The Valley it’s self is a steep sided valley near the sea. The rocks have corroded in an odd way, it doesn’t look like anywhere else. To add to the weirdness, it is home to a flock of wild goats.
The route goes to Lynmouth before the Valley of the Rocks so it’s necessary to ascend what is probably the steepest sustained hill in Devon. After about 100 metres of maybe 16% it kicks up and there is a section even steeper than that. Once again I wasn’t able to ride up it and had to push. This is the only hill that regularly defeats me!
After stopping at the cafe in the Valley of the Rocks I set off, only to realise my back tyre was flat. Closer examination showed that the rear tyre was worn, with lots of nicks and cuts. This is todays top tip: before taking the winter bike out with last years tyres on do check that the tyres are still good.
I got to the last control before the finish and asked Simon what the time was. 7pm he replied. Hmm. I’d hoped to be finished by 7:30pm but it was still over 40km of more hills. I eventually rolled in to the finish at 9pm. On the plus side I felt good on the last section.
Riding home in the rain was surprisingly pleasant