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Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Day 2: Hele - Playley Green

Waking up early in the morning to the sound of rain bouncing off the skylight in our B&B wasn't the best way to start the day. By the time it was actually time to get up the rain had eased though and in making a later start I hoped to miss the worst of the forecast rain. I waved Kerri on her way back to Manchester and the morning passed fairly swiftly on rolling lanes. Although the roads were wet the weather was ok with only occasional drizzle.

Judging by the depth meter I got off lightly
It soon became apparent, however, that my Garmin cycle computer which I was using to navigate with wasn't having a good day. Whenever I tried to look at the directions page it would freeze and I would have to turn it off and on again to get it working. I think the issue is caused by the number of coursepoints I had loaded due to the number of turns and junctions there were in the route. This meant I would have to leave it on the navigation screen all day in order to find my way and would not be able to see any other stats, such as the distance travelled or the miles I had remaining, which would become an issue later in the day.

I thought sheltering under a tree was wise at this point

There were a few torrential downpours which I took the liberty of sheltering from but by the time I reached Cheddar Gorge the weather seemed to be clearing up. The Gorge itself is stunning and makes for good cycling as it starts of steep and gets flatter as you go so you gain speed the higher you climb. Following the downpours it had a bit of a river running down it which made some points quite interesting!

Cheddar Gorge complete with stream following the downpour
With the Gorge done there was a nice fast decent and as I knew there were no other major climbs left in the day I felt pretty positive. This all soon changed however as the sky clouded over and the rain started again in earnest. I was soon soaked to the skin and with no blue sky in sight I knew it was set in for the day.

It was at this point that I started questioning my reasoning for doing the ride, knowing that once the day was over I still had another five to go. My mood only worsened when my Garmin once again froze and I turned it back on to find that the 15 miles I thought I had left was actually 25. There was one moment when the sun started to come out and a rainbow appeared and I thought the rain might end but it only seemed to get heavier.

Rainbow towards the end of the day
I arrived at my accommodation in Playley Green in low spirits and started to get myself warmed up and my clothes dried off. Following a nice meal I saw that the next days forecast was looking better and this coupled with the fact I would be returning home for a night in Manchester helped brighten my mood.


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