It had been apparent from the forecast for some time that Sunday would be wet. But how wet? Would it hit us hard all day, or would we skirt around the edges? We would see in due course, but things weren't helped when it actually started raining before breakfast. That wasn't a good sign. It being Sunday breakfast began at 8am, and woe betide anyone who arrived at 5 past 8 (like I did), since by then the breakfast area was 2/3rds full, and all their breakfasts would be cooked ahead of yours.
To begin with we absolutely couldn't believe our luck as we flew Northwards on the A38 with barely a pedal-rev required. 24 hours like that and we would be in John O'Groats! However we had the small matter of an Airport between us a Bristol, and it was patently obvious that it is quite a few hundred feet above sea-level. After a hard climb we descended the other side and had our longest unplanned break of the day as Lyndon's bike was treated for a broken chain. We passed the Somerset border 3 times (okay, one of them was 'North Somerset', but who cares?) but in general there wasn't much sprinting going on (or if there was, I was too far back to see it).
The nightware of traffic that was, is and always will be Bristol was soon dispensed with, as were some twits in a BMW, and we soon found ourselves under a certain Victorian suspension bridge, before heading off and crossing a certain 1960's suspension bridge, and reaching home turf at last. First time I've cycled over a Severn Bridge. Unfortunately the views weren't great, but we were in Wales, boys. Sprint was uncontested because it was on a 6ft wide cycle path. The 10 miles leading up to the bridge (the A403) had been like a private training track. Straight, long, smooth, virtually no traffic and with a brisk tail wind it was road riding nirvana.
After a pleasant lunch in Chepstow our drug-free high became cold turkey. The rain had arrived, but hey, we'd done 62 miles on mostly dry roads, and a decent average speed as well. From here on the road was tight and twisty as we headed to Monmouth, and very wet. At this point the rain got even heavier, and it became a headlong slog for the hotel as all comradely thoughts quickly vanished, and following wheels became impossible. Tomorrow should be flatter and drier, so I'm told.
Biggest rule infringement: Andy Lewis riding through a red light on a hump back bridge. Would have got away with it, but the whole group arrived just in time to see him do it. £5 in the charity box.
Newest rider: Dai Abbott. Yes he is here. Should give Chris Braiden some competition tomorrow.
Primes: Sorry, no idea.
Mileage - 96 miles. Time in Saddle - 5:47. Av speed - 16.4mph