Day 17 – Bude to Knowle – Cornish Mizzle

Monday 12th March

My 9th day cycling in a row without a break!

Today was the first morning that I woke up and didn’t want to cycle. I was tired, my legs sore and stiff and the rain pelting down outside didn’t help. I spent a while contemplating what to do, I managed to kick myself into action and go through my usual routine of getting ready for the day and packing everything up. I left by 7:30am and went to meet Neil, a local Sustrans volunteer, who was going to cycle with me for a bit.

Neil and I decided that the steepest coastal ascents were not possible in the rain so took a route of country lanes instead. Still a few hills but more gentle, the mud made up for them! I was covered. Neil likes the rain as in his words ‘it’s what makes England green’, very true, I just wish we didn’t have quite so much at the moment! Bring back those dry weeks we had in January!

The rain turned into mizzle a Cornish term for mist + drizzle, that still soaks you! As we passed back into Devon it dawned on me that I have cycled the whole of the Cornish coast, when you look at a map, Brighton where I started now looks very far away. I think the next achievement point will be when I enter into Wales having cycled the whole of the South West Coast, but I have a bit more work yet.

I said goodbye to Neil after he’d given me directions for the rest of the way. Neil told me that I had one more big hill and then downhill for 8 miles and mostly flat for the 13 that I would be on the Tarka Trail. This was welcome news as my legs were hurting with every pedal stroke, it’s only muscle pain and not my joints so I have been stretching as much as possible but I am longing even more for my rest day.

I found my way into the Tarka trail, a network of trails around Devon named after a famous book Tarka the Otter, the section I cycled from Bideford to Braunton had a tarmac track. It was a little bumpy at times and even in the mizzle it was being well used so I had to take it steady, but it was nice not having to think about cars. Every so often you would see a building that was obviously and old train station ticket office, where the old railways lines have been turned into the trail.

I had a rest at a cafe and a bacon sandwich and chocolate brownie, I am now eating a lot (and I mean a lot) without any guilt! Luckily my stomach is also managing to digest and cope, so let’s hope that continues. I continued on to my destination, stopping in a couple of surf shops to find some neoprene gloves. My waterproof cycling gloves are completely useless! They soak up so much water it is like carrying weights on my wrists!

I am spending my night with Sally a Warm Showers host who is a keen cyclist and has toured by herself, so I am sure I will get well looked after and hear many stories. Tomorrow I have another tough day with a couple of big climbs. There are two top 100 climbs on my route and I am keen to do them to tick them off, I doubt anyone has ever attempted them on a fully loaded recumbent trike. I will see how my legs are feeling tomorrow!

6 Replies to “Day 17 – Bude to Knowle – Cornish Mizzle”

  1. Well done Natalie , you are doing amazingly well🚴🏻‍♀️🚴🏻‍♀️🚴🏻‍♀️

  2. Your resolve is admirable. Others would have curled up and gone back to sleep! The joy of reaching your destination and looking back at your accomplishment makes it all worth while. The whole of the Cornish coast is no mean feat! Now go do battle with those climbs in Porlock then you really really must celebrate your achievements 💪🏻💪🏻💪🏻 Hope yall u have a 🌞🌞day xx

  3. Surely not Lynton and Lynmouth? Porlock hill? Amazing if so . Enjoy exmoor . hope it’s not too misty.

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