The Two Tunnels

Day 136: Bath to Glastonbury England, Saturday September 2nd

Pedro told us about a couple of really long cycle tunnels nearby, and when I looked at Google Maps I realized that the recommended route went through them. The route I had originally planned to take was longer and hillier. Decision made! We love bike tunnels.

Cycle route 244 turned out to be another rail trail, this one much newer than the Bristol/Bath cycleway. It’s also known as the Two Tunnels Greenway. The tunnels did not disappoint. The first, the Devonshire tunnel, is just over 400m long, and it’s just a warm-up. The Combe Down Tunnel is almost 1700m long! The longest cycling tunnel in Britain. In the middle section they pipe in music, possibly to keep walkers from losing their minds.

Once we escaped Khazad-dûm and returned to the sunlit overworld, the route passed by Midford Castle, once owned by Nic Cage.

We picked up cycle route 24, and took it along country roads and through a couple of very small villages until we hit Radstock. Both Appa and Momo had some pretty loose brakes by this point, so when we spotted a cycle shop we went in to ask for help. Sam, the young man in the shop, said that they didn’t normally do repairs on Saturdays, but he’d see what he could do. We walked out for a pint to kill an hour.

Radstock had little to recommend it, but we found a not-unpleasant pub full of tradesmen taking a break from work. The owner was curious about us, and she gave us two pints of rough cider on the house.

Pleased with our free drinks, we returned to the shop and were delighted to find that Sam had adjusted our brakes and made them much more responsive. He said the pads would last the rest of the trip, which was good news, because the replacements that were sold to me in Viborg, Denmark, turned out to be the wrong size.

From Radstock we relied on Google Maps to cut west to Wells, where we picked up cycle route 3 to Glastonbury. We roared down a long decline into Wells, catching glimpses of the distant Tor and thanking the gods for brakes that work. The descent was reminiscent of the drop down the escarpment last August on our Ontario tour.

At the bottom of the hill was the magnificent Wells Cathedral. We stopped for pictures and to watch all the people on the green. We’d arrived just as a market was ending, and we walked our bikes through the square, enjoying the sights.

Route 3 took us the rest of the way to Glastonbury, and our Airbnb was excellent. Judith, her nephew Owen, and her sweet rescue dog, Milo, made us feel at home. We walked to a grocery store for supplies, had what we call Smashed Potatoes for dinner, and turned in early.

Distance: 46 km

$86 + bike repair

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