Day 3 | 26th June

Day 3

Now, many of you will have confidence in my knots, but the mechanics of the lubricated saddle pole compromise the integrity of my repair as the saddle makes it’s way down within 20 minutes of hitting the road again. Fix version 2 is installed..

Saddle Fix V2

and I make my way into the wild. I am stubbornly sticking to the National Cycle Network route which takes me through the roads patrolled by sheep and tests my hill climbing ability for the first couple of hours. Being fairly unexperienced in cycling with my shoes attached to the pedals, I take a little too much advantage of extra torque offered by pulling up on the pedals as well as pushing. It does make the hill climbing an easier task (especially with my amateurly overloaded pannier bags), but with time, proves to be not the wisest of decisions as it puts an excessive amount of strain on my achilles tendons. Borderline animal cruelty, I think.

Pretty exhausted I arrive at the top of the Exmoor National Park, but soon recover as for the next couple of hours I pedal across the top of the hills, surrounded by beautiful scenery.

Exmoor National Park 1

Exmoor National Park 2

For a pit-stop I pull over at Dulverton, where I am introduced to a local (I think) speciality, The Bread Cake, which proves to be another great fuel injection treat! (The shop pictured below).

Dulverton

But this is not a culinary adventure, and my stallion needs to be fixed. So I leave the Exmoor Hills and roll down to Wellington, – the only place in the 50 miles radius with a bike shop that might just have the right spare part..

Wellington Bike Shop

I might not look overly excited, but this is one of the happiest moments in this trip. Look at that brand spanking new, gorgeous, robust, reliable, alloy saddle-pole clamp with a smooth black matt finish. Yassss!!

Saddle Clamp

My excitement with the above, makes me ignore slowly growing pain in the achilles tendons, so I continue on towards my next camp site.

I arrive in Taunton and head to the Tanpits Cider Farm camping and caravan park. It turns out to be a hillbilly kind of place, where I get strange looks from the locals as I enter the site in my tight lycra gear. Dodgy looking punter in the neighbouring caravan is swigging beer and not responding to my “hello”, – I don’t think he cares for conversation about tyre pressure, gear adjustment or saddle matters. So I quietly pitch my tent. The earth is too hard to take my tent pegs and even the grass seems to be stinging..

Tanpits Cider Farm

.. and the grounds are marshalled by an evil cock.

Evil Cock

But the sun is out, the saddle is fixed and I’m happy to be moving on with my journey! Night..

Next Day..

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