Friday, 17 June 2011

Day Three - Burnham on Sea to Newent

Day three started off slowly, we were late leaving, probably because we went to the pub last night instead of getting to bed early!.

We were now down on the Somerset Levels so progress was good, the wind was still in our faces but we managed to race through Weston super Mare and made our way up on to the Avon (M5) road bridge. We had never noticed that this bridge was also a cycle and footbridge, even though we have both travelled over it many times.

Amazingly, as we paused at the top of the bridge to gaze across at the Severn estuary view, a beep of a horn alerted us that our support vehicle was passing along the M5 at that very moment, and Cate, the driver, happened to glance across at the footbridge and spot us! - we both waved wildy back.

The Severn Bridge
After this we rode down through Portishead then over the Severn Bridge. Going over the bridge was quite an experience, the wind was incredibly powerful and made staying upright on our bikes quite a task, there were particles of sand and debris whisked up by the wind and stinging our faces - really quite painful. The massive steel cables ached and moaned under the strain, the whole bridge moving in the wind. It was quite a steep rise up to the apex, then an easy roll down to the Chepstow side. There were workmen on the bridge, kitted out with survival suits and goggles to be able withstand the weather.

We carried on into Chepstow. Bonnie Tyler sang about being lost in France, we were lost in Wales and spent half an hour trying to find a way back onto the GPS route.

After asking for help we finally got back on course and set off in the direction of Gloucester, before heading North towards Bromyard. This route took us through some pleasant archetypal English countryside. I'd commented to Gary that many of the streets we were travelling along could easily have been the ones back home - it seemed that most places look similar, if I'd woken from a coma and Gary had said we're in Burton on trent I would have believed him.

As the day wore on and taking into account our late start plus time 'lost in Wales' we realised that we would not be able to reach Bromyard that night. Our support team organised a camp site near Newent instead. While we waited for an update and directions we enjoyed a pint of beer in The Red Lion at Newent.

Newent market place
Now there's some interesting info we need to share with you about Newent - for a start it has the largest cul-de-sac in Europe!!! - good job we didn't go down there. Also, it was the birthplace of 1960's record producer Joe Meek, he of 'Telstar' fame.

Burnham to Newent - 80.8 miles
Max Speed: 48.5 miles per hour
Time on bikes: 6hrs 21minutes
Total ascent: 4,361 feet
Calories used: 4189

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations! Well done to the both of you. I'll look forward to your stories day-by-day....