Gloucester - The seventh step ... London to Edinburgh via Land's End and John o'Groats - CycleBlaze

June 14, 2019


We waited until after ten o'clock before we got going this morning.  By this time the rain had mostly fizzled out.  The first few kilometers were a bit bumpy getting over Redhill before dropping down to east of Thornbury from where the road was mostly flat and remarkably traffic free.  Most of today's ride was on public road with only a few kilometers being on tow paths next to canals.

A lot of today's route was on small, quiet roads.
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Just before Ham the rain started coming down a bit harder and we took shelter under a tree for a while.  Once we got going, the thought of Ham pricked our appetites but settled for jam doughnuts and egg and watercress sandwiches in the next village, Berlkey.  Berkley is the home to Berkley Castle and seems quite gentrified after some of the less wealthy areas we have come through in the south west of England.  It set the tone for what we would see between there and Gloucester.

At Slkimbridge, well known for its bird sanctuary, we turned onto the tow path next to the canal heading up to Gloucester but were forced to take shelter again at Frampton-on-Severn  when the rain came down bucketing again.

Taking shelter for the second time.
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Eventually we couldn't wait any longer and carried on even though it was still raining steadily.  Then we were forced to wait at a lock while a boat passed.

Waiting for .... a boat !!!
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About fifteen kilometers south of Gloucester Leigh told me she couldn't change gears and I immediately knew what had happened.  One of the cables between the twist shifter and the Rohloff hub had gone.  Thank goodness I had bought the spares while we were in Taunton on Monday.  However, the route being flat and with the rain chucking down we decided to carry to our planned evening stop some way north of Gloucester .  Changing gears would have to be manually done but gear 9 was fine for the terrain we had to cover.

Once in Gloucester we sought out a grocery store, stopping off at a Sainsbury near the canal.  Now the rain came down in buckets again.  As we stopped in the under cover parking for cyclists at the store another cyclist stopped to chat to us.  It turned out to be a guy called Darren,  an experienced cycle tourist who had lived in South Africa in the past.  We had a long natter before I had to excuse myself to go and buy our groceries.  When I came out of the shop Leigh had decided she didn't want to camp in the rain and we headed down to a Tarvelodge less than a kilometer away.  This is also gives me a nice environment in which to replace the gear cable.

Today's ride: 54 km (34 miles)
Total: 1,015 km (630 miles)

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