This Friday I made the most a treat offered by my work ‘Sunny Friday’ (half a day free holiday) and decided to go on a midday ride during our Indian Summer. I left Bristol with intentions of following a route Steve and I took earlier in the year. Initially this didn’t go to plan but I reached the Severn Bridge via Easter Compton and Pilning quicker than expected. Riding over the bridge on such a clear day eased my slight fear of heights, the view was fantastic.
It was only my second time crossing the bridge on a bicycle and the first time was only a brief visit. I was heading for Tintern Abbey and roughly knew the route there, I asked @greg_a a (fellow cyclist and twitter friend) for some routes the day before and used them as a guide. Heading through Chepstow was fairly uneventful but within minutes, riding through the Wye Valley, parallel to River Wye was magnificent. I was descending on the A466 to Tintern and couldn’t stop thinking about how much nicer the road, drivers and view was. Almost immediately I reached Tintern Abbey, I stopped for a quick picture and drink, checked the distance I covered and time it took and decided to continue on to Monmouth.
Luckily the route follows the A466 all the way to Monmouth and gets a lot closer to the River Wye, providing a brilliant view of the flowing water, which I personally find as mesmerising as fire. I followed the river all the way to Monmouth through Redbrook, which meant going across the border between Wales/Gloucestershire, England for a few minutes. When I reached Monmouth, I was tempted to just go back the same way but convinced myself to take the B293 which meant lots of climbing up a smaller road and the heat was really starting to reach its peak. I started to ration my water as I didn’t want to be left with no water whilst in the middle of nowhere. The road took my past a lots of small towns and a couple of national parks. It felt a lot like hard work and I think most of that was down to me thinking about my water too much. The road eventually joins the A466 just before Chepstow and I was soon back on the bridge heading back to Bristol to complete around 60 miles.
I was pleasantly surprised with my recent efforts in getting back on regular road rides after going through a MTB’ing patch as I achieved a personal best average speed for such a long ride of 18.93mph. Now just to keep it up!