JOGLE Day 8 – Bristol to Crediton

Daily Stats – Day 8

Miles Ridden: 90.5 miles
Metres Climbed: 3904 feet
Time Riding: 5:55:06
Average Speed: 15.3 mph

Total Miles Ridden: 770.7 miles
Total Ascent: 32,905 feet
Total Time Riding: 49:58:02

Todays Weather: Rain, overcast then sunny with heavy showers.

We had an early start today as we had been staying at my parents house near Wotton-Under-Edge so had to drive across Bristol first in order to get back to Ashton Court where we finished riding last night. After breakfast at my parents, we packed up and headed off in the pouring rain. It was absolutely lashing it down!

It was still raining at Ashton Court so I got ready under the shelter there as the others arrived ready to go. Most people seemed a little lethargic today, probably due to the fact that they had made it home from Scotland, but now had to continue ever onwards towards Lands End, leaving their homes and families behind once again.

We were due to be meeting some guys from the Bristol Road Cycling Club so our first stop was a bit of a detour to BW cycles under Cumberland Basin. We set off down Rownham Hill towards Bristol taking it easy on the descent due to the wet slippery roads. It did at least stop raining as we set off. We then waited around under Cumberland Basin whilst the club cyclists arrived and then set off with a few of them joining us.

It was nice to have a few different people to chat to as we weaved our way out of Bristol along some familiar roads and then some unfamiliar cycle paths as we worked our way across Somerset, across the A370 and on to the A38. We soon sorted ourselves out, with one or two of the Club Cyclists up front, followed by me chatting to some guy from Anerica and then the rest of the T1D do JDRF team. As we got onto the A38 we kept dropping people off the back though so stopped to wait now and then. In the end the guys from BRC got a little fed up so decided to head off on their own, leaving me up at the front as usual to lead the way.

Our first stop was at 30 miles having held a nice steady pace with the guys from BRC taking us on a flat route out of Bristol. Our lunch stop was at a very busy Bridgewater Services. It seemed as though everyone had come to the services for their holidays! It was packed full and people were parked and sitting on the verges having picnics. It was mayhem, with quite a queue of cars, lorries and caravans on both sides of the A38 as people tried to get to the services.

The weather had improved considerably now from the pouring rain in Bristol. It was now warm with glorious sunshine. Off came my two jackets, my overshoes and my leg-warmers. Of course, as soon as I did that some dark clouds started appearing, but we set off from the lunch stop in summer apparel.

We were now following my route again which took us off the busier roads and onto nice roads through some lovely Somerset countryside as we made our way towards Devon. There was a huge downpour just as we turned off the A38. Kev knew this area quite well so told us to head down the road for 100 yards into a garden centre where we took cover from the downpour. It lasted 10 minutes or so, but soon the sun was out again and we headed ever onwards.

For some reason (something to do with forgetting his sunglasses) Ian got left behind a little as we left the garden centre and when he came to catch us up turned the wrong way and ended up back on the A38. We noticed this a few miles down the road and waited for him, but he didn’t turn up so Kev went back to look for him. He couldn’t find him either, but eventually we found out where he was thanks to the fact that he had phoned home and ‘home’ had phoned Kev. A phonecall to the support teams meant that Brad was sent off in the van to find him as we continued on our way along the planned route.

The roads here were lovely. Undulating through some sun-soaked countryside with very few cars on the road. We crossed the border into Devon and had a final stop near Tiverton where we reconvened with Ian for the last few miles into Crediton. We could have continued all the way to our accommodation in Okehampton but several of the riders were pretty tired by now and probably couldn’t have made it much further, so the idea was to stop in Crediton just short of 100 miles today and then do a slightly shorter than usual but not much shorter ride the next day as well. Much better than a long ride today followed by a short one tomorrow.

After the final stop the route got quite hilly as we headed towards Dartmoor. Ian, Kev and I went on ahead as we soon dropped the others once the roads pointed upwards, then Kev and Ian piled on the pressure a little and dropped me as well, so I had a few glorious miles going at my own pace through the Devon hills. I met up with Morgan a few miles from the finish point and rode the last bits of road with him.

Once everyone had arrived in Crediton, we packed up the cars and vans and headed off to the Youth Hostel in Okehampton for the night. The Youth Hostel here was nice, although it didn’t have any laundry facilities and the kitchen was quite small. We did have breakfast included in the morning though. After showers and dinner cooked by Anna and Eloise, we sat around and chilled for a while. Morgan wanted to play pool so we had a game before heading off to bed for the night.

Other than losing Ian it had been a good day. The pouring rain that greeted us in the morning was largely avoided, we now only had Devon and Cornwall to go and the days should be getting shorter as far as the mileage was concerned.

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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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