Being one of ‘those guys’ once the dust was beginning to settle on this idea and preliminary plans, and hopes, began to fall into place I’ve gone back to the route to get a better idea of what I have to look forward to. On closer inspection the route has me on the A38. This is a deal breaker for this route, although legal the A38 in this part of the world is the closest we have to a motorway and with my previous statement still standing there is no way I’m riding on that road. So Dartmoor is back in the mix, and the new plan is drawn up almost instantly.
The plan now is to use the traffic free Plym valley cycle route out of Plymouth and re-join the road at Yelverton, and then off up and over Dartmoor. Once passed Exeter the route is the same. I have also noticed the added bonus that once I get to Chepstow, when I’m tired and probable broken mentally, the route then re-joins the Sustrains network (http://www.sustrans.org.uk/) of traffic free long distance traffic routes. These routes are amazing, usually built on old disused railways so have been beautifully engineered with gradual climbs – which will be perfect after 150 miles in the saddle.
Due to the route review it’s now a little longer – 247 miles, because it wasn’t long enough already! There is also an extra 100m of climbing which, to be honest, is less than I had anticipated. That’s the route now sorted and Im happy with what it looks like I have in stall. I still don’t actually know exactly what is in stall but it looks much more bike friendly than the previous route. Now it’s time to start thinking about what kit will be needed and how to navigate the route.