Saturday 23 June 2012


So far I’ve cycled 618 Km, or 384 Miles. I’ve had one day off, and zero punctures. I’d meant to write sooner but so far haven’t been inspired to do so. The cycling is going swimmingly. Apart from setting off in the wrong direction from Yeovil, there are no problems to report of with anything bike related.
Even though I’m recording everything in kilometres, as that’s what every country I’m going to travel through uses, I’m going to try and write in miles as well since I know most people in the UK and US aren’t too kilometre savvy. I’m sure I’ll grow tired of converting soon. I should also add that I’m using my cycle computer and my GPS to record statistics, and the results vary slightly due to what they don’t bother recording (when I pause or go too slowly). I am keeping a logbook of my cycle computer and transferring the GPS data onto my laptop and then using whichever I feel is most accurate. This is the reason for any error in unit conversions.
Day 1 – 16.06.2012
– Distance Covered 97.36 km (60.8 miles), Average Speed 20.15 KMH (12.52 MPH), Height Gained 823.7 metres (2,703 ft), Height Lost 845.4 metres (2774 ft)
I arrived at the Hospice on Saturday morning 45 minutes before departure time. I was actually quite thankful that pretty much no one had shown up. As much as I do want to raise publicity for what I’m doing, I’d spent so much effort planning it all that I didn’t really feel like sharing the first few moments of the trip with too many people. I don’t mean to sound ungrateful for support, but I’d grown tired of people asking the same questions and just wanted to get on with it! In the end my send off was quite perfect as Brooke from St Margaret’s Hospice, who has helped me with my fundraising, my parents and a photographer from the local paper were there. No one more, no one less than what I’d secretly hoped for.
On my first day I covered 60 miles from Yeovil to the west boundary of the New Forest, just past Ringwood, I was going to wild camp, but it was sort of cheating as I went back to the same place as I slept on my test run the weekend before. It was by far the hilliest day of the trip so far, winding through beautiful Somerset and Hampshire fields. I stopped off for lunch to see an old friend in Blandford where she teaches, before arriving in the New Forest around 5pm.
Testing out my camera’s timed photo feature as I have a feeling it will be used a lot. – Lunch with Milly
As my parents didn’t want to have to share their goodbye with lots of people (who we thought might come to my departure), they came out and saw me for half an hour or so to say our final goodbyes! Mum brought me Doritos which I liked.

That night I slept for 14 hours. Actually, for the first 3 day of my trip I crashed (not literally) as soon as I stopped cycling. My head would hurt and I’d be completely exhausted; I had no problem falling asleep while it was still light.
Day 2
– Distance Covered 99.26 km (62 miles), Average Speed 20.15 KMH (12.52 MPH), Height Gained 569.8 metres (1,869 ft), Height Lost 582.2 metres (1,910 ft)
That morning I filled up my bottles from a stream and sterilised the water with my Steripen. This has been the only time I’ve needed it so far but I have to say, even though the water tasted a bit like stream, it was hugely satisfying being able to drink from a stream and know I wouldn’t get ill. Washing in the stream was equally refreshing. I had to rush that bit though as a person and dog came by and I didn’t want to scare anyone. For anyone wondering, I used the filter that came with the Steripen to make sure that no bits got in my drink!
My destination that day was West Lavant, Chichester, in a field next to my old house. On my way there I used the A27, which unbeknown to me becomes that M27 for a mile or two around Portsmouth. After that, however, I managed to find ‘National Cycle Network 2’, a route which goes all the way from Cornwall to Dover along the coast! I stuck with this for  the majority of the journey to come. Going along the coast has one main advantage; it’s flat! Well, at least it is where the coast comprises of beaches. Passing Eastbourne the next day was a different matter.
When I got to Chichester I headed over to Pizza Express, and enjoyed a hard-earned meal of garlic bread with mozzarella and a pizza margarita. This stop was particularly useful as the waiter filled up my bottles for me, a lot nicer than my source for Day 3
Day 3
– Distance Covered 122.11 km (75.88 miles), Average Speed 19.78 KMH (12.29 MPH), Height Gained 762.8 metres (2,505 ft), Height Lost 783.3 metres (2,570 ft)
The only water I could find was the sinks in the public toilets in Chichester. Unfortunately they were those metal automated sinks like you find in old McDonalds. It was a pay-off for getting to use a real toilet I suppose. Someone had filled in a small hole in the door of the cubicle I used, but I pulled all the tissue out so I could make sure no one was touching my bike!
The morning consisted of casually cruising along the A27 until suddenly…
Wham! This moment made me so happy. Reaching the sea around Worthing.
A cyclist’s heaven in Brighton
As I mentioned earlier, it wasn’t all flat that day. The hills around Eastbourne where vicious. A fast, busy road with absolutely no where to go but up thanks to hedges lining the road. See if you can spot the two hills I’m talking about below.
eastbourne elevation
The end of the day was incredibly pleasant. When planning my route to Dover before starting the trip, I knew that my first night would be in the New Forest, the second in Chichester and the fourth in Dover. So I chose somewhere on Google Maps that was equidistant from Chichester and Dover for my third night. It’s called Norman’s bay, and it’s beautiful.
A three mile detour off the nearest main road, weaving through a local nature reserve, Norman’s Bay is made up of not much more than a big pub and deserted beach huts. I made the beach huts my home that night. Since they were private huts, someone had even bothered to put some grass in front of them which was considerate.
In case you can’t tell, this is a panoramic photo, capturing light from 180 degrees.

I will upload the rest of this entry tomorrow night! For now, here’s a tour of my bike. Sorry I’m so behind on my blogging, I promise to catch up by Monday when I’ll have proper internet (I’m currently sitting in a square in Belgium and can hardly see my screen!)

1 comment:

  1. Looks like you are doing well! Yay Jude :)

    Will keep checking back to your blog to see where you are.

    Love Rebecca and everyone else in the office.