Stage 9

"5 km slip-streaming a muck spreader !! noooice !!"

Stage Stats

Distance 149.2 km
Time 7 hours 3 mins
Elevation 1233m
Pain Factor 8/10

We saddle up and within a couple of kilometres we are at the Severn Bridge. I have cycled over the bridge a few times, so know the little cut through to reach the Welsh side of the bridge for the pedestrian walkway. Cycling over the iconic bridge is free for bikes and consists of a slow climb to the centre and then an equivalent descent to the other side.

The height of the span is impressive and you get the full on exposed to the elements / wind experience as you cross the structure. The English side gives way to the industrial area of Avonmouth which is not much fun on a bike. There are a few little cut throughs and some cycle paths which are preferable to the roads which are always full of HGVs.  We turn inland and follow the Avon under the impressive Clifton Suspension Bridge and up through the Ashton court estate. The flat of the Severn estuary gave way to the Mendips and we hit a number of walls of pain. No time to look at he view, my head was buried, trying to keep the legs turning.

The leg sapping Mendips gave way to some flatter respite at Glastonbury. Only for us to be beaten into submission once we entered Devon at Smeathnarpe. Firstly the heavens opened and did not stop, kilometre after kilometre of rain soaked evilness which was made worse by the first taste of the west country hills. Downhills were treacherous, uphills were sharp and coming off the saddle in the wet was not my idea of fun. We struggled on as far as we could and ended up in a caravan site (yep we have a whole chalet to ourselves) Watching a bit of footy and the magic game is commencing. Tomorrow is the penultimate hard stage (130KM over Dartmoor to put us in striking distance of Lands End) If I can dry all my stuff out before tomorrow that is.


Previous Stage : Stage 8

Next Stage: Stage 10