Go Long: Portisnever

Filed under go-long • Tagged: Go long, Fitness, Cycling

An 80km loopy ride around Chew Valley Lake and Bath. It took 3 hours 15 minutes at an average heart rate of 121bpm and an average speed of 25 km/h, leaving a 1,205 calorie hole.

‘Go Long’ are short reports from my weekend mini-adventures on bike and foot, as I continue to train for more ultramarathons and Ironman. They are most likely of interest to other endurance masochists, as well as those looking for new running and cycling routes around Bath and Bristol.

Last week’s long ride did not go to plan. I left in the dark, looped into Bath and then joined TCG for a ride to Portishead. Unfortunately I had back pain early on (courtesy of my new buddy, deadlift) and then got a puncture and bailed.

And last night I could not sleep. I turned my 5:55 alarm off and decided to ride another day.

My body did not get the message, and I awoke sans alarm at 5:45, feeling eerily ready. Ok, seems like I am going for a ride. The gods hath sanctioned it. After necking a banana and some peanut butter with honey, I forgot to wash my hands and proceeded to rub a thin layer of peanut butter into my eyes whilst applying contacts.

It was 3 degrees out, so I kissed goodbye to any feeling in my extremities and pushed on towards Chew Lake. I decided to have another crack at Portishead. Here’s the route:

As I approached the lake I noticed a fork on my watch map. I took the route over the top of the lake to get to Portishead quicker. I felt good and I also felt my fingers coming back life. This is it. From giving up last night, I have arisen and ascended the peak of the hero’s journey. Now I just need to follow the road to Portishead.

Another 25 minutes powering on. Look at the beautiful sunrise. And that cute pub. The Railway Inn. The Railway Inn? Hm, that sounds very familiar. Is this… Clutton? I’m in fucking Clutton! 5 minutes from my front door. Fucksticks! I managed to deliver myself to within 5 minutes of my front door whilst trying to get to Portishead. Turns out there were two forks on the map and, only being able to see breadcrumbs on my watch, I took the wrong one and forked it up.

The only appropriate respond was to laugh maniacly whilst cruising down Clutton high street. I bailed on Portishead (considering I’d basically ended up back where I started) and pushed on down Huntstrete Hill (whoosh) to head up Keynsham way. I had the idea of joining the cycle path at Willsbridge and then cutting through the heart Bath and out the other side. I rode the Two Tunnels cycle path a lot, but always joined around Midford, so decided to go to the other end of it.

The cycle path was empty, but foggy. My left foot felt frozen solid. The Sun was so bright that as it peeked through the trees I could barely see, even with sunglasses.

What lay at the end, where I’d never ventured before? Gravel. And several closed gates. Really useful on cycle paths. I waved goodbye to an otherwise consistent average speed. Shortly after I stopped, planned a route home and necked a new SIS double espresso gel. Pretty good. I don’t know how caffeine is added to gels but it usually tastes like someones melted an iron rod into it. That metallic taste was still there, but pleasingly overwhelmed by the coffee.

I thought I’d be rushing my tits off with 150mg caffeine, but it seemed to release quite slowly and provided a pleasant boost.

I left the “cycle” path at Wellow and headed West, and home. As I got near Farmborough I peeled off down Hayeswood Rd, knowing that I could add in a 10k Tunley/Priston loop to get me to 80k.

Two shots at Portishead, two failures. But a nice 80k ride on a beautiful morning.


5 eggs, 2 pittas 💪🏻

—Dan Bartlett
10 Oct 2018

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