A good smiting

Posted by on 13, Jul 2023 in 2023 - Cathedrals, Europe, Tilly the Tandem, UK, Western Europe

A good smiting
Dark Devon days…
Tillys last ‘pre op’ ride into Truro..
Apt craft fair purchase 😋
Our carriage home..

We’ve had a series of minor issues this trip, what with Tilly’s frame snapping and my knee giving me gip.

We are on a Pilgrimage though and The Lord has been known to have a vengeful streak so it has crossed our minds that us heathens doing a pilgrimage have brought forth his wrath and he’s gone and smited us!

But Physco Physio Ben from Bristol is the man for the challenge and his exercises seem to have offset the smiting and we’ve been able to continue on our way.

As we entered the serious business of Devon’s hills the wind picked up from the west and we were cycling into a strong wind daily. Is someone upping their smiting?

And it’s started to rain…hopefully not for 40 days and 40 nights…

Oh well, I did put Jedi on the UK census as my religion so we will use the Force and plod on!

The ride out of Devon started with a 5 mile hill. It’s not too bad really and was all cycleable for us and the days hills consisted mainly of ups as we climbed up to Dartmoor.

We’d been slightly sneaky and having decided that we would return home from Truro in a hire van – the only train that would take Tilly was the Riviera express sleeper and that had been smitten/ smited? by the rail strikes – we also had left our camping gear in Exeter to be collected as we passed that way in a few days.

The weather forecast was wet and windy so we wouldn’t have camped and the extra 12 kilos would have made the hills harder so it was a no brainer really.

Again, accomodation was in short supply, so after we arrived at our travelodge we found their restaurant, and the only one around, was a burger king so we opted for the vege burgers, which we initally thought were OK but then both didn’t sleep – wondering what there must have been in them …caffeine maybe … it certainly seemed that way as we both gazed wide awake at the ceiling at 3am!

The next day was another hilly day, culminating in reaching the summit (I know it’s just a hill) at 310m at RAF Davidstow and turning into a howling gale that had plagued us since we left Exeter, but this time on top of a hill on the old runway. That wasn’t fun and it was very very slow. Even the sheep were walking faster than us.

Our accomodation though was fab, an Airbnb bungalow with two sofas for us to both sprawl on and a spare bedroom for Tilly too. The road to get to it though was the busiest we’d been on and we gave up trying to cycle the 750m to our turn off and pushed Tilly along the long grass resulting in a tic embedded in my thigh..fortunately our cotton and sanitizer trick worked and it was quickly removed

Having reached the summit, our downhill to Bodmin was on a murky windy wet day through the clouds. It was quite spectacular and bleak on the tiny cycle route and beautiful too. The sheep were still with us and a small flock decided to run infront of us for about a 1km as they’d been trapped in a lane with walls on each side. Fortunately we turned off and they went the other way else we might have taken them to Bodmin with us.

By now the clouds had become rain and we’d taken to pushing the bike up some of the steeper inclines to the accompanyment of Linda remarking ” I thought you said this was the top!”. Mind you, Lorenz, the German JOGLE rider who pedalled up the same hill, was going the same speed us.

We eventually ended up on another busy main road in torrential rain and a vicious swirling wind, not pleasant at all and the cars, not wanting to get too wet impatiently hurtled past with little thought for us or for the 1.5m clearance law. Apparently that only applies in good weather when the drivers not in a hurry. Linda hated that road more than almost any other we’d cycled and understandably too.

We stayed at another premier Inn – do they regret saying they will always store your bike when we turn up looking like we’d swum there I wonder? I checked in, and when asked for my name I said ” Drowned Rat”. The manager chuckled away and said they didn’t mind our muddy wet bike as they’d had far worse messes to clear up in their time.

We did wipe Tilly down outside to get all the mud off her and the panniers and she then spent a nice warm night in the laundry room.

Our final ride into Truro was in sunshine – hooray! And lovely to boot. We managed to have our first Cornish pasty which was delicious and tick off cathedral 11 which was having a craft fair and ‘children’s day’ party. The town crier had been laid on to welcome us, well maybe not us, but we had a nice chat with him before collecting our hire van, driving back to Exeter to collect our luggage and then on to Weston for the night.

Once back in Ipswich, Tilly’s big op will take place and hopefully we will soon be back on the road to begin leg 2…

One Comment

  1. Few good chuckles there Jon and Linda but I’m suspecting that it’s your description that was funny rather than the actuality !

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