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Ride of the week

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!

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  • So inspired by this, I’m going to do the very same tomorrow.

    Always wanted to cycle up the Wye Valley.

    Should it be an out and back or should I do you return route?

  • Jamie

    Glad to hear it!

    Either way, you have a fair few hills to climb. See how you feel when you get to Monmouth. Might be worth comparing the amount of ascending on one of the route planners.

    Enjoy the ride.

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