Saturday, 9 April 2011
Bromyard to Newent
Saturday 9th April 2011 22.52 Miles 1hr 57mins 11.54mph Average Speed 702.12 Total Miles The family arrived at about 10pm last night and we had a quick drink in the hotel bar before bed. We met for breakfast at 8am with no poached haddock as we had not pre warned them and the mustard arrived after Jon had nearly finished his cooked breakfast. This mealtime took a while as we ate in relay as one plate arrived at a time! It was Jill’s Birthday today, Happy Birthday Jill! We had an extra cyclist today as Jon had come to join us riding for the weekend. He only bought his bike last week and has been busy training hard every day to be ready. We found pleasure in throwing all our bags in the back of Jon’s van being driven by Mum and Jill as our support vehicle thus making our bikes feel light as a feather. However, it did not seem to make the hills feel any easier as we climbed a long hill out of Bromyard to start the day. Nothing like a hill to climb straight after a cooked breakfast to stretch your legs! We rode 12miles to Ledbury on country lanes. Again the sun was shining and we had shorts and t shirts on from the start. Stopping in Ledbury town centre we found Mrs Muffins Café just behind the market and sat in the garden for a beverage or two. We used this break to pick our favourite horse and place a bet on the grand national. Back on the road we did a further 10 miles to Newent. There were a few ups and downs and the wind picked up slightly but all in all it was a very pleasant ride. We found the George Hotel and offloaded the bags into our rooms which again was a mission in the tiny corridors, steep steps and low ceilings where even I had to duck to get into my room. We enjoyed a drink in the beer garden and tucked our bikes away for the night in the laundry room. Sam popped over the road to a charity shop and within minutes came out with a marks and sparks t shirt for the bargain price of 50p! We had not prepared for such lovely weather! We managed to squeeze in the car once we had relocated the keys and drove to Symonds Yat in the heart of the Cotswolds. This is a tiny village on the River Wye and it is extremely picturesque. The only thing spoiling it was the world and its wife also being in the same place at the same time. We cooled down with an ice cream in the sun then hired two double kayaks for an hour. Jill and I in one and Dad and Jon in the other. The boats were extremely hard to steer as we made our way 40 minutes upstream then 20 minutes back down stream. I think mum and Sam had the right idea by jumping on the river cruise instead! We all walked up to the rapids where we watched people practising their skills and capsizing a few times. Back in the car we drove up to the rock and dad decided to walk. It was only half a mile but quite vertical! From the top there was a lovely view of the river Wye snaking its way through the countryside. Jill took a ride in the back of the pick up on a broken old chair we had found, madness but fun all the same. This was in an attempt to dry out her jeans that were soaked where the boys had drenched us earlier! On the way down we learned that Jon’s horse won the grand national with Dad’s and mine coming 3rd and 4th so we are all in for some reward tomorrow! We drove to Ross on Wye for dinner in a restaurant overlooking the river. We were all so shattered we went back to the hotel and just about managed one drink in the bar before retiring to our rooms at 9pm! Of course some of us had to stay up and blog for a good hour or so while others got an early one! It was a good day today although, why do half days and days off always feel longer and more tiring than the long cycling days?