Monday, 20 June 2011

Cycle to Sunrise Festival - Our Winners account

We recently gave away some tickets to Sunrise festival, our Winner Gary Bee cycled from Cheddar as part of his prize, read his brilliant account below. 

Cheddar, Somerset to Sunrise Festival! Nr Bruton, Somerset

It was Wednesday and tomorrow, Sunrise Festival was starting in a field near Bruton in Somerset. My friend was driving to Bath so i hitched a lift with him to Cheddar and decided to camp in the gorge there for the night.

We woke up in the morning, looked out the window and WOW! It was so beautiful, we drank tea and went for a climb up the cliffs to the top to look at it from above and admire the views...I can’t begin to describe how beautiful it is up there, here are the photos.

 I looked down the gorge at the road that swerves beautifully down to the village and thought how wicked it would be to bomb it down it on my bike and when we got back down to the van looked at the map to see how far it would be to cycle to the festival from Cheddar. It was about 22 miles. It was a beautiful sunny day. Game on!

I made a small bag of food and water, drank another tea and said chou chou to my friend as he headed off to Bath. Strapped my bag to my bike and off I went we had camped near the highest point in the gorge and the ride down to the village was fantastic!

Cycling at high speeds round the bends....weeeeee!! It was so cool...I would have been happy as Larry just to stay there for the day going up and down the gorge! But I had a festival to get to! So off I went.
At the bottom of the gorge was the village of Cheddar which had a lovely feel to it, there were caves to explore and some lovely old cottages and ponds, with the huge cliffs of the gorge to set the backdrop.

 I hit the main road on the other side of the villiage and headed to Wells.
The ride to Wells was rather pleasant; the road was smothered with the wonderful smell of fresh elderflower practically all the way! The ride was a nice steady set of rolling hills with a good view over Somerset and Glastonbury Tor sitting pretty on the horizon. I thought it would take a long time to get to Wells but when I was thinking i was maybe about half way there was the sign welcoming me to the city! Awesome!

I realised that it was going to be a lot quicker ride than i had anticipated, so i decided i had plenty of time to stop in Wells, be a tourist and have some lunch!
I decided to head straight to the cathedral as i thought there would be plenty of space and hopefully some grass around there to sit on so I cycled through the city keeping my eye on the spire as my guiding light.

 I ventured onward towards the spire but before we got to the cathedral I found a castle! wow! there was a castle in Wells! And it had a moat! A moat! It was very beautiful! And there were swans! But you had to pay to get in through the gate, and i didn’t have a battle ram or catapult, so I went on to the cathedral. There was plenty of grass there for me to chill out on for a while.

The Cathedral was big and Cathedral-like with a huge green in front surrounded by quaint little cottages. It was a great place for lunch!

I decided from Wells I would go via Shepton Mallet to the festival, and after a good hour of relaxing in the sunshine me and my trusty steed took to the road!
The road out of Wells was a bit new and wide with fast cars, which was a bit disappointing and I thought maybe it would be like that until Shepton Mallet but it was no more than a mile before being back on the windy country roads I love! There weren’t many hills on this bit of road and it followed up through a woody valley most of the way. It felt completely different to the first part of the journey between Cheddar and Wells which was quite open with good views; Wells to Shepton Mallet was more of a cosy ride through a valley. Both were delightful in different ways.

When I arrived at Shepton Mallet I decided not to stop but to carry on through onto the festival. I went through the town and stopped on a nice bench on the other side so that I could have a little water before carrying on. After Shepton Mallet the road opened up again and there was a nice steady downhill run for a few miles on the way to Bruton with views across the fields. Until now there were no hills that I’d found particularly challenging but in front of me there was a massive one! My legs wept! But I was up for it!! And with determination and enthusiasm I made it at least half way (!) before getting off and walking! It was steep and long!

But, there was a festival nearby and I knew I wasn’t that far now! (though I did wonder how many more hills like this there were on the other side of the hill before the festival!!) I finally arrived at the top of the hill, and, at the top of every BIG hill, you must never forget, there is a BEAUTIFUL view!! I looked back across in the direction I came...I could see for miles!! It was like a prize for conquering the hill!

I cycled a little further and came to a junction and decided to stand on a gate to see if i could see the festival from my hilltop view...and there it was!! Sunrise Festival!! YES!!! But there was one big valley between me and the festival! No problem!

 I decided to go freestyle and risk getting lost on the country lanes thinking that the contours looked easier if i went around the valley on the ridge of the hills, it felt good inside so off i went down some farm lane with an optimistic smile! And it turned out perfect!! There was one hill on that route but it was not even a fraction as challenging as the previous! I rode for another half hour getting a peek of the festival through the gaps in the hedge every now and then; getting bigger and bigger, closer and closer!! And HEY PRESTO!! TA DAAAAAA!! I arrived!!! SUNRISE FESTIVAL

Party time was about to begin!!! ....but that’s another story!!!

Many Thanks again for getting me to Sunrise 2011, Cycling Somerset.  The experience of cycling there has made it extra special and something I will certainly never forget! It was a wonderful way to start the festival!! And I want to do more adventurous rides now!! Thanks and thanks again!!


Would you cycle to a Festival,or have you done in the past? we'd love to hear from you. 

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