The Travelblog

Day Eight: Harmer Hill to Ross-on-Wye

Stats for the day:

  • 75 miles cycled at over 15mph until hills in the last 10 miles slowed us down
  • Total ascent 2,850 feet, much of it on the “SW Hereford massif” over the last 7 miles of the ride
  • Saddle sore status: back down to 1 for Andy.  Charles also reporting improvement
  • Litres of liquid consumed during the day - about 8
  • Maladies as reported below

After the drama of the blow up engine of the Beemer, first priority this morning was to get a replacement vehicle. Luckily there is a van hire place next door to the garage where the car was taken. So Steffi is now the proud driver of a white van, with Cara as a co-pilot.

 

After the morning off cycling, we set off from Harmer Hill at about 12:30 with heavy hearts. It was sad the be heading off without the Beemer. It’s served us through thick and thin as our family car for seven years, and now it looks as if its days may be over. Steffi and Cara went with Laurice and Serena for a picnic, and met up with us later in the day.

 


The bad news about the late start was we had to cycle through the hottest part of the day. Not sure how hot it was, but it felt like high 20s. The heat seemed to get to me more than Charles, and I was flagging in a way I hadn’t been so far on the trip. I thought I’d get fitter and quicker on the bike the further we got, not the other way round!

Still, we made good progress heading down the A49 most of the time and kept the average speed above 15mph through Ludlow, Leominster and Hereford. It was only when we headed out of Hereford through the lanes that we slowed down. The last 8 miles of the ride were a bit of a shock, as we had to negotiate a series of 400 foot climbs, not what we wanted after a hot afternoon’s cycling.

I remember feeling a certain admiration for geologists on day one, as we studied the wonders of the northern landscape such as the cliffs of Dunnet Head. I can’t really explain this; it’s not like they had any hand in creating it. However, I’m certainly more than ready to blame them for the hills we’ve had to climb on this trip. Must be around the 30,000 foot mark. Better keep out of the way of geologists when this is all over.

I’m happy to report the saddle sore is very much on the mend, for both Charles and me. However, other maladies have started to come on the scene in recent days:

  • Right knee swollen to basketball proportions
  • Third, fourth and little toes on left foot completely numb because of tight fitting SPD cycling shoes. (I’ve experienced this before with ski boots - it’s only temporary, and feeling comes back after 9 months)
  • Blistered thumbs from about 50 hours of handle bar holding
  • Sun burnt tops of arms and legs. (Why is it that the top bits always get burnt?)

To view pictures of Day Eight click here

 

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