I got up to a beautiful sunny day.
Hotel reception had no idea whether I’d paid or not, but seemed happy to take it on trust that I had.
It seemed about par for the course as far as this hotel is concerned.
Weirdly protective over potted plants too.
I set off following the NCN route along the Gloucester to Sharpness canal. It was good at first, but after about 5 miles the surface began to deteriorate.
10 minutes later I was on little more than a bumpy dirt track. An all too familiar spoke scenario was looming, I could feel it in my bones.
I resolved to get off the canal as soon as possible, but I was in the middle of nowhere.
Lovely, but definitely the middle of nowhere.
When I eventually found Tarmac I gave the back wheel some close scrutiny.
It was warped. Damn.
I was 28 miles from Bristol, so switched to the A38 for the fastest and smoothest route in. I had a good bike shop recommendation so it was time to focus.
I was a day and a half ahead of schedule, and I figured I could leave it with them for a couple of days.
Odd how 80 miles could pass so easily yesterday, yet less than 40 be so difficult by comparison today.
It must have been the hills.
I arrived in Bristol and headed straight for the excellent Mud Dock where they confirmed there was nothing fundamentally broken, and tensioned my spokes up while I had a fantastic burger for lunch.
It was the earliest finish after the shortest day cycling so far.
I was still knackered though.
Bike computer stats:
Ride time: 3h 50m
Distance: 38.99 miles
Ave speed: 10.1 mph
Max speed: 26.9 mph
Things you would rather not know about the Caledonian Sleeper to Inverness
20 miles with a bloke called Tim, and a slight change of plan
Day 1 – John O’Groats to Inverness
Day 2 – Ness to Nevis and my nemesis rears its head
Day 3 – Fort William to Tarbert with only one brake
Day 4 – Tarbert to Ayr and the battle of Arran
Day 5 – Ayr to Dumfries and tasting defeat in the Forest of Galloway
Day 6 – Dumfries to Windermere and thoughts on cycling earworms
Day 7 – Windermere to Liverpool and the birds-eye of the storm
Day 8 – Liverpool to Shrewsbury and the ferry across the Mersey
Day 9 – Shrewsbury to Gloucester with sun, showers and an injured Armadillo
Day 10 – Gloucester to Bristol and the day I spoke to soon
Day 11 – Bristol to Bath, a day of disused railway lines
Day 12 – Bath to Tiverton and the breakfast hostage
Day 13 – Tiverton to Lostwithiel and fatigue causes forgetfulness
Day 14 – Lostwithiel to Penzance, and the mining trail
Day 15 – Penzance to Lands End (and back again)
Ideas for cycling end to end, with the benefit of hindsight
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