Today was going to be another scorching day so we decided to get our wheels rolling for 06:30am to get a head start on the heat. It felt like being on holiday with the smell of sun cream and the early morning muggy heat at that time of the morning but it was very pleasant until mid morning where the heat really started to kick into gear.
Today’s ride was a relatively short ride in distance but there was plenty of hills amongst that to make up for the lack of miles. There was a few testing hills before we got to our first real climb, Corfe Hill, it was a slow and steady 3 mile climb to the top before a rewarding 1 mile descent after a few flat miles. A quick lunch stop before navigating through Exeter was definitely needed as we knew we still had over 3,000ft to climb within the next 20 miles!! We entered into Devon during today’s ride so this was another lovely moment for the team!
After swooping our way around Exeter we headed for Moretonhampstead, which we knew was at the bottom of a hill but what we didn’t know was that this hill was long! It had to have been over 4 miles long, the only saving grace was it was through woodland and it was lovely and shaded!! When we reached the top and made the descent to the bottom we thought ‘happy days’ as the major hill was done but right at the very bottom we saw a road sign reading ‘20% Incline’ and we all, individually, swore at the sign as it was a real kick in the teeth because we weren’t expecting it!!
By this point we had already discussed the possibility of doing an extra 5 miles to reach the peak of tomorrow’s first hill, but this hill was 1,500ft in the hot sky somewhere. But we persevered with this plan hoping for some tree cover to help us, this did not happen and we actually found ourselves climbing in open moorlands with just the heat beaming down on us making us regret the decision to carry on! But once again we kept grinding through the elevation until we hit our 5 mile marker to find a pub in the middle of nowhere on the moors, perfect, right? Getting in the nice and cool pub after sweltering in the heat… NO, this pub had an open fire lit!! What!?! It was cooler outside in the direct heat!!
There was a point today when we stopped to take a picture of the welcome on Devon sign and dangerous Darren didn’t stop in time and almost flew right into the back of Josh and it definitely would have hospitalised both riders! I got the real version in before DM makes me into the villain 😉
We’ve now made it back to Exeter and will have a nice relaxing afternoon in a city we know before we enter our penultimate day. We have the pleasure of Sam Smith joining us for tomorrow leg starting from somewhere on Dartmoor and finishing up in St.Austell once we add on a few more miles at the end 😉
Would like to put in a special mention and a massive thanks to The Bike Shed in Exeter who donated their time and matierals as they repaired Josh’s almost broken bike and brought it back to life so he is now able enjoy the final 2 days with the knowledge that his bike won’t suddenly give up on him! It was taken in just as a precaution after hearing a few rattles and noises and he was told it was borderline broken!!
JT’S STAT CORNER
Total Miles – 878.7 / Total Elevation – 51,481
Ciao For Now – JT