To leave Tiverton all we had to do was follow the route 3 cycle path signs. Sounds simple. But turns out you need more than Liz’s PhD to be able to crack the maze.
After turning round several times and nearly getting run over we found ourselves on the Grand Western Canal path, the favoured walking spot for many dog walkers, most with two handfuls of dogs.
For a while the canal path made for enjoyable, if a bit slow, cycling. The locks, quaint bridges and moored canal boats were all great to look at. I was even happy to give the wasp that stung me the benefit of the doubt.
We first realised we were in Somerset when we saw a road maintenance sign with the council’s name on. Other clues were the recycling bins outside people’s homes. But we are yet to see a sign welcoming us to the county.
Our first stop was Taunton, which turned out to be problematic for support driver one (Jean). We got a text from her telling us she was lost while we (well I) stopped to take a picture of the Frog Street sign. She ended up being escorted to our allotted meeting point by a highway maintenance man that took pity on her.
In the afternoon we cycled across the Somerset Levels. Liz’s astute comment: ‘I like the Somerset Levels. They’re…level.’
We had been excited about getting to Cheddar. Our opinion was somewhat marred by the garage we stopped at on a very busy junction. A very angry man-woman (really not sure which) had a go at us, for existing I think.
But our cycle to Clevedon was more enjoyable. Our route was on The Strawberry Line, a disused railway line that made for speedy, flat cycling on a smoothish surface. We even got to pretend to be a train cycling through the Shute Shelve Tunnel – very dark!
Me to mum: what’s it like?
Mum: ‘It’s fine! (Not looking convinced).
Me: ‘How was the shower?’
Mum: ‘The shower is…I had a bath.’
I never got to find out how the shower is because I’ve broken it!
Support driver two (Liz’s mum Jane) has now arrived to take over from Jean. My mum is now heading off to Spain for a well-deserved break.