Hurdles are horrible and our first one was a puncture before we had left and an inner tube fault at the Pump House. This and the harbour festival slowed us down and so we had to catch up time.
Once out of Bristol the hills began to get taller and taller until we got the mendips. One hill crushed us and we had to walk. Once at the top, we had a spot of lunch and then we were off. We found the second bit much more enjoyable as there was a massive downhill and then we were on the Somerset Levels we’re mercifully flat. It was amazing.
However, we did have to take a shortcut as the route took us over a hill and we had had enough of hills for one day and this meant it took slightly longer to get to the hotel.
We have done 41.22 miles, hit a top speed of 27.3 mph and had an average speed of 6 mph
Day 7, was brought to you by the words ‘excruciating’ and ‘joy’ and tunes from Kacey Musgraves. 😁
The excruciating bit is obvious, the joy is because of the simple things. Riding the length of the homeland is wonderful, the scent of heather and the sea, remembering happy days when I was a kid, watching Dave have entire conversations with the locals and knowing he hasn’t a clue what they’re saying. 🤣 I played a game of ‘chicken’ with a plucky sparrow whilst travelling over gravel at speed. Sparrow 1, Heidi 0. 😆 Pure joy.
One week down, 54 miles to go. We’re all coming home with thighs like anvils and the ability to sink a pint in less than 30 seconds. 😂 (I’m talking water). We notice that you, dear reader, have met the challenge of raising £1000 for each charity. YOU’RE AMAZING! Thank you so much, please add to the tally if you can. X
We started the day by going to breakfast I had lots of things: a small roll rapped in meat, it was kinda hard the roll but it was nice with the meat; cereal with soya;
just 2 poached eggs and 2 rashers of bacon, because I couldn’t pick up the sausage; toast with jam ; and some apple juice.
Then we started the actual bike ride we wheeled our bikes up the ramp and started on the Tarkar Trail which looks flat but is just slowly going uphill so it makes you feel like your going really slow which you are but you feellike you should be going faster.
After what seemed like ages we turned off into a car park and down a hill and then up a hill and then down a hill etc. Anyway at about lunch we went into Sheepwash a really cute village where we went to a pub and I had a pint of no not beer, lemon and lime. We were short on supplies so we went to the community shop and got mainly chocolate but I also got a rubber and sharpener cause I already had a notepad and pencil so ya.
Many hours of hearing my breathing louder than the cars later we arrived yay! We were staying at this nice hotel in Bude also a nice place where we put are bikes away. We had a family room so it was two rooms in one charli and I had the twin mum and dad had the double and Harry had a separate room all to him self.
We all showered and changed and then we met up with Burty, Wilfy, Abi and Rich which was really fun. We went to dinner then we went to a pub the parents had a drink and we went to the park. When we were walking back there were these massive fish about 40cm long which I think were eels and they were eating all the plants floating on top of the water. And now I’m here writing this. This was Grace by the way
Dulverton was pretty but we soon realised that because we are in a valley we have to get out of it. We had to face a grade 5/5 hill and it took 30 minutes to get up it. Also, it was at the very beginning and this destroyed our legs from the get go. After this we cruised along the top with hills every minute. It was gruelling. Every second my I wanted to give up and go home.
At midday we found a shop for lunch and we had a couple of ice creams. However, we did see that the village pub had been shut down and we realised we had to go back up the hill to rejoin the route. It was horrible. After this the hills were continuous and kept going up and there were lots of hidden dips which gave us false hope. The best bit of the day was where we flew down the hills and entered Barnstaple.
It was the final stretch.
After Barnstaple, we were on the Tarka Trail until our hotel except it seemed like it went on forever, especially as it was 30 degrees!
Finally, we got to the hotel and then we collapsed, showered and ate. The chicken was amazing and the halloumi was better. We are all very tired and hoping tomorrow is not as hilly. As this was hell like.
I’m so exhausted, I’ve lost my ability to write. So please excuse the possible bad grammar.
