Day 11—Wentnor to Chepstow

A long ride and a good day. It began when Rob, Andy and I went to the B&B which housed most of the rest of the gang and where we had breakfast. Our server was taciturn to say the least, but the food was good enough and there was enough of it. We set off for the ride in the usual order, but not before Rob had fixed Amardeep’s front disc brake. It seemed to have stuck ‘on’; I suspect this happens more frequently with cable disc brakes than with hydraulic brakes.

There had been much discussion about where we should stop for coffee and lunch, and the consensus in the end was that a coffee shop in Pembridge at 28 miles would do very well, and that lunch should be taken at about 61 miles at the post office that boasted a LEJOG/JOGLE sign (see below). With a ride as long as today’s these were at just the right distances.

The weather at the beginning of the ride was overcast but dry, and it was warm enough that I spent some time re-examining the excellent Hopton Castle (see my previous LEJOG blog).

It wasn’t too long before I reached the Pembridge coffee shop (fruit cake and an Americano) and caught up with the leading group of riders. The shop was very nice, and it was sad to hear from the woman working there that it would have to close in seven weeks unless a buyer were found.

Dovecote

Setting off from Pembridge I passed a fancy dovecot, and noticed a sign exhorting Dilwyn to drive carefully. I thought of texting this image to my friend Dilwyn Williams, father of my ex-PhD student Huw, but instead I sent it to Keith Peters. He would get the (rather weak) joke.

Drive carefully Dilwyn!

The weather was getting hotter, and around this point I took off my rain jacket. This led, as I discovered later, to the beginnings of a tan on my arms, and indeed I even have tan lines on the side of my face where my helmet straps have protected my cheeks. I should be more careful!

The views at this part of the ride were great and they were green—so different from the London I left. I must ask my son to send me a photo of the back garden, so that I can see what it’s like in London.

I got to our pre-arranged lunch stop at about 2:45, and bought some fruit, a flapjack and a sausage roll (I really must improve my diet!). Not too much, because I knew I’d be eating a lot in the evening. The post-office was on a route that is used by many LEJOG/JOGLE riders, and it features a sign with some rather inaccurate figures as to how far it is to the two villages. That’s my bike you see in front of the post.

Just before Monmouth

The route from this point was essentially one road, up and down, towards Monmouth, Tintern, and then Chepstow. It was really green just before Monmouth, and with just a little damp on the road here and there it made one forget what London had been like throughout July and much of August.

And then it was full speed for Tintern and Chepstow. We stuck to the same road: smooth, with ups and downs, but nothing too steep. It was good cycling but for a driver in a Mercedes who came rather close to me. I thought they were supposed to leave a metre and a half!

Tintern Abbey

I got to Tintern about 4:35, took the standard photo, and then (ahem) powered towards Chepstow. Rob had not yet arrived withe the bags, because the trailing group had had some mechanical difficulties, so I mooched around for a bit before beginning my now very familiar rituals. After a shower it was off to an Italian restaurant with Amardeep, Jamie and John, and then back to my room to write this and yesterday’s blogs. And now bed.

Here are my statistics.

I cycled 85.5 miles, and climbed 4,993 feet, with a weighted average power of 106 W and an average speed of 12.8 mph. I used 2,090 calories.

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