Its a small world. Yesterday evening as I was preparing for todays ride a cyclist rolled into our campsite, as I got chatting I found out that David was also doing LeJog and came from Yateley!!, he was routing via the North East to visit relatives en route so I doubt our paths will cross again.
As the campsite at Wellington was on my route I opted for an earlier start, rolling out at 07-30 was my first big mistake. The A38 into Taunton was nose to tail with rush hour traffic and progress was painful. The Cider Museum caught my attention and thereafter it seemed every small holding, garden centre and shop had local cider for sale. Taunton proved difficult to navigate with the Garmin, I set the courses using a routing programme selected for “bicycle”, in hindsight I should have opted for “car”. Once through Taunton my next waypoints were West Lyng, Street and Glastonbury, this took me across the Somerset Levels where there is still ongoing works from last years flooding. I passed a closed down basket workshop that I recall seeing on the TV news with flood water up to the roofline, it certainly brought home the amount of water that must have covered the area. Ditches are being cleaned and new trackways installed, there is a lot of heavy plant still working and plenty of tipper trucks on the roads to keep cyclists on their toes. Cycling across the Levels was a joy, miles of pan flat straight roads.
Glastonbury and the Tor was soon visible and the busy A39 routed me straight to Wells, past the Cathedral and then the climb out of the town up Old Bristol Road to the top of the Mendip Hills. By the time I had crested the hill I was wishing I had retained my 12/30 cassette which I changed yesterday for an 11/28. The hard-fought climb with of course a headwind gave way to a fast descent to Chew Valley Lake before another tough climb to give me a first view of Bristol.
Bristol was not a pleasant experience, fast traffic, close passes, hills and diversions that tested nerves as well as navigation. The crossing of The Clifton Suspension Bridge was a highlight with the Gorge below and after a rendezvous with Kaye for lunch The Severn Bridge beckoned. What a marvellous structure, a separate cycle path allows you to relax and take in the stunning views and a Kodak moment.
The A486 took me towards Chepstow and then the B4923, Kaye located a campsite at Devauden, a small hamlet that meant an extra few miles on the days ride, the location at the top of a hill means one less climb for tomorrow
Campsite: Sunnybank Caravan Site CL, Devauden, Monmouth
Stats from the Garmin
Wellington to Devauden (Monmouth) Distance 78.72 miles
Climbing 4952 ft
Avg Speed 14.7mph
Max Speed 34.7mph