Day Eighteen: Heading well and truly SW
Gloucester to Bristol. 45.45 miles. Total: 791.95
The last leg before two days off. We had all enjoyed a wonderful evening of laughter, chat, great food and fine wine with Sue, Mark and Ems and their gorgeous children (thank you for accommodating us all so fabulously), and this meant we headed off to Gloucester just after 10.00am. We then dropped in to see the girls' nursery teacher (Mrs Cuff), a very special person in their education, and finally met the Speakmans at our departure point in Gloucester for a proper send-off, complete with flags! The route itself basically followed the Severn down to Bristol, through some pretty villages, such as Frampton-on-Severn and along many hedge-lined roads. Heidi and Martha were back as the support crew and, as it was the last day of this stint, bought Subway rolls for lunch, which went down very well. Basically the first 30 miles were flat, before increasingly steep hills announced our arrival in Bristol. It was down one of these (not too steep, but certainly downhill) that Izzy realised her dream of triggering the speed camera sign! The photo below tells the story..... The other element of the day was mechanical, with three stops to fix brakes and chain. It will be good to return to Taunton and have Izzy's bike checked over to prevent these interruptions during our final five days. Once we had passed under the M5 we climbed through Bristol to our end point: the Clifton Suspension Bridge, but had to wait to cross it because the traffic meant we had arrived before Heidi and Martha, who wanted to photograph the crossing. Izzy was initially nervous about crossing such a high structure, but I think she actually enjoyed it and, having visited the new SS Great Britain / Brunel exhibition in Bristol back in May, it was exhilarating to be cycling across one of his most iconic constructions. We now have 48 hours in Taunton before the journey resumes: so that I can process and publish the A level results, and Izzy can rest / see friends. I think we all rather appreciated being back in our beds last night.