12,000 feet of elevation? Yikes!

Land’s End, England to John O’Groats, Scotland

Last night our group of five tired riders stayed in a renovated Benedictine Abbey in Tavistock, Cornwall, built in the 10th century. Needless to say, with its thick stone walls, there was no internet and no posting! Not that it mattered as we arrived so late and exhausted from a terrifically hard day of riding: 60 miles and 6,000 feet of climbing in intermittent heavy rain with some grades of 13-15 percent!

Cindy on one of the many cart paths on our rainy ride.
Uh oh! Does anyone know if there is a bike mechanic in the next town? Success! We found Martin-the-Mechanic who didn’t have much business on a rainy day. He adjusted Kathy’s drive train in no time at all with a smile and a wave.

Today’s 60 mile ride offered an identical elevation gain of 6,000 feet. This is a habit we would like to break — soon! Today, in addition to the ubiquitous sawtooth hills with steep vertical climbs and drops, we started the day with a marvelous 6 mile hill in Dartmoor National Park. Just up, up, up at a steady grade amidst extraordinary flora and fauna.

We left Cornwall for Devon and entered the incredible Dartmoor National Park, with its lovely purple-hued moors.
Skittish sheep, wild ponies, and grazing cattle were all curious as we road by.
Thoughout the moors are reminders of ancient Celtic history with solitary stone crosses dotting the gorgeous landscape.

The sun came out and I had a lovely chat with the proprietor of a shop in Postbridge as we left the Dartmoor National Park. He told me stories of mysterious Bronze Age rock circles. And sold me postcards (!) and flapjacks, a locally- made fruit and oat bar that Barb introduced us to. Along with the blackberries growing along every hedge, we are eating everything in site. Of course, until the giant hedge cutter comes along!

Some of the hedges are like The Green Monster at Fenway Park!

It is quite an experience making our way down cart-paths, with wooden sign-posts seemingly pointing to everywhere but the places we are headed. Suffice it to say that we have gotten lost.

This is one road I am NOT ready to turn down!

One comment

  1. Anne – for you to say a “terrifically hard day” means a lot. Heavy rain and big elevations gains are tough! Stay strong. Loved the last photos of you conversing with the shop keeper, and the beautiful pastoral views – so gorgeous.

    Keep up the strength, and carry on! You are such an inspiration.

    Thinking of you every day, and reminded of our wonderful ride in Sardinia!!

    XO

    Nance

    >

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