5th June 2016
As usual in the week we received a message from Andy with the weekends route details, meeting place and time. The route planned for this week took us over the Rhigos, a lovely climb that none of us had ever done and was about 90km long. A couple of days later we received another message saying that we would be unable to do the proposed route as there was a sportive taking place on parts of the route.
It was decided that we would do a ride in Chepstow instead which meant an earlier start time of 8.00am at Andy’s house. We all arrived in plenty of time loaded the bikes onto the car, more than once as we couldn’t get them to fit the first time and set off. We had only gone about 400 metres and had to return as Andy had forgotten his sunglasses and set off again. On the way to Chepstow I suddenly realised that I didn’t have my phone or GPS unit and thought I may have left them outside Andy’s house but then realised that they were in my cycling jersey.
We arrived in Chepstow unloaded the car and got ourselves ready for the ride. It was a little cloudy when we arrived in Chepstow but that didn’t last too long as the sun soon came out. As is usual with all car journeys and especially when you are drinking lots of water to hydrate before a ride out first stop was after about 400m so we could pop to the toilet.
Eventually we set off and we were in Andy’s hands as he was the only one that knew the way. By now the weather had improved and it was getting rather warm. The first part of the ride was uphill but soon started to go down as we headed towards Tintern Abbey and through Brockweir, LLandogo, Redbrook and onto our first stop just outside Coleford. The pace had been pretty high up till this point with myself leading followed by Lara then Andy. Both Lara and myself were feeling a lot better than last week and order had been resumed.
Up to now the terrain had been quite easy but it was about to get a little bit hillier and a lot more rolling. We had stopped just outside Coleford as this is where the hills began and it was a good time to take on some food and liquid. To be honest the hills that we were riding up weren’t as bad as we thought they were going to be and we managed to keep the pace quite high.
After Coleford we headed towards Parkend where Andy had mentioned in a message that there was a cycling café there. You do see some sights when you are cycling and on the way to Parkend we saw a lady on a mobility scooter dressed in a heavy dressing gown and slippers. To be fair she was going at a good pace on her scooter and I am glad she was going the opposite way.
We were cycling through Parkend and as we were leaving we saw the café on our left hand side and decide to stop for coffee or tea in Lara’s case. As it was a lovely day we sat outside and enjoyed the sun and our drinks. The café was pretty good and was also a bike shop and a bike hire shop as well.
Once we had finished we set off again and headed towards Lydney as we were descending a hill it looked like there were boulders on the side of the road but it turned out to be sheep trying to shade from the sun. For the next couple of miles there were quite a few sheep on the side of the road and you had to watch to make sure they didn’t suddenly jump out. Andy said he thought that some of the sheep were dead but I can assure you they weren’t.
Once we got to Lydney we turned onto the A48 and headed back to Chepstow. The run down the A48 was very fast and the pace picked up although it wasn’t a flat run and the road rolled up and down all the way. This was our best ride ever and fastest over this sort of distance, just shows that the more your cycle the better you get.
With only 101 days to go until our September riding challenge from North to South Wales we have set up a couple of giving pages and if you would like to support us the pages can be accessed via the following links:
Andy is raising funds for the MS Society and his Just giving page can be accessed via https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Andy-Lloyd10
I (Mike) am raising funds for Mind and my Virgin Money Giving page can be accessed via http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/MikeShevyn
All donations to either Andy or myself are appreciated and you will be helping two very worthy causes.
In the next blog look out for our report of riding the Rhigos and the adventures along the way ……………………