Monday, 23 November 2015

Cheddar Gorge Grind 30

A cold but sunny day today.  Cold enough to warrant ear muffs and Long Johns in fact.  Left home with the intention of tackling Cheddar Gorge, a long time personal target. Why?  Because it is there. Went directly there through Bleadon and Axminster.  A little bit of a cold headwind on the outward journey and by the time I hit Cheddar, it was time for a a cup of tea.

Cheddar Cafe

A bit of an arty place this with loads of paintings for sale and a bohemian feel to it.  Not bohemian prices though, £2.50 for a cup of tea. The waitress did ask if I wanted any cake, it looked delicious, but dreaded to think what the price would be. Squeezed two cups of tea out of the pot and warmed up enough to carry on.

Cheddar Gorge Cheese Co

This shop is the only one that sells cheddar cheese that is actually made in Cheddar.  Didn't fancy carrying a big lump of cheese around for the rest of the ride so didn't go in.

Gough's Cave

This tourist attraction was found and developed by Richard Gough, a local resident, between 1892 and 1898. The cave itself is nearly 300 feet deep and 1.3 miles long.  It is prone to flooding so don't go in if it has been raining.

Cheddar Gorge

Climbed 660 feet from the cafe to the top of the gorge over a distance of 2 miles. I did have to stop at the steepest point and take a breather but apart from that, and a couple of photo stops, did it without walking at all. Chuffed about that, especially as this is one of the climbs that was included in a past Tour of Britain cycle race.  Coming back down was exhilarating, not least because the wild sheep were grazing far too near the roadside for my liking. It was quite cold as well, rushing down the mountain!

Thanks to James for the loan of his bike. Would never have managed this with the higher gear ratios on my road bike.  Covered 30 miles in all today.

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