We started the morning of with a lovely breakfast with our friends. We had a roughly early start and set of approximately 8:30ish. It was really quite hot this morning and we accidentally went down the wrong road then had to bike back only to realise it was the right road after all.
After going along the country roads, we soon joined on to the canal path for quite a while which was really nice as it was gentle and flat; but the terrain of gravel was menacing. After turning of we had a nice chat with this elderly woman then soon carried on to our lunch stop. We had some panini and dad decided to get a packet of crisps instead.
Afterwards we then joined the canal path again and set of. However we soon had to leave the respite of the flatness and went on to cycle past Knightshay and stopped for an ice cream after cycling up the massive drive into the national trust place.
After quite a while, we finally started seeing Dulverton on the signs getting closer and closer. After cruising down the down hill which was such a relief, we rode up onto a bridge and could see our B&B right there. However the man had some trouble with our booking so we had to wait a wee while until we could get into our rooms.
Later that evening, after freshening up we went for a lovely meal at The Bridge Inn. All the food was as amazing as it tasted and it was especially nice as they had my favourite drink, Frobisher’s Mango. Subsequently, went for a little walk around the village before arriving back at our B&B.
Today was amazing! It was the flattest day and the sun was shining there was no annoying wind blowing in are faces – which may seem nice but it makes you feel like you’re cycling through porridge. For the first part of the day, we were cycling past fields in a tunnel of trees only letting through fragments of light making the leaves glow in the morning sky. After a few minutes we were back in the fresh air, a wind had started to pick up and blew in our faces as if it knew the we were hot.
Not long into the ride, my mums wheel started bulging so we had to stop and my dad fixed it. We were nearing our lunch stop (Bridgewater) when my mums tyre came off the wheel a bit and we had stop again. Having just come under a bridge with very low arches which we had to cycle under my Dad got an idea that if we went over the bridge we would be able to skip a few Miles.
Whilst we were going down the steps off the bridge Harry lost control of his bike as he screamed in surprise Charli and I turned around and Charli dived for the bike only just saving it. By the time all the commotion was over with my mum and dad were here and in the end they took the bike down the steps this time successfully.
Turns my mums tyre had come off a bit again and we had to stop so that that could be fixed. Meanwhile, dad asked Harry if he could see ahead so we could make sure we were going the right way which we were. After mums tyre had been fixed we set off for we had forget mum needed to put her paniers on we had to wait for a bit. In the end mum caught up and we set off along the road at first but then back to the canal.
The only thing that you could say was unpleasant about today was the flies and the food at lunch. The constant reminder of the feeling of just bugs hitting your face like a natural bullet really killed the bliss of being peaceful for once in a crazy family. And the food was horrible okay maybe that was an exaggeration but since we had skipped Bridgewater we had to go to north Newton a lovely place really pretty but all they had to eat was either carvery or crisps. Crisps I’m fine with but not quavers just no no no. It was started to get cold so we went off hoping to regain heat.
Rejoining the canal and thinking about getting to our destination, which seemed impossible on this never ending stretch, I started to get hungry which is usual well for me so we stopped at a bridge where there was a sign saying something anyway on it there was somewhere with a co op so we sent Harry and Charli off to get some food.
After more canals through Taunton we finally arrived at our friends house where they greeted us with a really lovely welcome. They had even put little chocolates on our pillows and put a note on there too. We had a lovely meal all together then went off exploring. Later on we did some scrunchie wresting on the trampoline. And this is where I shall end for it’s getting late so bye. This was grace by the way.
During the summer of 2018 Team Simpson tackled Inverness to John O’Groats, around 175 miles of beautiful, mountainous Scottish roads, paths and ditches.
At the time the team was: Gracie (9), Charli (12), Harry (14) and Heidi & Dave (44).
Our charities were the British Heart Foundation (BHF) and Surfers Against Sewage (SAS). Two amazing charities who between them look after all the living things and the planet we live on.
Thanks to all of your amazing support we raised £2596.82 for our amazing charities.
With love, Heidi, Dave, Harry, Charli & Gracie.