The day did not start well, got Lance out of the shed and didn't notice the flat tyre until I was about set off. So quick tube change and I finally set off. New route today, bit of a recce ride for the Exmoor Beauty I'm doing in April, they've just published a reworked route so forearmed is forewarned or something like that. This meant negotiating the busy A39 for a couple of miles, not fun, then up the hill out of Carhampton. I thought the roadworks was finished but alas no, the official diversion was sending traffic through Dunster but everyone knows better and they all went the same way as me, what joy. Through Blue Anchor and up the hill towards Watchet normally nice and quiet but not today, some people really need to learn to give cyclists more room.
Claggy at sea level.......
Down the hill into Watchet and gridlock, this is why the diversion went through Dunster people, I did my best cycle courier impersonation and dodged through all the cars that had passed me which made me chuckle. Out of Watchet, through Williton and then off the beaten track and a bit peace at last as I wound my way through Stream and onto Monksilver. The grey day wasn't helping my mood, every revolution seemed to be hard work but at least the ride through Monksilver and past Combe Sydenham house and onto Elworthy was pastures new and pretty in a woodsy kind of way.
Combe Sydenham House
At Elworthy cross I turned up the hill, and what a very long hill it is. It beat me, it just never seemed to stop, is 17% steep ? I really struggled and became annoyed with myself, I didn't walk just did sections at a time and the claggyness had got claggier which didn't improve my mood. I finally got to the top and headed towards Raleighs Cross finally able to push some bigger gears. I turned off at Beulah chapel and headed along the top of the Brendon hills towards Wheddon Cross. The sun was hiding somewhere, the light was very odd, like riding in a bright full moon but still claggy,
Claggy at 1250ft...
I've never ridden in this direction to Wheddon Cross before and it was quite nice, pushing a bigger gear I started making some progress and the quick descent down to Wheddon Cross was a good blast even the nice man in a Landy stayed behind me. A quick drink and warm up at Wheddon Cross then the cracking descent down to Timberscombe. Most of this descent has lovely new tarmac and sweeping bends and is always a joy to ride, even going up! Along the nice flat bit to Dunster and onto home, I was just pootling along now, the ride had been a bit longer than I thought and the big hill was a bit of killer, it was a bit of a glass half empty ride, legs felt heavy, the weather didn't help and I even thought about ringing the Mrs to pick me up. Just one of days, my new favourite stat geek website Strava said I was in the top ten on a section of the big climb, that might had been out of ten though :)