Day 4 – Wednesday 16 May Start: Tiverton End: Clevedon (73 miles)
Route: Wellington, Taunton, Glastonbury, Wells, Wookey Hole, Cheddar Gorge
Today we left Devon behind (praise the Lord) and cycled across Somerset and to a lovely Victorian seaside town called Clevedon.
What a difference a day makes? (try not to think of the song). Today the sun shone all day, we cycled together all day (virtually) and made it to our Hotel before they locked the front door, all happy and the best of friends, marvellous.
It was a bit of a dodgy start to proceedings, partially thanks to our hosts for the previous night, Travel Lodge. Does anyone know if it is a breach of trade descriptions to call a place “Travel Lodge – Tiverton” when it’s actually 7miles outside the town? To make matters worse, the only restaurant within a mile was fully booked for breakfast (on a Wednesday??). So guess where we had our fully nutritional breakfast? Sure enough our ‘Breakfast in Bread’ (I kid you not), didn’t fail to disappoint.
Still – undeterred, we packed our panniers determined to put the last couple of days behind us. A quick call into the fuel station to top up our sweeties for the trip and we were off.
Today’s route was a real treat, serving up a variety of terrain including the Grand Western Canal, woodland trails and taking in classic landmarks.
As expected the early morning BK rubbish didn’t keep the fuel tanks topped up for long and by Glastonbury we were all ready for (you guessed it) some more cakey! What a strange place with even stranger residents? A local told us this is all something to do with ‘lay lines’. This must be something to do with magnets, because it sure attracts some ‘alternative’ people. Still this was no excuse for one of the team (who won’t be named) to completely over indulge.
Next was a surreal lunch within the walled gardens of Wells Cathedral, drinking Somerset “zider” and cheering on the local croquet team – despite not having a clue about the rules, who’s winning, losing or playing well. Still, they did seem to welcome our interest.
The route out of Wells took us through the Mendips via Wookey Hole and up a torturous climb (30% + in parts). As we neared the summit, Rick shouted “this better be worth it” and it was, we were rewarded with an Alpinesque decent down Cheddar Gorge, that kept us rolling all the way to Clevedon.
Funny how quickly you become accustomed to things, today an 8 hour ride covering 75miles, with some major climbs, feels like we’ve had it relatively easy.
Highlight of the day – Wells, you should go there!
Thought of the day – As we arrived in Clevedon, we patted each other on the back and someone said, “The sun shines on the righteous”. Why do we never mention this when it’s cloudy/raining/snowing?
Tip of the day – When cleaning your teeth in darkened conditions, always make sure the paste you apply to the brush, is of the refreshing peppermint variety that’s great for enamel surfaces, rather than the similarly packaged paste that ‘soothes and cleanses’ and is great for delicate and tender regions of the anatomy.
Concern of the day – HELP!! One team member is carrying this stuff for over 1000 miles, why??