JOGLE route - Gloucester to Clevedon
Day 17 of my end to end cycle ride
A windswept and rainy look down the Canal just outside Gloucester
I think today was the worse day of the whole trip, at least when cycling from Shap to Lancaster it was dry, but this day had every bit of weather the heavens could throw at me. I looked outside the B&B window and I could see the trees swaying and the rain bouncing off the road. Added to this was that the wind was coming from where I was going!
But, it stopped just as I was leaving and I got through about an hours cycling alongside the Canal before it started again.
Just as it did, I thought (wait for it) I'd have a Coffee at this little Cafe next to a Lock. I sat outside and got talking again. This time it was an ex-Teacher. A the age of fifty something he was fed up over the change of tax back laws regarding Mortgages, sold his House and brought a Barge. For the last 15 years or so he'd spent just going up and down the Canal thus avoiding parking fees I guess. I asked him how long it would take him to sail to Gloucester from where we were. He sat thoughtfully for a second or so and said "Mmmm, about a Case and four Cans I reckon"!
This summed up so many people I met on my journey, those tired of routine life and wanted to start another chapter even if it meant sacrifice. The message was coming over - us olden's have a life !!
But onwards and not upwards, it was at least flat up to the Severn Bridge. I found the Lanes to go between Bristol and the Bridge quite easily, but hit strong wind and rain, it was really bad, I was soaked through regardless of waterproofs, everything was dirty and the ride seemed endless.
I decided Avonmouth would be the best place to bed down for the night, but all they had were modern Hotels. I had to grit my teeth and cycle on to Clevedon.
My heart sank when I got into the town. I asked a Lady where there was a B&B and she didn't know of any at all. I was all set to find a Bus Shelter, get out the Bivvy Bag. I cycled no further than 20 meters and there was a B&B and they had, yes, one room spare!
When I walked in I really felt quite strange, then I realised what it was. The house apparently was once lived in by Nurse Cavell and there were pictures of her around and about. Nurse Cavell tended to Troops during WW1 in Brussels, but upon the Germans taking the City, she was put on trial and shot by them. Oddly I'd only been talking about her to my Son a few weeks previously. A spooky but nice B&B.
I found a nice Pub down by the Beach and spoilt myself to a good meal. After really struggling, now feeling totally exhausted, I deserved it! Once again, it was a day when there were a few occasions of self doubt.
But I'd achieved the second longest mileage day and I was pretty proud of that.Tweet