Day 3 – The Long Haul (Tiverton to Chepstow)

I don’t have much time to write about today, so this will be quick. Unlike today’s ride, which we’d been reliably informed would be around 75 miles long, but turned out to be closer to 90 miles. From now on, we’re double checking everything he says. Good thing too – tomorrow’s ride of 81 turns out to be 84. Not such a big difference, but still – when it feels like your legs are going to fall off at the end of the day, each extra mile is a killer.

Today started out rather miserably, though – the forecast was for light rain in the morning, and 70% chance of thunderstorms in the afternoon. The former turned up in spades, but fortunately the latter stayed away. The B-team started out at 9:30, but myself and Dan stayed a little later at the church we were sleeping at (Tiverton Baptist Church) to explain to the Sunday morning service what we were doing with regards to the charity we’re supporting. So we only headed out at 11:30 or so. We thought we might miss some of the rain, as it had brightened up a bit by the time we left, but no sooner had we left Tiverton, than it started raining, and we spent the first 20 miles battling a head wind, in driving rain, wishing for all the world to be somewhere else.

But then the sun came out, and we hit the Somerset flats – 17 miles of nearly completely flat road from Bridgewater to Sidcot. Suddenly it all seemed a bit more bearable. Especially since we caught up with the B-team, giving us a much-needed boost in morale.

But then came the circling of Bristol, and we started heading for the Severn bridge. I knew that there were two bridges – the old one (further north,  that we were headed for), and the new one that the M4 goes over). I didn’t realise that there was a third one – the railway bridge. So when we’d passed the first, we saw the second, and were dismayed at how far away it was. Only to realise as we got up to it that it was the wrong bridge, and we needed to go even further to the next one. Disheartening.

And then it started raining on the bridge, and we just limped home the final five miles, collapsed on a sofa at the church in Stroat, and did nothing until the B-team arrived. Well, not quite – we hauled out the table tennis table and started a game to give the impression we had a lot of energy, but it was all lies, I tell you.

Anyway, I’m not really looking forward to another 85 miles tomorrow, but I suspect that my body is getting used to this, and it’ll start getting easier. At least, that’s what I’ll keep telling myself for the meantime.


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4 Responses to Day 3 – The Long Haul (Tiverton to Chepstow)

  1. Jenny Marais says:

    Hey, you’re doing great! I am thinking of you heaps and check your blog first thing on waking up. my whole family is following it with great enthusiasm. are some photos coming soon,and are cilla and the kids having fun? you will end up going back to work to rest…sleep well tonight.

    • Nick says:

      Hey sis! Cilla & kids are doing fine – now that most of the mechanical problems are sorted and they don’t have to spend their days at bike shops. Not many photos, I’m afraid – but they’ll be coming up eventually.

  2. Jenny Marais says:

    Hi!! I couldent find day 3 map did you put it on here somewhere? I have all the other days. goood luck for the rest I really hope the arnica helps your poor poor butt!!

  3. Nick says:

    Here it is – I didn’t put it up, because I forgot to switch the GPS on my phone on until we’d already done 50 miles! So the route is only shown from Sidcot. But basically, we took the A38 from Tiverton all the way through to Bristol, and you can see it from there.

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