Mike & Anne Wesson
and
Harry & Mary Rae's
"End to End"


by Mike & Anne Wesson

2nd to 23rd June 1998
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The Journey - 1st Week

 Start Day - Tuesday, 2nd June 1998

 Land's End to Sennen

After a faulty start at 2am due to a faulty teasmade, we left Kent at 5.30am in Dereck's car, arriving at Sennen at 11.45 after a great journey. Cycled to Land's End to get 'stamped' plus pots of advice from the postmaster. In brilliant sunshine we returned to the hotel (after a walk to Sennen beach) to plan the first day and to a wonderful evening meal.

Mileage today 1.

Before the start at Land's End
Just before the start at Land's End

Ready for the off
Ready for the off

 Day 1 - Wednesday, 3rd June 1998

 Sennen, Penzance, Marazion, Truro, Newlyn East, Mitchell

St Michael's Mount
Marazion and St Michael's Mount

Mitchel
Mitchel - destination for the day

8.30am start - Dull but dry. Change of route on landlady's advice and took the A30 giving us a great start. Scenery superb, especially the Idless Valley. Some long steady climbs and wonderful views. We all felt good so went further than planned to Newlyn East

First problem with Champion - a bent tooth on chain ring corrected by a brilliant young lad at Truro Cycles. Went off route to another good Bed & Breakfast. Down to local hostelry for an excellent meal. The ladies beat the men at pool despite potting 2 of their balls for them.

Mary (like the two old ladies) managed to get locked in the lavatory.

Mileage today 56. Cumulative 57.

 Day 2 - Thursday, 4th June 1998

 Mitchell, Wadebridge, Tintagel, Wainhouse Corner, Canworthy Water

Weather perfect, warm and dry. A hard day with some very long hills (2.75 miles) and some very steep ones (1 in 5) but we coped well. The hedgerows were glorious, a feast of colour - the scenery brilliant again with many orchids and plenty of buzzards. Had problems finding a Bed & Breakfast as everyone seemed to have gone to Wadebridge show but eventually found a wonderful 200 year old cottage in Canworthy Water. Slight problem as pub was 4 miles away but the proprietor solved it by taking and collecting us in his pickup truck - ladies in front and men on a mattress in the back.

Mileage today 52. Cumulative 109.


Wadebridge

 Day 3 - Friday, 5th June 1998

 Canworthy Water, Whitstone, Hersham, Great Torrington, South Molton
Too much ...
Too much alcohol or the thought of them 'thar' hills?


 

A slight change of route to avoid retracing our steps.

Into Devon - The scenery was spectacular when not hidden by the high hedges but those hills - Wow!! No sooner are you finished climbing one than another appears equally as daunting. We had to walk two of them but they were 1 in 4. Went to the Tourist Information to find a Bed & Breakfast and literally pleaded with the landlady to provide an evening meal as we were shattered. We were greeted with home made cakes and taken to a room the size of our entire ground floor. A wonderful meal to boot with homegrown pork and home made wine. Weather was warm and dry but our first rain arrived in the evening.

Mileage today 51. Cumulative 160.

 Day 04 - Saturday, 6th June 1998

 South Molton, Wivelscombe, Bridgewater, Axbridge

After a super breakfast, the day went slowly down hill. Calling at St John Street Cycles in Bridgewater to sort out our gears, we were told that, in fact, we needed new block, chain and gear cable.

After repairs, we continued (less well off) until we met our first hill - big problems - after getting some tennis player to lend us a mobile phone, St John Street told us we had 'chain suck' so back we went at a rate of knots to beat closing time. On arrival, 3 mechanics were waiting and work began - new front rings, crank and gear mech. Work completed at 6.20pm (closing time 6.00pm). Even less well off now though no charge for labour. Harry & Mary had continued to Axbridge and we made our way there arriving at 8.30pm to a dreadful B&B but we did get a good meal across the road.

Mileage today 81. Cumulative 229.

Somerset
Somerset

Bishops Lydeard
Bishops Lydeard

 Day 5 - Sunday, 7th June 1998

 Axbridge, Cheddar Gorge, Warmley, Severn Bridge, Chepstow
Cheddar Gorge
Cheddar Gorge

Outside Rod's place in Bristol
Outside Rod's place in Bristol


Severn Bridge
Arriving in Wales at the western end of
the Severn Bridge


Harry's birthday today and our first serious shower but by the time we'd donned our waterproofs, it stopped and turned into a beautiful day. We cycled the 3 miles up Cheddar Gorge. Had arranged to meet Rod and Conrad at the cycle track but owing to getting completely lost, we arrived 90 minutes late. Went to their house for a snack (all up hill). Rod led us towards Severn Bridge where we had a very hard crossing against a head wind.

Bed & Breakfast at a massive Georgian house. Landlady was obviously from a colonial type background - really odd. Mistakenly we thought the rate was 35 per person not per room. Panic set in.

Had a great Chinese meal though Mike wasn't feeling too good with a tummy upset. He managed a few bites though.

Mileage today 63. Cumulative 291.

Into and out of Wales
Into and out of Wales

 Day 6 - Monday, 8th June 1998

 Chepstow, Coleford, Ross on Wye, Leominster

Dry for the first ten minutes then serious rain all day. The only time it stopped was while we were in the cafe. The scenery was superb, especially along the Wye valley. Quite hilly. Couldn't find any shelter for a cup of tea. We couldn't even use a piece of plastic covering the entrance to a so called garden centre as a 'jobsworth' felt we would put off the customers (if there had been any). Eventually a landlord took pity on us and let us drip all over his public bar.

A good Bed & Breakfast again.

Mileage today 55. Cumulative 346.

A wet morning in Ross on Wye
A wet morning in Ross on Wye

Ross on Wye on a dry day
Ross on Wye on a dry day

 Day 7 - Tuesday, 9th June 1998

 Leominster, Ludlow, Shipton, Much Wenlock

Much Wenlock
Much Wenlock

Drying off in Much Wenlock
Drying off in the square in Much Wenlock after a very wet day

Ironbridge
Ironbridge - the world's first iron bridge

Shropshire
Into Shropshire

End of the first week - it doesn't seem possible. The day started fine as we cycled to Ludlow but after that it poured all the way to Much Wenlock - couldn't even admire the scenery as we couldn't see. As soon as we arrived, the rain stopped, sun shone and we steamed in the square. Took 2 hours in the Tourist Information office without success looking for a Bed & Breakfast. Eventually an old couple returned up the road and we had another good stop. Cycled to Ironbridge then had a tremendous meal in the George & Dragon.

Mileage today 35. Cumulative 381.


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