28.08.2012 - 29.08.2012 19 °C
On a beautifully cool, but sunny morning the lejoggers set off from Cheddar in the direction of Bristol. The first climb on this, the last day of major climbs before our first rest day, was a long climb up the famous Cheddar Gorge. Watched only by a few goats an some tourists we wove our way up into the Mendips, stopping for the occasional route check. The sun was topping up the tan on the right hand side of all the riders (we will have to do the journey in reverse to even it up) and we finally came to a beautiful vista overlooking the Chew Valley Lake. A long downhill section followed during which Colin tested his bike skills to the limit narrowly avoiding a yapping dog with lemming ambitions and a young horse who was spooked by a bad driver.
After a short 'course correction' we sailed across the Chew Valley Lake and on towards Bristol. After a few more hills we made our way across Bristol in search of the ZeroG bike store, to replace our worn brake pads and to have Will's lock ring tightened on his cassette, which had been rattling all morning.
Unfortunately a bike shop is a distraction that all the team can't resist and so we spent about half an hour and more than £100 on various bits and pieces.
When we returned to our quest we were 'blessed' with some genuine Banksy artwork near Bristol City Football Club, before then climbing up a short hill that runs up to the Clifton Suspension Bridge and on towards the old Severn Bridge.
We took lunch at a delightful Harvester restaurant before then finding our way to the cyclists crossing of the Severn Bridge. It's a windy crossing even on a fair day, but the views are breathtaking and as we rolled across our spirits were lifted in perfect time for some tough but very picturesque climbs that welcomed us to Wales. Galloping past Chepstow Race Course, we then descended into a beautiful valley at Tintern, and stopped for photos by the ruined Tintern Abbey.
From Tintern we then wound our way into the Wye Valley, via the Forest of Dean and some exciting downhill sections which saw us topping 40mph in places. The Wye Valley will be our host for our first rest day on day five and after an inauspicious welcome (we came across what looked like a scene from casualty, but turned out to be a major incident test for the local emergency services!) we found our way gradually to our campsite and glided to our pitch to the now familiar chant of Wiggo! Wiggo!