JOGLE Day 7 – Coalport to Bristol

Daily Stats – Day 7

Miles Ridden: 102.9miles
Metres Climbed: 4199 feet
Time Riding: 6:49:09
Average Speed: 15.1 mph

Total Miles Ridden: 680.2 miles
Total Ascent: 29,001 feet
Total Time Riding: 44:02:56

Todays Weather: Overcast then pouring with rain.

Day 7 already and with most of the riders coming from the Bristol area we were heading towards familiar territory and for many people their own beds for a night. It was shame to leave Coalport behind us as it looked like a nice place to explore and we hadn’t had time to do so. It’s not too far from us though so we might have to have a weekend away here sometime soon.

As we left the hostel I noticed that I had a flat tyre so had to stop to change it. The others didn’t wait for me, so rather than change the tube I quickly changed my wheel and headed off to catch them up. I caught them just in time for a photoshoot with Iron Bridge in the background.

After yesterdays route disagreements I wasn’t sure if we were following my routes today or not and we started off in the wrong direction up a nice steep hill. We soon found our way back to the intended route though and ended up going the way I had planned. There wasn’t much choice here really other than to follow the A49 and then the A38 towards Bristol. Busy main roads but with no other options we simply lined up along the road and headed onwards.

We stopped in a layby just short of Kidderminster where I had chance to repair my flat tyre and change back to my deep section Dymag wheels. This also had a 12-27 cassette on it rather than a the 11-25 on my other wheel which was much better for this sort of riding. We also met Nick (from Dymag Wheels) here and he joined us for the rest of the ride into Bristol. We met his son a little further on during the day too who also joined us for the final few miles. It was nice to have some fresh legs up at the front for a change and I had a little break from the wind by sitting in behind him.

We stopped again at Tewkesbury for a well deserved Costa Coffee and then lunch in the car park behind the main street. Everyone had been wanting a costa coffee for a while and had been going on about it every time we passed one so it was inevitable that we would have to stop for one soon. The sun was shining, we were on more and more familiar roads, we were suitably caffeinated and all was good.

As we left Gloucester behind us, the skies started looking ever more ominous with dark storm clouds brewing. By the time we approached Bristol, it was absolutely pouring down. We were all soaked through, it was dark, still pouring with rain, the roads were slick and there were traffic jams everywhere. The M5 was closed, the A38 was chock-a-block because of it and we spent the last hour or so weaving in and out of traffic as we made our way through the gloom to Bristol. The roads through Bristol were also full of rush hour traffic so these weren’t much fun either, but we pressed on regardless. Our destination was the suspension Bridge and then Ashton Court where families and photographers were supposed to be waiting for us.

I had planned to meet Morgan on the Clifton side of the Suspension Bridge so that he could ride across it and into Ashton Court with us. Kev and I arrived there first with the others a little way behind having been split up by the traffic. We collected Morgan who was waiting there with Richie and we all rode across the bridge together. We then lined up at the entrance to Ashton Court for a photo and rode on towards the golf course where everyone was waiting for us.

It was still pouring with rain, so although there were cheers and banners for us, many of them looked a little damp and the celebrations didn’t go on too long as everyone just wanted to get out of their wet clothes and head off for a shower and some food. Of course, Anna, Morgan and I don’t live in Bristol so we didn’t have our own beds to look forward to. We were instead staying with my parents. So once the photos were done and everything packed away we headed north of Bristol to my parents house where dinner was waiting for us. We sat around chatting for a while before heading off to bed ready to start all over again tomorrow.

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Alan Cole

Alan is a Freelance Website Designer, Sports & Exercise Science Lab Technician and full time Dad & husband with far too many hobbies: Triathlete, Swimming, Cycling, Running, MTBing, Surfing, Windsurfing, SUPing, Gardening, Photography.... The list goes on.

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