16 September 2018
Just to catch up on yesterday, it was vile! Dale at Oxygen had organised a Saturday delivery of the new wheel to arrive at the bike shop before midday. It didn't arrive.
Dale was truly a superstar. It was his day off and he spent many hours on the phone contacting the couriers who kept him on hold for ever. The courier said he had delivered the wheel at 11.40am but no one was there to take delivery. Get real!! It is a bike shop with two staff there all the time. He said he had posted a card through the letter box. There was no letter box.
We were very tense. If the wheel did not arrive we would have been stranded in Thornbury until Tuesday and would have lost four days cycling. If it arrived too late in the day then we would be still stuck there until Tuesday as the bike shop does not open on a Sunday. Dale was on the case for most of the afternoon and I don't know how he managed it but he got the driver to go back and deliver. It arrived at 3.30pm. The staff at the bike bike shop were terrific and pulled out all the stops to get us back on the road. If anyone reading this lives near Bristol the I would recommend Jakes Bikes in the Haymarket. So huge thanks to Dale, Jake and Matt.
So today we were back on the road and it felt great. Quiet lanes for the first part of the morning and then onto canal paths. We both feel very ambivalent about the canal paths. They are traffic free and totally delightful and when the suface of the path is sound they are good. When the surface is bad they are truly awful. We had eight miles today of the truly awful! The rest was good. The surface initially was loose shingle which is difficult to cycle on, and it then got progressivly worse. It disintegrated into a 3-4inch rut with grass on either side. It was humpy and very bumpy and we lost masses of time.
On the whole though it has been a great day. We reached Tewkesbury at about 3.30pm and could have gone on much longer. However, the anxiety about not being able to find somewhere to sleep tonight took over. Our route is on such quiet lanes and tracks that we pass no pubs or places to lay down our heads and we feared that if we continued along the next stretch we wuld end up sleeping in a field. So we have finished up at The Tudor House Hotel, a 16th Century building with tales on the walls about the various ghosts that haunt the place! It was truly a gloomy place.
It is great to be back cycling.
Day’s Mileage: 48.93m Total mileage to date: 325.25m
Day’s climbing: 791ft Total climbing to date 16,692ft