On the other hand the ride back wasn’t so much good. Set off around midday in light rain with intermittent periods of drizzle and rain. Wind from the South East which wasn’t too bad for the stretch along the estuary to Yelland. Making good time.
Then the path turns more Southerly towards Instow and Bideford and thus the wind is more on the nose and there is no shelter round the estuary so it gets harder work. Though Instow to Bideford and the average speed is dropping, down to 20km/hr now and this has been the flat easy bit. An hour in and my bum hurts – I probably haven’t ridden more than 20km at a stretch for a year and clearly I’ve got soft in the fundament. Drizzle is now more mizzle mixed with rain. On the plus side lots of Little Egrets along the estuary and virtually no-one else on the path.
Up towards Torrington getting harder and the k’s don’t seem to be going up on the GPS. Very grateful when the Puffin’Billy hove in view and could stop for a bit of shelter in and a good cuppa and flapjack (not so good, but ok) in the cycle hire place. Tempted to stay and talk to the dog, but I have to get back in time to get to Plymouth this evening so onwards again.
A few miles out the tarmac surface becomes rough again and the leaves are dense and the way is ever upward – but at least the trees are keeping the wind off, and it is now spitting rather than raining.
At Yarde decide to bail out from the cycle path and take the more direct route on the lanes – much more hilly of course, but at least they are short steep hills where you have to stand up and incidentally relieve the aching bum alternating with decent downhill sections where you don’t need to pedal at all and the surface is much better. On the other hand the mizzle has set in again with a vengeance and now exposed to the wind which seems more Southerly and dead on the nose than before.
Eventually the lane meets the place where I turned off on the way down yesterday and over the next rise or two a village hoves into view – can it be Sheepwash? It surely is? Relief is at hand.
Only 44km on the way back 3.7km saved by the more direct route but 2hrs 29min rolling plus 20mins enjoying tea at Torringon so rolling speed down to 17.4km/hr
Still at least it all seems to be working. Need a new back tyre as well before we go – bare patches showing through. And the bike is now totally filthy like a mountain bike – job for the morning.