Author Topic: Bristol to Swindon 20 October 2018  (Read 7181 times)


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Bristol to Swindon 20 October 2018
« on: 20 October, 2018, 07:40:58 pm »
As a consolation for cancelling the FNRttS last week, Sam (work colleague) and I decided to do this ride, including the Bristol-Bath railway path.  iddu and Cudzo met us at Temple Meads station, after we'd made a quick trip in the fog to Mud Dock to buy Sam a spare inner tube.

After a slightly confusing start, we got on the railway path, which wasn't too busy, there weren't any muggers, little glass and everyone was keeping left.  I saw two jays, which are my favourite birds. We stopped at the Avon Valley Railway for a quick photo as the sun had come out by then.

20181020_104540 by rogerzilla, on Flickr

It's an easy run down to Bath but, when the railway path turned into the towpath, we were confronted by an endlessly oncoming stream of people on skateboards doing a charity scoot to Bristol.  One of them was punting along with a long pole, which startled Sam so much that he ran into the back of my bike.  We hopped up onto the A4 to avoid further incidents and were soon at Sainsbury's, where there was also a foodie market.  Sam was overcome with pork pie lust and quickly disappeared, only to return with an enormous scotch egg.  Then we sat on a luggage trolley (it's the old Bath Green Park station) drinking coffee and eating zebra doughnuts, which didn't really taste of zebra.

20181020_114432 by rogerzilla, on Flickr

We meandered through the centre of Bath dodging dozy pedestrians, crossed the huge A46 in its cutting and then rode to Northend, after which there was this never-ending hill; Sam, Cudzo and I were going pretty well until halfway up, when wheelslip on the slimy surface meant we had to get off and use the 24" gear.

20181020_123805 by rogerzilla, on Flickr

20181020_123815 by rogerzilla, on Flickr

However, iddu, who had hung back at the start of the hill to do Mysterious Things to his fixie, appeared courtesy of a Schlumpf Mountain Drive:

20181020_123841 by rogerzilla, on Flickr

We stopped to recover at the top, where there was an interesting goat/emu farm, before joining the A420.  I was momentarily distracted by a beer towel discarded in the hedge, and was going to take it home until  Sam pointed out that it might have been used for personal hygiene purposes.  So I left it there.  There was also a mini-Stonehenge trilithon just next to it, presumably where they sacrifice virgin cyclists who walk up the hill out of Northend.

Chris N was waiting for us at the next corner and we rolled quickly along the A420 for a bit, at which point my new bottom bracket decided to start dying, squeaking and gradually becoming stiffer to pedal.  Made by FSA from Chinese cheese.

We got back on the minor lanes and then through Castle Combe, full of tourists and photographers.  Shortly after that we took the back entrance into Leigh Delamere M4 services for a tea break and (in some cases) yet more pastry-based comestibles.

20181020_135228 by rogerzilla, on Flickr

There was an advert in the main building for flatulence-absorbing pants.  I shit you not.

It's an easy and flat, if slightly zig-zaggy, ride back to Swindon from there.  We passed Sodom Lane and Hookers Farm, where someone was flying a jet-propelled RC aeroplane very impressively.  A buzzard followed us for a bit, Chris N peeled off for home at the Malmesbury turn, then we did the last drag up to (Royal, these days) Wootton Bassett and into Swindon via Hook Street, where the cattle grid efficiently unshipped Cudzo's chain.  After dropping Sam off at his house, we carried on to the station and left Cudzo to decide whether to brave the rubbish bike spaces on GWR Class 800 trains or just to load up on Costa coffee and ride home.

20181020_160607 by rogerzilla, on Flickr

Note Virgin hot air balloon.

Then it was home for iddu and me.  Fabulous weather, good company and the bottom bracket got me home.  Just.

Hard work sometimes pays off in the end, but laziness ALWAYS pays off NOW.

Chris N

Re: Bristol to Swindon 20 October 2018
« Reply #1 on: 20 October, 2018, 09:31:08 pm »
I couldn't make it to the start in Bristol (Park Run and parenting ::-)) so rode down to Colerne-ish to meet them.  Had a picnic in the sun above Bath while I waited.

I spotted the cromlech too.

Apparently not a neolithic one - it was erected in the 1850's to mark the boundary between Wiltshire, Somerset and Gloucestershire.

After heading back towards home near Wootton Bastard I ran out of water so diverted to the petrol station on the A429 just outside Malmesbury - I bought some real fusion food: a Ginsters Chicken Katsu slice.  Not as bad as you might think - tasted like chip-shop curry sauce. ;D

Spotted a lovely hot air balloon a few miles from home.