Easter weekend saw the 5th Women get away from the city and head to the beautiful Avon countryside for a taste of some hills and a spot of egg hunting.
Luckily for us we were graced by the good company and local knowledge of friend of the 5th and expert climber, Morgan Frost. One day his mechanical doping will be exposed.
We marked the change to British Summer Time with a four-day compass-point egg hunt plotted by this guy. In hindsight I guess it was a bit stupid to put him at the helm but we got what we went for…plenty of UP.
Somehow we managed to rent a place at the top of one of the most notorious hills up from the city centre. But the cottage was awesome, the food shop delivered to the door and it meant we started every day with a blinding descent off the hill.
#1 West: Cheddar Gorge
We woke to bright blue sky and sunshine and cheese on the horizon. We rode out to the so-called coast then along to Cheddar, Wooky and Wells, spotting plenty of British wildlife. Unfortunately I left my legs in London but the girls, and Morgan, absolutely smashed it.
#2 North: Cotswolds
Rain set in from the get go but we ploughed on north out of town, quickly hitting the Bannerdown Road “wall”. The view at the top was of dramatic mist over the three counties. On up to Marshfield, we rode a short but windy loop up from Grittleton punctuated with an eventful cafe stop involving sausage dogs and sticky cake.
#3 East: Lacock
Easter Sunday kicked off with a leisurely breakfast before riding due east to Lacock for egg spotting and rolling hills in the glorious sunshine. It was all singing and dancing until we hit the final climb of the day: an off-camber 11-14% beast that pops up out of nowhere. The Brassknocker climb was tough but rewarding and Clare and Aoife put themselves firmly in the top 10 for the segment.
#4 South: Longleat Safari & The Twin Tunnels
A southern jaunt on tired legs and bleary eyes took us to Longleat Safari. A great route along tiny lanes all mucky and whipped up from storm Katie. Plenty of short sharp kickers and we even had a taste of some hail and unfortunately some tarmac. I didn’t see any of the big four but we ended the route seeing the two tunnels – meandering our way through Sustrans’ creations before reaching the cottage one final time. Our host was already there, clearing out the place after our stay. I’m sure he was impressed that we got outside and rode everyday despite the forecast winds and rain but he only commented admiringly on how many bottles were in our glass recycling.
Bath is completely and utterly beautiful. Quintessential west country views made all the more enticing with the baby goats and lambs springing and chickens laying. I definitely need to go back for the late summer sun on those winding lanes.
- Sunday roast: The Bath Brewhouse
- Beers: Wild Beer Co: – Epic Saison / Bath Ales – Gem
- Morgan’s compass routes: up on Strava