A day of contrasts. The first 17 miles were fast on flat lanes with a strong tail wind. The rest of the way to Bath was mainly on canal paths, which is normally good news. But the path was very poor in places. In fact in places there was no path, just field. At times I thought I must have lost the cycle route but then signs would appear showing I was on route.
|World’s Biggest Haystack? Note bike at base.|
My back wheel was developing a considerable sideways wobble. The canal paths and rough track had completely trashed the cones. I stopped at a bike shop but they had no suitable wheels but directed me to a shop in Bath. It took a bit of effort to find it, not having a map on my sat nav and all the people in the city seeming to be tourists but when I did they were able to fit a new back wheel there and then.
|Putney Bridge, Bath. Shops like old London Bridge|
The whole exploit took about 45 minutes out of the day though so I pressed on towards Bristol. Unfortunately the path was closed about 4 miles out of bath. With not diversion. I tried to follow as close to the pink line as possible and ended up on a footpath. I then hit river which turned me around in a circle. Two miles on a footpath with 11 kissing gates involving having to lift the bike over head height, to get back to where I started.
I eventually found the other end of the closed path but it had cost me in time and distance: an extra 6 miles and another hour lost.
The path into Bristol was excellent. The path through was hard to follow. The path out had a couple of really stiff hills where I discovered my gears did not work after the wheel change. More time lost trying to fix, still not quite right.
|Old Severn Bridge Crossing into Wales|
The rest of the day was spent chasing the clock. Highlights were crossing the Severn bridge, fast lanes in Wales with tailwind and the Newport Transporter Bridge. Lows were very steep hills and blown legs. Total distance was 10 miles more than expected at 130. Not looking forward to the hills and even longer distance tomorrow.
|Newport Transporter Bridge|