Sunday, 18 September 2011

Day 3 West Huntspill, Somerset-Astley Burf, Worcestershire

We were the only guests eating and once she had served us breakfast, she sat down in a chair next to us and watched us, throwing in comments such as how her homemade bread was the best we would ever have and barked at us when we didn’t immediately try her homemade marmalade.
After breakfast, it goes without saying that we wasted no time in departing but not before they had sponsored me, guess they weren’t all bad!

Toward the end of Thursday, the bottom bracket on my bike (the bearing that spin the pedals) developed a bit of a creak. I had replaced the whole unit before leaving home as it was starting to wear out. This particular model is prone to loosening itself over time but I chose it as it allows me to get the chainline exactly in line. Anyway, for whatever reason, this one had done just that so I headed to Weston Super Mare to find a bike shop that would be able to tighten it up for me. Two bike shops later, I was having no luck so I said goodbye to Tim and carried on my journey, as I had 108 miles to cover today.

After spotting another bike shop in Yatton (again, no luck) I came to the conclusion that the tool required for removing the bottom bracket wasn’t that common. I then made a call to arrange for my tool to be delivered by 9am the following morning to my stop over near Stourport. I then got the pedals turning again and started to get some miles under my wheels. 

After a quick stop at the Black Horse in Clapton in Gordano, I passed over the Avonmouth bridge, up a few big hills and onto the A38. By this point, the energy-sapping headwind had turned into a slight tailwind and I flew up to Gloucester and yet another county sign.

After Gloucester, I began to tire and by Worcester I was feeling pretty spaced out. I made it to a petrol station where I sat on the edge of the forecourt carbo-loading like never before. After this break, I felt ready for the last 10 miles, the last 4 of which I know were quite tough having done the same ride back in August. I got to my destination at about 6pm and was thoroughly exhausted; my host Matthew was house and dog-sitting for his brother so we spent a relaxing evening eating spaghetti Bolognese and consuming a great bottle of Rioja. There was going to be a sticky toffee pudding but due to Matthew’s unfamiliarity with the oven, it was burnt to a crisp.  

108.6 miles, 6 hours 35 minutes, average 16.49 mph, 4009ft of ascent

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