The Jones' family bike ride – Bristol to London, August 2010 (part 1)
Cycling with the family can be a great way to spend a holiday. It keeps you active and healthy, plus you see some great sites along the way. And perhaps best of all, after burning all those calories you can eat what you like – you are on holiday after all!
Andy Jones wrote in to tell us about his recent family cycling holiday:
We are a family of five from Emersons Green, Bristol. I'm Andy, and Suzy is my wife. Max and Charlie are our teenage twins and Molly is the youngest at 9. Last month, we cycled from Bristol to London.
Suzy is a student children’s nurse and she is off to Kenya for a month in September to work in an orphanage.
This bike ride was part of a sponsorship initiative to raise money to take medical supplies to Mama Orphans Children’s Home in Busia, Kenya.
We planned the journey ourselves with a view to completing it over three days. The total distance was 142 miles and we hoped to follow the NCN route number 4 along the Kennet and Avon canal path all the way to London. Here's how it went...
Day one: Bristol to Devizes
We were all ready to go by 8:30am and lots of neighbours and family came out to wave us off.
Molly couldn’t eat much before we left home so by the time we got to Bath she needed food. A first time experience of pancakes with maple syrup – “delicious” - she said and put in an order for more.
We rode on from Bath to Bradford-on-Avon where we stopped and enjoyed lunch at the Cross Guns pub.
We continued along the canal path to Devizes, where we experienced a shock to the system – a series of locks and a long hill by the side of them….
By 6pm we had arrived at the Black Swan Hotel – a nice welcome, good food and a good nights rest was needed by all.
Day one: Bristol to Devizes = 37 Miles
Day two: Devizes to Reading
We got off to a slow start. Charlie’s rear wheel was buckled but we found a bike shop that could fix the problem straight away. Because of this delay, we didn't leave Devizes until 11am.
The route took us off the canal path and onto the roads. It was much harder and there were a lot more hills than we had expected.
Luckily we had stocked up with sweets and all the children’s favourites before we left Devizes, which certainly gave the children and us the energy to carry on!
We pushed on and tried to make up lost time, but it didn’t pay off as Charlie had an asthma attack, so we slowed down and took it easy.
We didn’t arrive in Reading until 11pm. At the time, it wasn't funny as we had not planned to be riding in the dark. We did have bike lights, but the concern was the limited rest time.
Not surprisingly, everyone settled straight down into bed.
Day two: Devizes to Reading = 63 Miles
Part 2 follows tomorrow.