We are all moved in to our new house in the countryside. It’s a world away from Clifton in central Bristol, and a galaxy away from our former lives in central London. Our home is in the village of Compton Martin, population 500!
Having given my back a pounding over the last few days carrying all our furniture and possessions up and down stairs I decided to venture out for just an hour on the bike this morning. The weather over the last week has been absolutely ‘scorchio‘ so I made sure to get out early.
I discovered that our home is an excellent location for cycling. To the West is the tough hill of Burrington Coombe, and to the East the challenging 13 km loop of Chew Lake. Today I decided to tackle both.
I made it up Burrington Coombe at an average speed of 18.5 km/h. Its grade averages at just over 5% but it’s the length that gets you – 4 km which equates to a total of 225m of climbing. Fortunately today there were no stray goats to delay me. From Burrington I rode along the ridge of the Mendip Hills above our house before descending down to Chew Lake.
I completed a 13 km loop of Chew Lake at an average speed of 34 km/h. It’s mostly flat so this felt like a decent pace. This gave me a time of 23:45 for the loop. There is a weekly time trial that takes place along this route and I am now aware that the winning times can be sub-19 minutes. This seems insanely fast and I will have to make a point of going to watch the riders one evening.
After my ride we spent a few hours unpacking boxes and then had some friends over for a barbecue in our back garden. Having lived in flats with no garden for the last 10 years we are loving this new rural lifestyle.
The only concern with our new location is that it extends my commute to 20 km (12 miles). I feel comfortable with this but most people I have spoken to think it is too far. Hopefully it can be a good opportunity for further bike v car recovery and won’t mean I have to buy a car.