Friday mini cycle adventure from Bristol to Kemble (3.25hrs)

IMG_8523Having my All city space horse for over a year now and only really using it for my 4 minute ride to work and a trip to Bath I new the bike deserved more than that, it was built to see more. A conversation with a friend Andy Torbet inspiring me to write a little more and do a little more, I quickly serviced the Spacehorse packed one of my Orblet panniers with a few essentials and headed out the house through the mist and onwards to Kemble.

Kemble, Why Kemble, because Emily my partner works there. Having clocked the distance on google maps at about 35 miles and a 3.5hour ride on the bike. I knew I could do it even though I didn’t really have a clue what I was doing.

Needing to be back in work for 5pm ( I check out the train times and stations at various points along the way incase I did not make it or didn’t have the beans/time to ride back. With a few small trains on the way and a train station actually in Kemble that went onto swindon and then onto Temple Meads Bristol, it was all lining up.

Leaving the house

As a self confessed totally amatuer with my longest ride being around 40 minutes I had know idea what to wear so I went with a strange mix. Lycra running shorts under jeans, a climber t-shirt and then a high vis runners T ontop.

Over that because it was cold a small down jacket and my winter gloves. I packed my panniers with water proofs one drink(I dont have a drinks bottle holder) and a snack.

I knew I would probably pass lots of cyclist in lycra and shining gear but I figured if i’m getting hot i’m riding too fast and if my getting wet…well I shouldn’t be getting wet so i’ll put all my waterproofs on and ride even slower. This is suppose to be fun not a hardcore training day out.

On a bike resting on the way to KembleThe ride

The ride was great, easy(enough) dry, travelled through some beautiful villages really got out into the ‘sticks’. Only slightly dampened by the ride through out of Bristol, which is of course a necessity and the final stretch into Costwold Business park along a very busy “A” road, oh and puncture but really that just added to the fun.

Within 30 minutes

Puncture within 30 minutesThe first 30 minutes found me lost twice and with the first puncture in 5 years, that sounds about right for the first trip out on a bike!

Fixing that easy enough with a bit of patience and time had me running slightly behind what I had hoped and having to pick up the pace a little, it did not really matter but I was keen to surprise Emily for lunch.

A Lesson learned: Take 2 spares, for now I was scared to entire 2 other hours I was going to get another puncture.

A few from the journey

Still love the Trains

Being a stranger also to the trains, I had secretly wish to myself I would have to get the train back home, after a perfect lunch stop and a meeting a very surprised Emily I was indeed out of time.

The trains for all I hear people complain about them were perfect for me.

Trainline home from a nice days ridingI rode 2 minutes to Kemble humble train station and just walked onto the train. With some help of the locals and the conductor, buying the ticket on the train, which I had no idea you could do and placing my bike in the front carriage we were off to Swindon all to easy.

With some more great help from the train line staff explaining exactly where I had to go as the time for my swap was incredibly short I rush out of the swindon onto the train heading for Bristol, in perfect time for a bite to eat and to head to work.

Lessons Learned

In no particular order:

  • Get padded Lycra shorts
  • Where padded Lycra shorts!
  • Get a thin wind proof jacket (It was not cold but the speed of the wind made me wear my downy, which was to hot)
  • Angle the seat slightly more up I was slipping down to often.
  • Take at least 2 spare inner tubes.
  • Have list of town names either written on my hand or gloves of somewhere else easily visible to save me checking my phone to often

The Map of the ride

For those that are keen for a nice ride to a solid few hours passing through some beautiful villages I have attached the map below.


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