I’m already realising that there are lots of decisions to make on this ride. As I set of from Ponty on Monday 9th May I’d already decided not to leave from Cardiff as getting there for a morning departure would have been difficult in rush hour traffic. So off I went from my doorstep.
Then it’s about deciding what pace to travel at. Up to Caerphilly is familiar territory and it would have been easy to press on. But, I had a long way ahead of me so “be more tortoise, less hare” was my mantra.
Then it’s deciding wether to follow main trunk roads or stick to the National Cycle Routes. I chose trunk roads down to Newport then my indecision about roads or trails got me lost actually in Newport. That was a good time for a break and some delicious “power cake”.
Deciding when to drink and when to eat is another dilemma. Although the weather is generally wet, its quite warm so drinking lots of water is essential. Eating regularly, something every hour is also good practise. Fine for me as I like eating.
I think there will be plenty of milestones on this trip. As I reached Chepstow I could see the bridge to England poke up above the trees. It was a nice sight as it got closer and closer. Shame I couldn’t save a few miles and drive over the closer M4 crossing but this had to do!
Finding my way to Bath was mildly frustrating. The National Cycle Route 4 takes you into Bristol which I didn’t really want to do. However it gave me the chance to stop off at tourist information and pick up a free map for the Bristol-Bath Railway Path. By now I’m ready for rest and had a final 15miles to eek out. Phone is dying and I need to find my accommodation. Luckily the Railway Path is 15miles of smooth tarmac with no hills! Yaaaay. Got there in the end.
So today was the furthest I’ve ever ridden in one go – about 79miles. It was tough but rewarding in equal measure. I’ve learned a lot from day one and feel nicely rested for day two. The messages of support are fantastic and are really pushing me on.
Today’s trip is Bath to Southampton via Salisbury. Wish me luck!