15 September 2010

Weymouth to Exeter

I was again pleased to have company for the ride to Exeter and John Hughes, who had completed the gruelling Pyranees ride over the Tormalet and Aspin mountains only four days before, still found the energy to turn out to help me on what I'm sure is going to be the first of the hilly days. The weather appears to alternate betweeen sunny and miserable and we enjoyed warm sunshine again. The wind, although still from the SW was much lighter than on Tuesday. The hills were another matter, coming thick, fast and long! The elation of hitting 60k/hr switches to bottom gear and a crawl in about 5 seconds, but the sea views, Chesil Beach, Lyme Regis and overall beautiful scenery along the entire way compensate fullly.

Our planned lunch at Lyme Regis didn't materialise due to the large numbers of visitors and this encouraged us to tackle the steep ascent out of this lovely town to the quieter surroundings at Colyford, just north of Seaton.

A pleasing conclusion to the hard day was that our ETA was spot on (Something that I rarely managed when I was second mate!) and we were met at Exeter Station by Kathy Hughes and SW Area port Chaplain Ann Donnelly. It was with mixed feeings that I saw that Ann was dressed in cycling gear and with her bike. I was able to get over the unwelcome prospect of again getting on mine after thinking "Thank heavens that's over!" when Ann told me that the car was at Exeter Uni where she is a lecturer in clincal skills to Medical students. "It's just five minutes away" she promised. We said goodbye to John and Kathy. looking forward to our next meeting when John will do the final stage from Bridlington to Hull on 11 November.

We drove to Ann and Peter's lovely home near to Teignmouth and I'm not sure how Ann did it, but within minutes we were munching excellent pasta. The highlight of the day was to visit the church of Our Lady and St Patrick in Teignmouth where I was privileged to meet Fr Johnathan Stewart and Sandra Hancock, both hugely committed AoS supporters. It was very significant event. Thanks so much.

Total Dist: 95 Km

St time 5.55 hrs

Spd: 17.5 k/hr

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