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More memorable rides
Bristol to Beer and back, 1977
This was (and is likely to remain) my longest ever ride.

During my time at Bristol University, after I had spent a whole term’s grant on my beautiful new Peugeot, I started riding further and further at weekends. I would regularly clock up 75 to 100 mile round trips and I started to wonder if I could do 150 miles in one day.

My plan was to reach the south coast , have a bite to eat and ride back again. I had holidayed in Beer (near Seaton in Devon) as a child, and that looked to be about 75 miles away on the map, so I decided that would be my destination.

I started out quite early one weekend morning (early for a student, that is). I can’t be sure of the exact route that I took, but it would have been something like the one shown on the map. I remember seeing Wells Cathedral and Glastonbury Tor, but I didn’t stop to sight-see.

Arriving at Beer, I bought a drink, fish and chips and probably a Mars bar or two, then set off again for the ride home. I was OK until I got to within 10 miles or so from Bristol, then I just seemed to have no energy left, and I started cycling extremely slowly! The French call it “le bonk”; the English “the wall”. By the time I reached Bedminster, on the southern outskirts of Bristol, and started descending the hill into the city centre, I realised that I really was going to make it, and that seemed to help me along.

I finally got back to our flat in Netley House, Clifton, completely shattered. I ran a hot bath and lay there for about an hour and a half recovering.

Was it worth the pain and exhaustion? Of course it was!