Today was a first here at road.cc towers - the first ride organised through the site, for the readers, by the readers (hit the 'location" button in your profile to find other road.cc members in your area). Okay there was only three of us but you gotta start somewhere and we had a great ride, getting a metric century in (just) for good measure.
Our guide for the day was Fringe, who's a postman from Bedminster in Bristol. This used to leave plenty of afternoons free for hitting the road, but now with two small kids there's a few more demands on his time (don't I know it, God bless 'em). Anyhow he was free this Friday and after posting on the forum to see who else was, we gathered our small band (him, me and Jon) together for a blast out to Chepstow and beyond
And what a blast it was. Out through the lanes we kept up a decent lick as far as the Severn Bridge – tough going on the way out but that bode well for the return – and made our foray into Wales. The loop round past Tintern was magical, both in the sense that it was beautiful riding and in the sense that it seemed to be imbued with supernatural properties. You get two cracking descents (both at least 3 miles long) for the price of one climb, obviously the exchange rate is good at the moment. I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of times I've been out on a long ride and come back feeling like I've spent more time going downhill than up. Fantastic.
The wind-assisted Severn crossing on the way back was a chance for a good chat and to dicuss the merits of Fringe's 853 Argos, then it was back along the estuary. On the way out we'd been thwarted by a closed road so we decided to hang a right and see where we ended up. How bad could it be, we said? Well, it could be as bad as ending up on a trailer park, followed by a bit of light off road to take us to an artic-choked dual carriageway, which triathlete Jon saw as an opportunity to get some high-pace TT training in. Thanks.
Back under the suspension bridge we were up to 95km, so we noodled around the city centre and took the long way back to the car, nudging over the 100km by 200m. Top day out. Who's next? Show us your patch!*
*As long as your patch isn't in Cape Wrath or something
Dave is a founding father of road.cc, having previously worked on Cycling Plus and What Mountain Bike magazines back in the day. He also writes about e-bikes for our sister publication ebiketips. He's won three mountain bike bog snorkelling World Championships, and races at the back of the third cats.