Tue, 05 Jun 2001
Streatly to Devizes // at 23:59
Trip total: ??km
The sun comes up at 4:30am! Jet lag kicks in and I'm wide awake. Lie around until 7am dozing and listening to the birds — and trying to stretch my neck and shoulders. Ouch!
Pore over the maps and changing my mind — my original plans were to go further north, I think I'll explore Cornwall!
It was an expensive day, and an over-ambitious one. The hill out of Streatly was a killer, I had to stop three times going up, and nearly couldn't start again. Then an easy ride over the tops to Newbury, absorbed in my own thoughts. Somewhere in Newbury I went down a kerb on a bike path — not a good thing to do with panniers on, unfortunately I was too busy trying to read road signs to spot that the path went down the kerb.
Following the advice of the tourist information centre I rode along the canal tow-path along the Kennet canal. Idyllic scenery, and not a human sound to be heard. The tow-path varied from gravel track to single track to great expanses of rough-mown grass. The latter was arduous, and very slow going.
Somewhere between Pawsley and Devizes I got a puncture, stopped and realised that the slight buckle in the rear wheel was much worse and that a spoke had ripped through the rim, probably on that kerb in Streatly.
Fixed the flat and crawled into Devizes, the Tourist Info. office set me up at a £25 B&B. Very nice place, bottom end for a B&B, but up at the high end of what I was intending to pay! Pub rooms seem to start at £50 and are all up-market. I'm a mile or two out of town at the bottom of the famous 29 Caen locks.
£37.50 got me the only eight-speed wheel available in the bike shop, a very robust looking deep-dish rim, designed to appeal to the off-road cool crowd. £9.95 for a replacement computer, and so for a touch under £50 I have a working bike again.
Walked from the B&B to town for dinner at the Black Horse, a pub on the canal, then back down Caen hill to get home. Too much walking!