Broadly speaking all accounts of the ride I’ve read state this day is the most challenging of the whole ride! Fortunately I was so knackered after yesterday I got a decent nights sleep for the first time in yonks.
It’s a pretty daunting and lumpy day all round – five category five climbs, two category four and one category two climb up to Dartmoor to deal with, the worst of which is that it occurs before lunch. Hopefully the cup of tea I’ve promised James H before the Cat two climb will be sufficient to gird our loins before the road starts to steepen.
Its all a series of climbs followed by steep descents that immediately hit new climbs. Apparently there are no flat bits in the entire county. Any shortcomings of my training plan are likely to become quite apparent today. Looking forward to seeing Dartmoor though, fingers crossed we get clement weather.
This day takes in over 4,000 feet of climbing, the most of any day on the ride. The category two ride up to Dartmoor, taken in context of the day, is one of the hardest of the whole tour. It’s worth remembering that there is a bike shop in Tavistock if any last minute spares are required…
The descent into Postbridge Goes over the well known Clapper Bridge (nope, not heard of it either) – a single span solid stone slab bridge dating from the 13th Century. Its typical of what I love about the UK – this bridge is listed and sits beside the new one (also listed!) which dates from the thoroughly modern 1780s, eat your heart out ‘Murica!
Not looking so forward to riding across Exeter. Over the last five years James, James, Chris and I have done a series of cross country tours and riding through City Centers is easily the most stressful part of any tour.
Originally we were due a shorter day however changes to accommodation now means we stay In Taunton not Tiverton. The extra miles are a bit harsh on this the hardest day! Mileage appears to be questionable too, my GPS unit states it to be 91 miles but DA bill it at 87…I doubt it will make much difference!