Thursday 25 May 2023

Double cycle ride to Chew Valley Lake

We are very near to Sustrans cycle route 4, and at our junction there is a turnoff and a signpost saying 'Chew Valley Lake 11 miles'. I have noticed it quite a few times, but had never heard of the Chew Valley, nor its lake, however two days ago I decided that we would follow the signs and see what it was like.

Within a mile we were whizzing along quiet and undulating single track roads through beautiful countryside, and then we turned a corner into an incredible village. 

It had a huge viaduct behind it, and a fast flowing stream that ran underneath most of the cottages. It was called Pensford and we will definitely be returning for a longer look.

Then on to the Lake that is actually a man made reservoir, but best of all it had a lovely fish and chip shop that also did a great line in cakes and coffee. 

After a nice break we got back on our bikes, and obviously we would never go back home the way that we came.  I had a rough route in mind, but we got lost for a few miles before almost ending up back at the lake and starting again. 

Eventually we got home after some more lovely cycling and it was such a good outing that we decided to do it again two days later and get it right this time. 

Darren carefully plotted the return journey and all went well, we got to the lake, ate more coffee and cake and then set off home. Three miles later my bike made a huge clanging sound and the chain snapped. 

I was totally stranded, although by a marvellous coincidence, I was less than 100 metres away from a very pretty pub with a beer garden and Somerset cider on draft. 

So I ended up sitting in the sun drinking cider for a couple of hours as Darren cycled home, got in the car and drove out to rescue me.

A surprisingly good second visit. 

Saturday 6 May 2023

Run Report, Somerdale Pavilion parkrun

 Today Darren and I volunteered at Somerdale Pavilion parkrun. It was pouring with rain, so normally I would have given the parkrun a miss, but we couldn't let them down, and now that I am home again and dry, I am glad that we went. 

Darren did the run and then did barcode scanning. I also did the run, but volunteered to write up the run report. It seems a bit lazy, but here it is reproduced in my blog. 

Run Report 

I arrived early at my favourite course in the pouring rain, and found a good spot to shelter under the overhang of a small kit shed. Eventually I was surrounded by lots of cheerful people and we were nearly ready to start. 

At five minutes to nine, the Run Director led everyone on to the course, which at that moment just looked like an empty grassy field. The briefing was short and cheerful, he pointed us in the direction of a mown path, told us to follow it for two and bit laps and that he would see us at the end. 

The volunteers took up their positions around the course, the Run Director picked up the Finish sign and headed in to the middle of the field, and the runners headed off for the famous Curly Wurly. 

As always, it looked totally chaotic, but in reality everyone ran in the right direction, and although a bit soggy, made it round to the finishing line. 


Today there was 111 athletes, including three first timers, 35 visitors and 24 people who achieved a course personal best (me included). 

Also thank you to the brilliant volunteers who stood out in the rain for longer than anyone else. 

Interesting moments:-

Congratulations to Martin Leach who completed his 99th parkrun and very generously brought along a huge box of Flakes to share. 

Fantastic feat - I have never heard of this before but I believe that one young couple came along with their toddlers. The dad ran the parkrun, then went to look after the kids while the mum then started her parkrun and finished before the tail runner. Great effort.