A Travellerspoint blog

January 2012

Leaving Bristol

Not a good day for a bike ride

rain
View UK coast ride on ukextremes's travel map.

Fully loaded

Fully loaded


I left Bristol on the 16th July 2011 with everything I needed to support myself packed aboard my Dawes Galaxy. The most I had ever cycled in a day was about 50 miles and this was never repeated the following day, but my goal was to cycle around the coast of the UK. I was not sure of my exact route or the distance and time it would take. I had an estimate of between 4,000 and 5,000 miles and believed I could do 500 miles a week giving me a time of eight to ten weeks.
Paddy and me

Paddy and me


The first day I covered 86 miles and made it to Llantwitt Major in South Wales, half of this distance was travelled with my friend Paddy who joined me until Newport (then caught the train back to Bristol). The weather was far from good with rain and head winds and this carried on for the first four days. Sleep was very important on these first few days, I slept solidly even though there were gales. I even slept in a bus shelter during the day because I was so tired (my inner tramp was realised). Food was also important and my appetite was increasing. I stayed in Rhossilli the second night and had a couchsurfing experience in Pendine on the third night. The Pembroke coast was lovely but very hilly, I really liked the look of Tenby, but was too tired to enjoy it fully. I found it fascinating that people were interested in where I had been and where I was going to. I spoke to one Welsh man that hated tourist, but could not be any more helpful to me, I was not being treated like a tourist. I stayed at Whitesands near St Davids on the fourth night and the weather had finally improved.
Pendine Sands

Pendine Sands


Tent with a view

Tent with a view


On the beginning of the fifth day I was leaving Whitesands near St David’s in West Wales and the weather was glorious. I thought that I had turned a psychological corner in dealing with the journey only to find out a few miles further on that I had not been eating enough food to fuel my body. I was struggling to get up small hills and it didn’t matter how much I ate that day, the energy was not going to my legs. I decided to stay in a hostel and rest after only 44 miles and eat as much as I could, this did the trick, the following day I had lots of energy and cycled 80 miles, after this experience the major focus of my days was food, food and more food. The hostel was the YHA at Poppit Sands which I can recommend for a beautiful view.
Poppit Sands

Poppit Sands

Posted by ukextremes 15:26 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (0)

West and North Wales


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The west coast of Wales is truly stunning, reminds me of Cornwall a lot, but without the ridiculous number tourists that Cornwall suffers from. After sorting out the amount I needed to eat the hills were possible. On making it to Machynlleth I had the fear at the size of the mountains in the background, so I ate even more food. Sleeping in a forest that night I prepared myself for the onslaught for the following day. I briefly visited the centre of alternative technology (CAT), which is well worth a visit. Then I was massively surprised by the fact there were not really any hills for me to climb, one of the benefits of sticking to the coast. It was a stunning days ride with the backdrop of the mountains of Snowdonia. Enjoyed the ride so much and made good mileage that I forgot to take any photos.
Stayed in Abersoch, which was nice and the following day went as far down as Abercaron before going back up the Lleyn peninsula. I wasted half an hour trying to follow the National Cycle Network signs in Bangor, after about eight miles I ended up where I started and had to cycle the dual carriageway that I was trying to avoid. I'm sure the pesky kids of Bangor were twisting my melons man (just the signs actually).
Met an elderly American couple near Conwy castle and had a nice talk with them, they informed me of the Norwegian massacre, finding out news on the go is difficult. Conwy castle

Conwy castle


Camped between Llandudno and Colwyn Bay, then the following day headed for the English border, Wales took me eight and a half days. The Ride along the North Wales coast was assisted by one of those rair things for a cyclist, a tail wind, I averaged 24mph for over an hour and a half. This meant I whizzed past Rhyl and Prestatyn, which was nice (to whiz past them).
I made it back to England and headed for the Wirral where I met up with my sister, brother in law and nephew. I even treated myself to a couple of pints for the first time on the ride and ate a big steak. Seeing family was nice and they were impressed by my progress, but I had only covered about 630 miles by this point.Noah trying my bike for size

Noah trying my bike for size

Posted by ukextremes 15:33 Archived in Wales Comments (0)

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