Sorry - finger trouble - hit send by mistake on part 1!
Having taken our leave of John and Frieda and made our way back through the hedge onto the cycle route we headed for Coleford. A long climb of over a mile although it wasn't too hard going. We paused near the top to apply various creams to various body parts.
We were caught up by another cyclist doing the end to end thing. We chatted for a while before he pedalled on ahead of us.
We got to Coleford around 5 p.m. and decided to preserve the extra miles we had in the bank by pushing on to Ross on Wye. The road signs wanted to take us a different way from the planned route but we stuck with the GPS - and encountered a 1 in 5 downhill that descended for the best part of a mile. Sandy went for it and got up to nearly 40 mph. I was a bit more cautious and only hit about 35! I am glad we hit this going down and not up! It wold have been a long walk. We lost all the height that we had gained in one go.
The rest of the route into Ross was uneventful. It started to rain as we got close but we sheltered for a few minutes and it soon cleared. As we got into town the cyclist we met earlier reappeared. He had gone looking for a youth hostel but not found it. Interesting because we saw the signs for it. He started the same day as us but chose to go over Dartmoor which we had skirted. He had also gotten a puncture that he couldn't fix in the rain and wrecked a tyre as a result. Then he got lost in Bristol which we also avoided.
We went looking for a b&b - again not very straightforward but a lot less difficult than last night.
The first place we tried was shut - the second and third were full, but the owner of the second was in the third (a pub) and phoned another close by which it turned out had a free family room. Good enough for us so we headed for The White Lion.
The photo at the top is taken from the beer garden at the back. We decided to phone ahead and book accommodation for tomorrow in Ironbridge. We need to do some washing as well so Sandy sussed out some laundrettes in Telford. That done we headed downstairs for something to eat and drink and sat in the beer garden right next to the river. We watched the swans and ducks along with the Swifts/Swallows. A heron landed on the opposite side of the river where it fished for a while.
We covered just under 72 miles today bringing the total up to 307. Tomorrow should be a few miles shorter as long as we don't take any wrong turns.
We should get to one third distance tomorrow and also halfway back to Edinburgh.
All in all a satisfactory day. The terrain wasn't quite as easy as yesterday but we managed a slightly better average of 11.5 mph in a little over 6 hours of cycling. Actually Sandy was a little bit quicker but my excuses are a combination of being careful with gears and also being careful not to stress my knee any more than I can help :-).