Friday the 15th August – Odd Down to Bristol Airport Circuit
Fresh from his solo jaunt around Holland, Lindsay had an early morning rush of blood, brushed the cobwebs off the road bile and headed out into a glorious Somerset sunrise. Without the weight of panniers, tents etc, progress was rather quicker. The plan was to measure how far it was out to Bristol airport and stop there for coffee.
After the Rush Hill rollercoaster and the A4 to Saltford, navigation was straight forward, following the NC route 410 to Ludsgate Bottom aka Bristol airport. It worked fine, and the route was fairly well/consistently signed, with a glorious moment of a hot-air balloon appearing over a local church.
21 miles later it was an arrival at the airport, and very easy to get the bike all the way into departures. Two lads were packing up bikes to fly to Venice on a Euro jaunt, and passed on the advice that British Airways don’t charge for flying bikes out, and also provide very useful and light plastic bike bags (similar to mattress bags) – worth knowing!
EasyJet customer services informed me that, on this day, I could fly to a choice of 11 venues, as there were unsold seats. However no last minute discounts are made, and as it was Friday in the school summer holidays. no bargains:- Toulouse (£116), Barcelona (£140) Amsterdam (£116) were most attractive – however there would be an additional charge of £45 to carry the bike.
Coming as no surprise to Tom I guess, the RyanAir “customer services” desk were not as helpful. No price list scribbled for me, just the advice to “check the website”, and its £60 to carry a bike (each flight). Both needed a very reasonable 2 hour period between turning up and flight departure. But booking in advance is cheaper, neither do last day discounts.
After an ok Subway coffee it was a return ride involving a combination of the pleasant 410, 334 and 33 NC routes into Bristol city. The plan to bike along the Bristol-Bath cycle path was abandoned due to time faults, and the temptation to dive on the train at Temple Meads. A rammed train heading to Portsmouth and poor coach labelling led to a slight winding-up of the guard, and a bit of heaving a bike into a packed corridor …… Holland can teach us so much…. Finally a quick bit of blagging to get out at Bath, as my ticket was for Oldfield Park.
21 miles to the airport (1.75 hours), 10 miles to Bristol (1 hour) – a pleasant circuit with purpose, variety and a reasonable distance / time. Hopefully the first of many rides from Bath to blog and map.