Yes, with only three weeks to go before our big trip, Pete and I resolve to try our longer practice rides every other day – and to try them even if the forecast is rain.
Monday 6th July saw us taking our bicycles by train to Exeter to finalise some shopping for shoes and bag (Vicky’s wedding on 18th July). We thought if we could accomplish this (the hard bit), the easier bit would be to cycle the 65 miles home. The shopping was in fact the easier part – thankfully, Vicky had sent me pictures on my phone to show the shop assistant – so, painless.
For the cycle back, we followed the route taken by Tour of Britain last year, back through Crediton along A377 (dangerous road), Copplestone (12 miles) and then the A3072 to North Tawton (lovely market down w here Pete and I enjoyed a shared sausage in batter and a chat with a man about how dangerous cycling can be – reminding us to take all the precautions possible); then on to Okehampton (25 miles) for a very welcome sandwich at the now flourishing rejuvenated station. Somehow during that section from Exeter to Okehampton I got out of the routine of taking in some form of nourishment every 10 miles and thought I would try 15 and 25 miles instead. However, I was then very tired in the last few miles to Okehampton.
Okehampton to Tavistock is a very nice route – mostly on the Granite Trail, with a quick stop at the cycle café (Devon Cycle Hire); a pasty and a chocolate donut in Tavistock and then on to Gunnislake (also a nice route) before the big hill out of Gunnislake (I got off and pushed for the second half); along to Callington and then a mixture of back lanes and the A390 back to Liskeard for about 7.30 pm. The 65 miles had taken us 8.5 hours with stops. I could not have done this any faster but I need to improve on this significantly for the Ride London 1000 (2nd August, which has to be ridden at a minimum of 12.5 miles per hour including stops. Nevermind, still have three more weeks to improve.
Lessons from this trip:
1.Remember to eat every 10 miles – I personally like the formula that David suggests, something sweet every 10 miles; something savoury every 20 miles. 2. A roads are safer if they have four digits after the A