67.2 Miles Cycled
2187ft of Climbing
After a great nights sleep and a hearty breakfast I set off from Bath and headed for Bristol. Staying with family meant that I was able to get my laundry done and have a chance to catch up family members I do not see very often which was great. I had a companion with me for the first 10 miles or so which made the morning that mush better.
We headed on to the Bristol to Bath Cycle Way which is a fantastic off road route linking the two cities. The path follows an old railway line and provides a good solid tarmac surface to cycle on. A lot of it is tree lined which was ideal on such a bright morning. There are remnants of the old railway line and even a stretch of track with old steam trains running along it. My cycle companion left me at Warmley Staion and again I was off on my own with one goal in mind, Gloucester.
Cycling the Staple Hill Tunnel and Navigating Bristol
As I approached Bristol the path passed through the Staple Hill Tunnel which is a unique experience. A long old railway tunnel that forms part of the Bristol to Bath path. The detour to Bath was not on my planned Garmin route and once into the outskirts of Bristol I found the navigating hard. Bristol has so much quality cycle infrastructure it was confusing on which way to go. I eventually got down to the river and headed West to pick up my Garmin route.
Once down at Bristol riverside close to the SS Great Britain I experienced an issue with my navigation and my watch failed to pick up the route. For over an hour I trued to get it working without success. I later found out that I needed to be closer to the route for my Garmin Fenix 5 to pick it up!
With over an hour wasted I set off again heading West out of Bristol. The route took me along the the A4 and under the Clifton Suspension Bridge and out towards Avonmouth. Avonmouth was by far the most industrial area of my ride. Hundreds of trucks busily driving out of factories and industrial units, noise and dust filled the air made it quite an unpleasant place to cycle. After makign it through the industry I followed NCN Route 4 and 41 which took me up the South side of the Severn Estuary
Before long I was in South Gloucestershire, another milestone on my route. I had the left the noise and busyness of Avonmouth and I was now in the quiet countryside however this was interrupted as I navigated the M4 and M48 motorways. I carried on through gently undulating countryside on some fantastic country roads. The going was easy and I was eating up the miles and looking forward to getting in to Gloucester. This was the first day that I had not planned any accommodation so I still had the flexibility to carry on beyond Gloucester if needed. As I cycled along I noticed a fellow cyclist up ahead, I caught up with him and did my usual introduction. This was when I met Tony, a fellow LEJOG’er also on his way to Gloucester. This then set the scene for the rest of the afternoon.
It was great to meet a fellow cyclist riding end to end, our routes were different, Tony was following the Cicerone route while I was heading across the Midlands but on this day we were headed the same way. We spent the afternoon munching up the miles, stopping sometimes and even having a coffee in the town of Berkeley at the Berkeley Arms. A great friendly pub with a number of locals watching the cricket. We also met another local and it was great to sit and chat for a short while over a cup of coffee.
Cycling the Gloucester and Sharpeness Canal
The route eventually took us on to the Gloucester and Sharpeness Canal which was a welcome break from the road, the route left the canal but soon after we were back on the canal path which we would follow in to Gloucester. The canal path was rough at times but it did offer a good trffic free, scenic ride in to Gloucester. The canal was awash with narrow boats, paddle boarders and walkers on a lovely June afternoon. Mid afternoon I booked some accommodation, a night in the Station Hotel , £65 Bed and Breakfast.
As we approached Gloucester and its newly redeveloped Gloucester Quays, Tony and I said our goodbyes. It was a great to spend the afternoon with him. I then headed off in to the town centre in search of the Station Hotel. On arrival I was greeted by a group eating at one of the tables in the Bar, what I would call the manager gladly found my reservation and chatted with a mouthful of food. My bike was parked in run down function room and I headed off to my bedroom for the night. See my review of the Station Hotel, Gloucester.
Once washed and dresses I heading out in to Gloucester to see what Tuesday night had to offer.