Day 3: Minehead - Welsh Bicknor

Welsh Bicknor Travel Blog

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The Day Without A Map

Distance: 116.4 miles
Ride Time: 7h 41m 29s
Ave Speed: 15.1mph

I didn't get a great nights sleep because the roadrash on my knee kept sticking to the bed sheets and as they were ripped off as I moved it really stung.  It had been raining all night but by the time I was ready to set off it was warm and sunny.  I had only ridden for about an hour when I stopped to check my map, which I had placed in my panniers at the start of the day.  The problem was it was no longer there.  It must have fallen out where the pannier had ripped the day before in the crash.  Luckily it was the last day that I needed this map and I knew roughly where I was going that day: A39 from Minehead - Chedder Gorge - Bristol - Seven Bridge - Welsh Bicknor.

Chedder Gorge

After a bit of guesswork I found a signpost to Chedder, so I followed it and was eventually directed to Chedder Gorge.  The road climbes up and out of the gorge and as I felt fairly good at this point I cranked up the pace a little climbed the gorge at a good speed, reaching the top soaked in sweat.  The road that winds its way out of the gorge is fairly steep at first but then the gradient eases off a little so it is not excessively steep, although it is fairly long.  There were great views of the gorge all the way up and it was tempting to keep stopping for pictures but this would have interrupted my rhythm and made for slow going.

At the top of the Chedder Gorge I didn't really know which way to go but based on the wind direction I decided that I needed to take a left and eventually found a sign to Bristol.  I was a little worried that the traffic would result in the ride through Bristol being dangerous.

Chedder Gorge
  However, it was easy going and I followed the A4 right along the coast to the old Seven Bridge, where there is a cycle path across the bridge.

After crossing the bridge I went up the Wry valley which was very scenic.  I had expected this to be all uphill but after an initial climb there were long periods of descending.  It would be possible to fly down here at very high speeds but I was beginning to feel very tired so I just coasted down.  About 20-25miles from the Welsh Bicknor I was out of food and running very low on energy.  I eventually found a corner shop and stocked up on chocolate bars.

On the final run in to the youth hostel I was feeling very tired and I found it very hard going, with the last 10miles or so seeming to take forever.  By the time that I had arrived and showered the reception had closed and I hadn't seen anywhere to get food so I went to bed that night without an evening meal.  I would pay for this the following day.

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Chedder Gorge
Chedder Gorge
Chedder Gorge
Chedder Gorge
Bristol
Bristol
Clifton Suspension Bridge
Clifton Suspension Bridge
Just outside Bristol
Just outside Bristol
The Seven Bridge
The Seven Bridge
On the old Seven Bridge
On the old Seven Bridge
On the old Seven Bridge
On the old Seven Bridge
Entering Wales
Entering Wales
The Wry Valley
The Wry Valley
The Wry Valley
The Wry Valley
Welsh Bicknor
photo by: tridantri