The Multi Day Men† Ride Again
4th May 2002 - 10th May 2002
Colin goes for a Bike Ride with a Granddad and a Pensioner.
May 2002 and once again the Multi day Men continue the epic journey from Lands End to John O Groats. Sitting at home as I write this we have now cycled in the space of 4 years from Glasgow to Lands End.
Saturday May 4th 2002††
The journey begins Graeme had arrived the night before and we had a meal and a few beers phone calls to Colin re the hire car all was set for a met of 8am for the journey to Bath.
Up with the larks well 6:30am, cooked breakfast courtesy of Jane and then busying getting the bikes ready, which seems to drop into place nowadays , we are becoming cycling veterans, better not get to complacent.
Colin arrived at 8 am and we loaded cup of coffee and the hire car Vectra with 3 bikes on the back set off south.
On the motorway at Wetherby we had to stop, the cycle rack was buckling with the weight. Colin straightened it out and re designed the rack and we laid it higher on the back window the weight distribution was better and hey we were also driving legaly!!!.
We had an uneventful journey south just stopping occasionally to re check the rack and one stop for a call of nature. Drove off the M5 onto the A 4 picked up the first sign into Bath but then we hit the traffic, however with some navigating by Graeme and asking directions at a local Garage we eventually pulled up alongside the canal right outside the hire depot.
Unloaded and busied around getting ready, as we were doing this a Canal barge full of drunken females on a hen party pulled up and moored right beside us much to both our and their amusement.
We recorded the start of the ride by photo and then we were on our way back to Marton le Moor. Another epic commencing. It was 2 pm.
We cycled along the Canal side for about a mile and then picked our way into the Bath City centre, bought sandwiches and sat in the square watching the world go by, it was sunny and a very pleasant day. Someone walked up to us and asked if we were English, maybe something to do with Graeme eating a Humus sandwich, Colin went for the sandwiches it was late for lunch and all was left was cheese and pickle and a humus sandwich, which Graeme reluctantly volunteered to eat. Well thatís what little brothers are for.
We cycled around visited the Royal Crescent which was a disappointment after hearing so much about it over the years but I suppose it good for literature buffs ( for those reading this who donít know Jane Austen ( the author) stayed there regularly over the years.
After a photograph we headed slowly through Bath to the Avon \ Kennett canal and eased ourselves on the tow path and gently away riding through the Valley alongside the narrow boats. The sun was shining and it was a great way to start the ride. A couple of miles out of Bath at Bathampton we stopped at a local Hostelry and had a couple of pints the local brew Bell ringer, Colin had a Cider and at £6.20p for the round we drank it slowly. I suppose we were paying for the ambience. We drank our beers in the sunshine watching walkers and joggers on the towpath. In the distance I could hear a cricket match, we didnít realise that it was just the other side of the bridge when we set off cycling again. Didnít look a very high standard half were not in whites.
We cycled along enjoying the views coming to Brass Knocker basin; I had gone ahead and missed the turn. This part of the ride we were following Sustrans Route 4 so because the sign was obscured the Route Ranger got it in the neck. (For those readers who donít know Iím much to Graeme and Colinís amusement Route ranger for The White Rose route section Helperby to Thirsk.)
We had to stop for a few minutes as the cantilever bridge was up simple idea so a cruise pleasure boat could return to its moorings. Two small boys were operating the bridge it seemed a pleasant Saturday afternoon job.
We cycled on to Avon cliff where the route went pear shaped, basically you couldnít cross the canal yet the map showed you could ,so we had to swing off and climb a very steep bank, in fact it was a push over and out of the valley and into Bradford on Avon. It was an unplanned climb and was a shock to the system especially after nearly 10 miles of tow paths.
Then it dropped us nicely into Bradford on Avon back onto the tow path and right alongside our Guest House, which was by a bridge right next to the canal idyllic location plus a real ale pub next door. In view 200 yds over the bridge yet another pub. The sun was shining too. It was just gone 5pm and after a soak in the bath I sat† by the canal and wrote up my notes.
Around 7pm† ambled down to the Pub overlooking the narrow boat marina and had a good meal and a couple of beers. Graeme and I then hit the real ale pub and Colin after one drink went to bed.
We sampled some of the real ales which were hard work, Vicars ruin and Poole bedrock!! The local cricket team were in too I thought it was a good sign if the Local cricketerís drank there. Not in Bradford on Avon?
Around 11 pm crashed into bed.
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