After the obligatory photo's I set off shortly before 7.30am.
The first 52 miles were on the A30, a good portion of which is dual carriageway, and I wanted to get them out of the way whilst the roads were still quiet. Light winds and adrenaline inducing traffic speeds meant I made good time and was off the busy road by 11am in time to meet Kerri for a spot of lunch.
|Some of the A30 is picturesque...|
|... whereas other parts, not so much|
With the A30 behind me I moved on to better cycling roads, a combination of country lanes and quiet A/B roads. With the smaller roads came bigger gradients however and I found it hard to keep my heart rate down - keeping in mind that going too deep into my reserves would leave me fatigued in the coming days. The smaller gearing I fitted last week definitely came in handy.
Having been promised a feast at my second stop of the day at West Chilla I wasn't disappointed. Kerri's cousin Jonathan and his wife Wendy had prepared the biggest pan of pasta I have ever seen along with many other delights including a delicious chocolate flapjack baked by their children Billy and Heidi (with a hand from Wendy!). After a long break and copious amounts of food we were sent on our way with the leftovers to have later in the day.
|Quieter roads after the A30|
Still having 40 miles to go meant the day was far from over but fuelled up to my ears the final third of the day passed pretty swiftlly - at least in my head if not on the speedo! The 16mph average I had started out with had been gradually decreasing since I left the A30 as I tried to take it easier on the hillier roads and enjoy the ride. Despite ominous grey clouds making appearances throughout the day I made it to our accommodation in Hele without seeing a drop of rain, tired but satisfied after a great first day in the saddle.
|Stormy skies but no rain|