Thursday, 20 August 2009

Day 6: Bristol to Burghill

Today started off a little badly. There were just a few light spots of rain in the air when I set out, but by the time I got to the end of the road (less than 100m!) it had started to rain heavily and I had to deploy all my wet weather gear. When I reached the Westerleigh Road, I glanced down at my GPS and found that I'd forgotten to set the route for the day (something I'd have noticed immediately on any other day, when I didn't know where I was going). I fixed this, and a few minutes later, after going through Kendleshire, I realised that my progress was no longer being logged - setting the route had stopped the timer! Finally all fixed up, I set off through the back lanes of South Gloucestershire towards the Severn Bridge.

In Olveston I rather foolishly followed a sign towards the Severn Bridge for cyclists, rather than relying on the GPS. This took me miles out of the way on a rather circuitous (but quiet) route. Eventually I did reach the bridge and crossed it using the wide cycle/walkway. The cross-winds were pretty strong, and continued for a while on the other side until well past the bridge. I then took the relatively quiet A466 to Tintern, where I stopped for a short time to look at the abbey ruins. By this time, the skies were blue and the sun was shining, as it would for the rest of the day.

From Tintern I crossed the Wye and took a long steep country lane up the other side of the valley. At the top this joined a B-road, skirting along the western edge of the Forest of Dean. I was then off again across another valley on rough lanes before joining the B4234. I stopped for lunch at a small picnic site on the banks of the Wye, and watched some novice canoeists being instructed before setting off on the river. A good view of Goodrich Castle was just a short distance further down the road, and shortly after I came into the pleasant town of Ross-on-Wye.

I left Ross by quiet lanes following the course of the Wye. This was extremely picturesque, but a bit hilly. Then I joined the busy and hilly B4399 into Hereford. By the time I arrived I was getting pretty tired and, knowing that my B&B was pretty much in the middle of nowhere, decided to pick up something to eat on the way through. My route followed cycle paths through residential areas, and it wasn't until I was almost out of the town that I finally found a corner shop. A couple of miles further on, after one more hill, I arrived at the B&B, a big old house on the reasonably quiet A4110.

Distance: 67.6 miles (and a bit more, not logged)
Total ascent: 1704m
Cumulative distance: 335.7 miles
Interactive route map and profile: (part 1)
Interactive route map and profile: (part 3)

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