Finally I had a chance to go for a ride with No1 son. Its been a couple of weeks due to shifts and dentistry so I decided to take him on my loop up to the two crosses and back to Minehead. I managed to drag him off his xbox , saving the world from eastern European despots will have to wait, cycling comes first. That could be the cure to world disorder everywhere, just go for a bike ride, sweat out your grievances, have a blast and finish it off with a nice cuppa, easy.
It was another unseasonably warm day but as we where heading up to Wheddon Cross I layered up just in case and wore my fancy Campagnolo 3/4's which had only seen the light of day at the Cheddar sportive, its been too warm for them ever since. Did the usual skirt around the back of Alcombe and Dunster and hit the road up to Wheddon Cross. We where pleasantly surprised to find a large stretch of road just after Timberscombe had been resurfaced with lovely new tarmac a few days before, it was nice spinning along, this is what all roads should be like. About half way up the boy got a bit fed up of sitting behind me and did his best Andy Schleck impression and shot off up the road leaving me to puff my way up. After a quick breather, for me anyway, at Wheddon Cross we went up the hill towards Raleigh's Cross. I was getting a bit disheartened as the first twelve or so miles of this route are basically up but this road takes you up onto the Brendon Hills, once on top there's some good straight and flat sections where we picked up the pace.
Its a nice quiet road to blast along, going past the old mine workings of days gone by. Its hard to imagine that this area was once littered with mines digging up iron ore for the welsh foundry's just across the channel. A railway was built to Watchet to take the ore to the docks and a lot of a work has gone on in recent years to preserve what remains of the Mineral Line and preserve a bit of local industrial heritage.
It was then past the Beulah chapel, past the pub at Raleighs Cross and down the great descent of what's known as Sticklepath. This was get my own back time as I descend like a brick, the boy gets caught up in the wind as he's about eight stone wet through. It was my turn to wait for him, revenge is sweet. We carried on down the hill took a detour via Torre and past the cider farm, (we'll have to stop another time to visit that) and onto Washford.
We then had to negotiate the A39 which is the main route through to Minehead, No1 decided to tuck in behind so I put my head down and headed for home. This roads always busy but we just went for it doing the last six miles in just over twenty minutes.
Distance - 28.9 miles
Time - 2.22
Avg. Speed - 12.1mph
Elevation gain - 2272ft
I did this ride back in the summer on my own and did it eight minutes quicker, I don't know how ;)