off roading we didn't need any support from our team cars as we had lost contact with each other:) All was soon sorted and the lunch pit stop was being prepared.

The welcome lunch stop at Bishops Lydeard was taken before the only major climb of the day in the Quantock Hills.  We started to wish we hadn't enjoyed the feast so much though when we met the next big climb!  Our reward after climbing into the Quantocks was a descent that should feature on all road cyclists list of things to do. The road lead down from Cothelstone to Enmore, whilst not actually that steep the length of the endless descent on a wide clean road towards Bridgwater was the best point. After Bridgewater the scenery changed as the terrain is almost pan flat towards our destination of Brean.

Even on stage 2 a daily post ride routine was starting to form of bike washing, shower, eat & bed. Another fabulous accomodation stop in Brean at The Old Rectory meant everyone was rested ready for day 3.

Sunday arrived looking not too bad, weather wise, which was good as we had to cross the Severn Bridge later that day and knew there was nowhere to hide from the elements, more of that later.....
After leaving Brean the next major stop was the outskirts of Bristol for coffee and cake (this had now grown to include Green Tea, Bananas, Malt loaf, Eat Natural Bars, Mars bars etc etc). One thing that struck us all in Bristol is the amount of cyclists on the road, at certain points it looked like there were more bikes than cars, well done to Bristol!

If you are planning doing Lejog the Clifton Suspension Bridge is well worth including, it is a feat of engineering, has fab views of Bristol and cyclists can ride over for free!

Leaving Bristol we pressed on towards the Severn Bridge heading to Chepstow. On the way to the bridge we got caught in a few sharp showers but thankfully the crossing, although windy, was not too bad.

Another of our top 10 descents arrived at Symonds Yat Rock, very fast in places and the road narrows to a single track so take care when you meet an oncoming vehicle.

Just up the road we took lunch in The Harp at Hoarwithy kindly provided by Rob & Barbara (Uncle & Aunt to support car driver Cathy), also a surprise visit from Cathy's Aunt Eileen & Uncle John gave the team a lovely cheer as they all arrived.  An excellent steak sandwich and a sample of the local brew, Butty Bach, was just the ticket then we were on our way again.

  Rolling countryside was welcomed and Ludlow arrived in no time at all. This was the first of two nights at Travelodges helping to keep our overall accommodation costs down. Catch you soon........


  1. In the movie or book I hope U include how, U all become friends. The story is more than interesting, it is the art of living, sharing,and being so very British.
    From a yank who thinks U all Rock..... Thanks

  2. Going up the country,, song by Canned Heat might be some thing you could use???

  3. Hi Tony, thanks for your comments, all much appreciated. Film sounds a good idea - that means we get to ride again!