First 200km ride of the year, starting out at Salisbury Cathedral.
Not far out of Salisbury and the tarmac ran out for a short while.
…and a couple of kilometres later the gravel ran out.
Crossing the River Test on the way to Winchester.
60 km in and the second cathedral of the day at Winchester. A bit behind schedule due to some poor navigation half way between Salisbury and here.
In order to avoid some busy road junctions out of Winchester decide to join the South Downs Way for a few kilometres.
Gateway to the South Downs Way.
High on the South Downs Way and to the south I could see the lumpy silhouette of the Isle of Wight and the Solent shining silver in sunlight.
Looking back down Old Winchester Hill.
Descending from Old Winchester Hill towards East Meon.
After quite a few “I think I’m here, oh hang on, I’m not” moments I eventually get to Selborne, home of Rev. Gilbert White, 1720-93, pioneering natural historian and nature writer. Well behind schedule at this point due to wind and a lot of stopping to look at maps (route notes featuring names of lanes are only any good if the lanes in question have name signs, and it seems Hampshire doesn’t do name signs). Need to plan a 2-3 day ride that allows time to visit Gilbert White’s house. Maybe an Edward Thomas ‘In Pursuit Of Spring’ type ride.
Heading towards Bepton.
Starting to feel tired at about 150km, and daylight is fading. Between Cocking and Heyshott I decide to deviate from planned route and head for the coast via Arundel. The coastal ride home isn’t as nice but in the dark it has lit cycle lanes rather than pitch black lanes. And it’s flat. Oh, and it gives me the option of many train stations if I decide to give up for the day. However I did forget about the absolute sod of a hill I have to get over to get into Arundel.
167 kilometres, Arundel Cathedral.
Almost on Littlehampton. Seriously considering the train at this point, but I know if I can get to Littlehampton then I can get to Worthing, and if I can get to Worthing I can get to Shoreham, etc.
Cycle path out of Worthing and I can see the lights of home along the coast.
Shoreham Harbour. Almost home.
210 km, home.