The group left at 09:30hrs from a hot, humid Chepstow, which this morning had the added entertainment of total power loss around 08:45hrs. The traffic lights being out gave the locals pause for thought.
Glorious views from the old Severn Bridge this morning.
Problems however after the bridge as a road on National Route Four running alongside the estuary towards Severn Beach was closed without any prior warning on approach. No Sustrans diversion signs, or any advice from the local Highways Department on diversions. This cost us fourty-five minutes delay finding alternative routes.
Ride uneventful to Bristol, two half mile mega steep @ 1:5 hills were encountered and taken at a steady pace given the early heat and humidity.
The first tea stop was @ 11:30hrs on Clifton Downs before we descended into the heart of Bristol, out the east side and onto the Bristol to Bath Cycle Path. Further delays encountered in Bristol Academia area with both medical students and staff strike protests, which meant we were down by almost an hour and a half at this point.
Route Four was taken through the centre of Bath, where we stopped for lunch, and a few tourist bits were spotted along the way.
After Bath we headed towards Bathampton to join the Kennet and Avon Canal for Devizes. The Sun was blazing down with the temperature around 79°F, but a breeze from the east of around 6mph kept us from ‘Lobstering up’ too much. A steady ride to Bradford Upon Avon averaging around 12mph due to the heat.
At Bradford Upon Avon we took a stop at a pub for various non-alcoholic, rehydration liquids before the final thirteen mile push to Devizes. The path was overgrown and plenty of nettle stings encountered on the final leg. Soon we were at the iconic Cean Hill lock flight and our final two mile, 1-44 ascent.
About half a mile from the hotel finish, Trevor Kite had a front wheel puncture and so a quick, ‘Pump and run’ was used to get us over the finish line just on 18:00hrs. The beer was waiting and we’d earned it!