AS it was a beautifull winter day, the sun shineing, the sky blue, the wind biteingly cold, I decided to go for a longish ride today. The first longish ride I’ve done for a few months as it happens, and maybe a little to long given how knackered my legs feel now.
I headed out of Exeter on the Exe Valley cycle path, this runs right along side the Exeter Ship Canal for most of the canals length. In places its a wide smooth tarmac ribbon, full of kids learning to ride bikes or roller blades and people walking the dog ( or the kid) in other spots its a skinny gravel track that is falling into the water and still has dog walkers and cyclists trying to scare each other. NOTE TO DOG OWNERS- why take your dog for a walk off the lead on a cycle path if that dog is NOT good with bikes! ARRGH irresponisble dog owners. end of Rant.
My intention had been to to ride past the end of the Canal, see what the Turf Locks pub was like then go on to Starcross to check there was a pub there, then turn round a come back. The Turf was shut, so no stop there. Shame cos its surposed to be nice and is only accessible by foot, cycle or boat. On past the one muddy section ( a Marshall 8 or 9) to Starcross which does indeed have a few pubs. Saw a couple on a Tandem and decided not to stop and turn round just there. The sun was shining and the road looked inviting. So I thought I’d go on a mile or two to Cock Wood and see what the pubs where like there.
Cockwood has a tiny little harbour two pubs and a villiage hall. I stopped at one of the pubs for a hot chocolate, they gave me a coffee. NOTE next time I’ll go to the other one:-) On leaving the pub my brain and my legs disagreed and I found my self heading further West, instead of back East. So I carried on to Dawlish , proper Sea side place Dawlish, with a beach and mini-golf and carting and lots of people aimlessly wondering along the front. I dipped the wheel in the sea and sat on a rock watching the waves for a bit.
Then I turned around and came home, my “small” diversion to avoid the muddy bit turned out to a “big” diversion with a number of hills, bad news. I was already very tired when I got back to the canal path 5 miles from central exeter. The last haul up hill from the River valley to home was exhauting, I was so glad to collape into a hot bath and let my aching legs relax. I’m not sure how far I went, I did see a sign that said 10 miles to Exeter when I was near Cockwood, so I guess I did something over 20 miles. Nice to get out on the wheel again, next time it won’t hurt so much I’m sure.