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Pedal Power by Nick Veasey
  • Writer's pictureAnnette Culshaw

Lejog Day 5: Face Your fears....

Updated: Jan 6, 2020

11th September 2018

Bob on bike
Bob.. facing his nightmares...

We started the day full of anticipation and excitement. We were going to be cycling out of Devon and into the flatlands of Somerset..... or so we thought.

The day started badly. The staff member at the hotel tried to charge us £12.60 for the previous night's bar bill which we knew we had paid. Another customer told us he had done the same thing to them. It felt like a mini scam but left a nasty taste.

We knew we had an evil hill to face to start the ride. As the days have gone on we have realised that if we have a good run at the hill we can get most of the way up. Egypt Hill however started from nothing and it was awful. Garmin registered a gradient of 26%!. Suffice to say it was a push up job and it was one long hill! We were knacked by the time we reached the top. There followed many more short but steep hills over a short 5 mile stretch, before a huge descent into Tiverton.

Bickleigh to Tiverton
Day 5.1 Bickleigh to Tiverton

elevation from Bickleight to Tiverton
Note the killer hill right at the beginning!

At Tiverton we we rode onto the Great Western Canal path ... fabulous. It is flat!!

Great Western Canal
The Great Western Canal Path --the first flat surface we have seen for days.

Sadly, the glee did not last for long. After a couple of miles we had to hit the road again and, guess what, ....more hills. The large one in the middle of the elevation graph was another killer.

We cycled on, found nowhere to stop for lunch and eventually came to the Taunton to Bridgwater Canal path. It was so beautiful. Families of swans with their cygnets drifting past and wildlife in abundance. The joy did not last long. The surface of the path became rougher and rougher and every half mile or so there are very low bridges where cycling is forbidden. We had to dismount to walk the bikes underneath them. The headroom is too low for cyclists and the paths under the bridges are very narrow. It was stop/start/stop/start for about ten miles.

The low bridges
The low bridges

Ever since we started planning this trip Bob has had a recurring nightmare that a dog will run out into his path and he will fall into the canal still attached to his bike! He was a "tad nervous" (understatement!).

We arrived at Bridgwater very tired and very tetchy (another understatement!) We struggled to find our accommodation and the Bridgwater traffic on the A38 at 5.00pm was horrendous. We were staying at The Old Vicarage, a lovely, quirky 13th Century building in the centre of the town. Gary, the assistant manager was a dream. He could see how tired (and tetchy!) we were and did everything to help us feel comfortable and welcome.

Dinner and bed was the order of the day. Asleep by 9.00pm.

Tiverton to Bridgwater
Tiverton to Bridgwater

Tiverton to Bridgwater elevation

Day’s Mileage: 42.54 m Total mileage to date: 215.2m

Day’s climbing: 1,680ft Total climbing to date 14,504ft

Good night friends. xx

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1 Comment

Lorette Wein
Lorette Wein
Sep 13, 2018

Still feeling some of your pain!!! from a comfy chair. Laurie

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