Having woken up with my tent still over me, I thought it’s best not to push my luck and try to promptly leave this campsite behind. I gulped the porridge down, pumped up my tyres to max, clipped into my pedals and pushed on along the Taunton Canal heading further north along a gravel path. Having flown past Bridgwater I joined A38 and headed for the Mendip Hills towards Bristol. Somewhere in the hills, near Winscombe, the rear wheel inner tube in has finally given up trudging a bear and all of his kit across the UK and decided to burst with the major bang, which required me to change my pants straight after changing the tube..
Having fixed my stallion, I headed for Bristol, where I came across a very casual bike shop. Being an incredibly organised cyclist, I have bought another inner tube from the mechanic (yep, that’s him rummaging for it).
All stocked up, I headed for the the harbour / old railway depot in town. Caught some fish, fried it with some potatoes, stuffed it into my belly and got back on the road strangely still heading north.
Having given me three days of gorgeous weather, the skies have decided to finally open up. And open up they did. Very quickly my cycling has turned into some sort of water sport. I mean, I’ve cycled through rain plenty before, it never bothered me, but this was something else.. With another 25 miles to go, it was time to test this “goretex” outfit.. Well, by all means if anyone knows how to stay dry in these conditions let me know, but I was soaked through to the bone. The water got inside my jacket and formed two reservoirs in my sleeves, kinda like incontinence pants I guess, but with a cooling effect.
None the less, I didn’t seem to care and and couldn’t wipe a happy grin of my face. So I continued pedal-boating down the road.
As much as I was having fun, it was nap time for the wet grizzly. My next campsite was at a little town called Slimbridge.
So… It’s been a fun day. 70ish miles covered. First puncture dealt with. Cleat position on the shoes has been adjusted closer to the heel, to ease the leverage on the Achilles’ tendon and ankle support applied (courtesy of my lovely mum). About a quarter of the pannier bags content has been binned (so down to bear-nesseserties). It rained for last 25 miles (check out my drying facility), but it was all worth it, especially when a Scottish couple from the neighbouring caravan, having watched me set up in the rain, knocked on my tent and offered me a tin of stew and massive bag of crisps. Result!