Sustrans.

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It’s no good. I’m suffering withdrawal symptoms and need to be back on the bike again. The Devon coast to coast has been on The List for a while, so I’m going to take the opportunity to use some leave I’ve got at the start of July to drive down to stay with my younger sister Rosie and get it done.

The route connects Plymouth on the south coast, with Ilfracombe on the north coast of Devon, on the Bristol Channel. Rosie lives just outside Plymouth, so the plan is to do the route twice, and end up where I started. It’s 100 miles each way, and as yet I haven’t done 100 in a day. I’m going to be ambitious, and aim to get there and back in two days. I managed 91 miles on day 1 of London to Paris, so I think the 100 mile barrier is more a mental than a physical thing. I hope.

70 miles of the route are traffic free, following former railway lines, so it’ll be another lovely rural trip. Also, I’m assuming that because of this, the majority of it should be pretty flat. Trains aren’t good at going up hills, right? This should make it easier than the first day of London to Paris, which involved a lot of hills, so this should make hitting 100 miles easier.

I’ll probably be driving down to Plymouth on Saturday 6th July, and set off on the ride early on the morning of Monday 8th. It’ll have to be another very early start if I’m going to get 100 miles done, and probably around a 12 hour day.

You can check out the coast to coast route at http://www.sustrans.org.uk/ncn/map/route/devon-coast-to-coast, as well as loads of other great cycling stuff. Sustrans is a British charity which promotes sustainable transport, and it has had a big influence on the creation of the National Cycle Network. I used two parts of this network on my way out of London (see the blog entry for day 1 of London to Paris), and their website has some great mapping tools which cyclists can use to plan traffic-free rides.

In other news, the tourer is still at the shop (F&J Cycles – a top quality independent business in Lincoln) having the rear wheel replaced, and probably won’t be ready this week as they’re having to order the new rim and then build a new wheel. I’ve been riding to work on my racing bike, which feels light as a feather and very fast after having spent a week lugging the fully loaded tourer round.

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