Saturday 17th March
We woke up to porridge cooking on the hob courtesy of a blurry eyed Richard. He was already up, dressed, checked all our bikes over and was on his second cup of tea…but I still don’t think he was happy about the prospect of going outside in the cold! After saying our goodbyes to our host, Richards Mum Sheila, we were on our way into the the ever decreasing temperatures.
We had arranged to meet a local cyclist called Rob at Severn View services at 9:30am who would be cycling with us to Cardiff, but because of the weather and the winding national cycle routes (some of which weren’t even walkable, let alone cycleable!) we were almost 40 minutes late. At one point we’d ditched the planned route and headed off down a large A road and straight into a snow storm! Rob was still super happy to see us and eager to lead us over the bridge and into Wales where three more riders, including one trike rider, were waiting for us at a local pub…but not before we’d warmed up with a hot chocolate.
The bridge crossing was treacherous – the wind was blowing in from the east and whipping down the river channel making it very difficult to keep my trike in a straight line. The guys on two wheels had to physically lean in to the wind in order to stay straight – Danny was laughing the whole way across but admitted that it was pretty dodgy at times (I’m not sure it was in elation or fear!)
Once across the water we were in Wales! It was a good time to reflect on how far I’ve actually come on my journey, and it felt like a big milestone reaching the second of three countries 😀. A mile down the road we met up with three more riders, including Steve who also rides an ICE trike.
Together we set off to Newport where the next rendezvous point was at the Newport Velodrome, the former home of British Cycling’s track stars! Travelling west we had a strong tailwind which, along with the smooth roads and great company, allowed the miles to tick by nicely. At the Velodrome we met up with another group of cyclists who had been patiently waiting for us and were going to do the final leg of today’s ride along the coast to Cardiff with me. It was at this point we said thank you and goodbye to Richard who was heading back to Portishead.
The weather was still bitterly cold but the snow storms we experienced earlier in the day had gone and the gale force winds were behind us. Rob and another rider peeled off before we got to Cardiff so I thanked them and we said our goodbyes, leaving just two trikes, one tandem and two bikes for the final leg.
Our companions led us through Cardiff and to the waterfront and the barrage we had to cross to get to Penarth where we were staying the night, but not before Danny and I stopped for a well deserved drink at the pub!
Our warm showers host was so lovely and the house is nice and cosy. Danny and I met up with Lisa, a fellow EDS sufferer, and her husband for dinner at a local restaurant before turning in for the night.
We’ve woken up this morning to a blanket of snow and we are eagerly watching the weather forecast trying to decide if it’s safe to cycle today. I don’t want to get behind on my schedule but equally I don’t want to risk my life if the conditions aren’t safe. It’s fair to say I don’t snow what to do! (Danny’s joke he – me made me put it in 😂).