Day Sixteen: Road closures, a puncture, chain issues, rain and a lovely surprise
Telford to Worcester. 50.39 miles. Total: 712.03 miles
There was always going to be a difficult day on the trip and this was undoubtedly it. We started with Izzy questioning whether we could drive to Worcester and and have a day off. The idea of another day on the saddle really didn't appeal and the relentless rain wasn't conducive to a quick start, however Izzy eventually relented (with a little bribery) and we headed off through the soulless outskirts of Telford. The route had been amended significantly but the new plan was thrown into slight disarray by a road closure that diverted us along a busy A road. Within a mile, Izzy said there was something amiss with her bike and we realised that we were experiencing the first puncture of the trip. Luckily Mum and Dad were quickly on the scene and all seemed likely to be quickly sorted, however I have never enjoyed changing inner tubes. 20 minutes later, with me having broken the valve on two inner tubes, we resorted to taking the front wheel off the spare bike and continuing with this (moral of the story: do this straight away). Mum and Dad headed off to Halfords to buy more inner tubes after lunch and Izzy's mood seemed to lighten as we climbed the hills to the East of Bridgnorth. It was during one of these climbs that Izzy realised her gears were playing up and so we had another stop to tighten the gear cable. I love cycling, but hate the grease you invariably get covered in when working with the chain! We headed off towards Bewdley with the gears working better. Our entertainment included a bet on whether Izzy could keep a piece of Kendal Mint cake in her mouth without eating it before we got to the highest point on the route - she won! The descent into Bewdley was fast and thrilling but we still had 20 miles left, and that is when the surprise came: Chris and Chris had come with Tess to drop in on the day. It was a perfectly timed boost to Izzy and one that empowered her to finish the stage in good heart. Tomorrow is a short day into Gloucester, before catching up with our Cheltenham friends. It should be a good day.