Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Day 10 - Quatford -> Chepstow

Knitwits Yarns

After thundering rain in the night the day dawned dry and with one flat tyre (G's back). Flats seem to be a way of life at the moment and we've worked out the reason why - idiots throwing glass bottles out of car windows. The amount of glass on the side of the roads in the Midlands is truly appalling. Interestingly, as we moved into Worcestershire and Gloucestershire the glass bottles turned into plastic ones - someone could probably do an interesting social analysis as to why this is. I took the boys back to the scene of the final puncture and they set off from there.

Mornings can be a little fraught chez Hopson. T and I are pretty bad in the morning, FB is up and shouting at everyone and G just gets on with it. My favourite time of day is just after they've all gone and peace returns once more. There's an awful lot of faffing around with bikes in the morning and, apparently, I was a tinsy bit grumpy so FB took a picture of me as I was driving them to Quatt Farm - swine (even from that angle I look cross!):

I then kicked them all out and may, or may not, have been telling them to "stop faffing" and "get on with it":

I then did my mercy dash to Kidderminster and bought 6 new inner tubes, one new tyre and 4 tubs of isotonic rehydration drink mix, which FB was very sceptical about before this trip and now won't leave the camper without. And it was a good thing I did as, before I'd even left Halfords' car park I had the call to say that G had another flat - clearly repairs on top of repairs wasn't working too well:

After that they had a pretty good run down to Worcester:

Tewkesbury (really pretty town - will definitely go back there some time - sadly, no time for pictures [apparently there are some quite "hot" women in Tewkesbury so G insisted on hurtling through to show how fit he is]) and then Gloucester where the boys were really impressed by a man standing in a layby next to his car clapping them on. As they got to the end of the layby FB suddenly realised it was a friend of ours!! Richard F-J has been following the blog and had been cruising the A38 (in a slightly dodgy manor) for a few hours and had finally caught up with them. FB says it was great to see you, Richard and you and Annie need to get your butts down to Cornwall soon for a proper catch up. FB would also like to point out that it's not that he's very small but more the fact that F-J is very, very tall:

From Gloucester they followed the A38 down the side of the River Severn to Chepstow. First sight of the River Severn (there's actually a smidgen of blue sky in that picture):

and then, glorious sight, the Severn Bridge in the far distance:

Suddenly it feels like the West Country is within touching distance and, without wishing to tempt fate, we actually might make it (although there is the small matter of Dartmoor to contend with, of course). We just kissed the very tip of Wales:

and then camped up in a very nice field with a private swimming pool. For some reason no-one felt like a dip - very strange.

The support from drivers in cars today has been fantastic - they had a whole coach of tourists waving at them, loads of people tooting and one chap handed FB a load of money whilst he was struggling up a very steep hill. (Looking at the map you'd have thought that the road running along the Severn estuary would be flat - ha, ha, ha!) I think FB managed to hand him a card so - thank you very much indeed - and apologies from FB that he couldn't speak - if you do see the boys and they're going up a hill and you want a chat, speak to one of the boys - FB is incapable of speech when going up hills - he's too busy concentrating on breathing. G, on the other hand (who is a little sick in the head and loves hills) will happily chat!

All three riders now have some serious cases of chaffing, which is/are (apparently) very sore indeed. I had never heard of the area of a man's anatomy called the "gooch" before but, sadly, am now all too familiar with it. Had a text consultation last night with a friend who is a nurse - her sole recommendation is that I don't look - which is very sound advice and advice which I am sticking rigidly to.

The knitting is progressing slowly. These are my sleeves:

All I can say, with absolute certainty, is that it's going to be a very close run indeed.

Still getting occasional whiffs from the toilet area.

Daily miles - 81
Total mileage - 733

Day 11 - The Severn Bridge, Tiverton and beyond ..............


  1. Fleur Carpenter21 July 2010 at 01:32

    Good luck boys!
    Julia, what does FB stand for? I think I can guess!!!
    Hope the sore bits are less sore....that's definately above and beyond the call of duty Julia!
    We are keeping an eye on your progress every day and willing you on. Keep going and see you at Land's End, well done all of you.

    Fleur et al xxxxxx

  2. Goooo Hopsons!!
    The Rain and Mizzle is slowly blowing away and the mackerel are in - let's hope it is warm and balmy for your return. Mark x

  3. Just had the most amazing idea Julia. Next time knit a kiddy's jumper then you can relax and concentrate on berating Sat Nags in peace and enjoy the many and varied diversions. We know High Bentham well!
    Love the toilet story remind us to tell you about Edgar sometime!(as in .... Alan Poe)
    We are astonished at your run of bad weather - or are we - we know our lovely Yorkshire so well. K is seeing Peggy tomorrow and will spur her on.
    We are so willing you all on. You are doing a wonderful thing and hats off to the amazingly tolerant, selfless tireless writing and driving knitwit x x x x x x x

    "To Land's End and beyond......" (Buzz Shite Gear in Toilet Story 3)