I'll tell you what, Bewdley has to be the hilliest place in the country. Mountains may be conspicuous by their absence but Jeepers its flippin' hilly.
Anyway, after a night at home we met in Bewdley just before 8.00 and were on our way in short order. Many thanks to Stuart and Cathy Wood for the loan of their garage for overnight bike storage. Hills were very much the theme for the first half hour but in spite of that we galloped through the first couple of hours at an average 17mph. Having bade a very fond farewell to our Queen of the road, Suzy (hope you enjoyed the lie-in and the ballet) the new support team of Lynne (Greaves) and Lynne (Smith) were quickly adjusting to their new role albeit they were caught slightly on the hop by us powering through Upton on Severn half an hour before we were expected.
On approaching Stroud, Backie was heard to mutter "oh s***, I suppose we're going to have to go over that bugger" and, lo and behold, we braced ourselves for a serious haul that just seemed to go on and on - the average speed took a serious knock at this point. Ultimately, we were up and over it and continued into Stroud where the road surfaces were rubbish, the drivers were inconsiderate and the hills were a serious pain.
Greavsie was doing a sterling job maintaining the pace at the front whilst, apparently having his thigh development admired from behind by David - I'll say no more. Lunch was taken at a garden centre in Wotton under Edge where Ian did his best to chum up with Percy the Pig and seemed to be on close terms by the time we left - its great to have such a multi linguist on board. We motored on (I use the term loosely) through some adorable lanes with the sun shining and the wind on our backs until David had his first serious cleat issue and wound up in the kerb covered with Sticky buds; naturally we checked him over for major injuries before p***ing ourselves laughing.
The road to Bridwater was ultimately pretty unrelenting but we were here by 6.10 to be greeted by Marstons Pedigree and a very modest wine list.
Lynne's other half, Smithy came on board tonight to lend support to the support team and dinner, albeit modest was taken with good humour - conversations regarding the effect of wearing tight lycra shorts on a daily basis will have to remain on a "need to know" basis - you can almost sense the finish line 175 miles down the road.
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Distance 121 miles (longest so far and hopefully longest overall)
Av speed 15.9mph - we were flying and it was wind assisted
Crashes 1 - Backie and the cleat issue
Feet climbed 6203 - seriously hilly
Top speed Not known - mine was 38.03mph but Greavsie was undoubtedly quicker.
King of the Mountains Not contested although there are signs that Greavsie may be struggling - not sure that we shall be waiting for him tomorrow.