The all singing, all dancing blog of Alex Guite

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Day 4: Welsh Bricknor (near Ross on Wye) to Dimmingsdale (near Cheadle)

Distance: 189.8km
Total: 705.5km
Time: 8hrs 35mins
Average: 22.0kph
Maximum: 54.3kph

I knew this was going to be a long ride, but sitting in the hostel afterwards, still with oil on my face (not really sure how it got there, but I'm finding I'm getting bike oil everywhere) I felt pretty good. It was very satisfying to make some good progress northwards (after several days of essentially cycling towards the north east) and was pretty flat. Couldn't have done the ride without that steak last night though.

Was awesome to see, and feel in my legs, the change in scenery along the route, from the flat roads around Ross up to the hillier Peak District. I took a route that avoided the Malverns and was averaging a decent 23.5kph until the last two hours when the wind turned towards me and I got into the hills around the Peaks. My attempt at a short cut to the hostel back fired, adding a good half hour to my overall time. Distance wise it was probably shorter, but I should have looked at the countour lines in more detail to see I'd be taking a particularly hilly route.

With about eight hours a day on the bike, you need some ways to pass the time somehow. One of the ways I've been doing this is by waving at other cyclists en route. A lot of racers and tourers wave at you anyway as a form of greeting between cyclists, but I've extended this to commuter cyclists as well. Most of them just seem plain baffled but I got a friendly salutation of some of them.

Legs are aching a bit and I can defintley feel when climbing that I don't have quite the pace I had at the start. More than anything my back and neck are aching at the end of the day, despite spending a far ammount of time on warming them up before the ride. Arms are also aching surprisingly, I think from compensating in turns for all the weight in my panniers.

Hostel was easy to find this time and very friendly. Met another cyclist who was on a tour up from Bath across to Nottingham, doing about 60 miles a day. Certainly a more sensible approach to touring.



At Tuesday, August 28, 2007 10:08:00 PM, Blogger wrg2209 said...

Great ride, great blog!
Macte virtute in spades

At Wednesday, August 29, 2007 9:07:00 AM, Blogger Tim said...

I think your impression of tourers is lightening! Exchanging salutations is common between tourers. I've even known it in London.

It's interesting to hear how you cope with being by yourself. I suspect you'll meet and greet far more people doing it by yourself than if you weren't alone. I suspect that has a positive effect on those people's happiness!


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