With the summer sun already burning bright Arunas, Ben, Tony and myself Andy set off on a weekend adventure to Dorset on our track bikes.
saw us take the northerly route, heading up and West into the South Downs and skirting above Southampton.
After a water, and in Tony’s case cake (courtesy of Nicky from the of The Angelcake Company
), stop in Romsey we soon found ourselves surrounded by wild animals and on poorly surfaced roads.
I know what your thinking and no we hadn’t taken a wrong turn into Southampton we had in fact made it to the New Forest.
After a rather rude roadie took us on a downhill after sitting on the back for a while we smashed him on the next incline, taking us over the 40 mile mark for the day. To celebrate the halfway point and to hydrate in true club style we stopped at one of the most idyllic pub I have ever been to, the Cuckoo Inn, Hamptworth for our first pint of the trip.
As we got back on the bikes the temperature must have been in the 30’s and with a distinct lack of water bottles progress was slow as we stopped for ice cold drinks at vertically every pub for the next 20 miles or so.
As we entered Dorset the road surface seemed to improve and traffic was extremely light. This all lead to some fantastic riding, but with the heat still on us cramp started to creep in.
After another pub stop just 15 miles from the B&B where we all tried to hydrate as much as possible we rolled on into Sandford.
The B&B was called Dormers
and was run by a lovely couple who even offered to run us into town.
Soon we were all showered and ready for some food and a victory pint. Luckily for us Wareham
has a great selection of pubs and after trying most of them, being talked out of jumping off a bridge into the river and watching two different bands we hopped in a cap with a couple of friendly locals and called it a night.
Before leaving the next day we were treated to a cracking breakfast, including home laid eggs! Special thanks for adjusting mine to be fully Vegan!
was not holding back right from the get go as we had 3 big climbs right out the gate. The first took us to The Blue Pool
, but in true UK tradition there was a £5.50 entry charge each to see this natural beauty.
Needless to say we were not impressed and headed south to our next tourist spot of the day, Corfe Castle
From here we took an amazing back road along the crest of the hills with plenty of rolling climbs and tight bends with a view over the valley to Swanage.
This brought us to a long flat road leading to the Sandbanks ferry where we could really open up with out fear of an oncoming tractor around every bend.
By the time the ferry turned up there were quite a bunch of cyclists, no surprise really what with it being a Sunday morning, and after we landed the peloton took off lead by our very own Arunas. Unfortunately we needed to make a right on to Bournemouth beach
prom and had to wait for him to finish showing the carbon roadies how it’s done before looping back.
The beach was already packed and we opted for the ‘if you can’t beat em, join em’ approach and set up camp on the sand as Tony & Ben took a swim.
After finally having enough of walking along the prom we cut up a side road and rejoined our route, eventually escaping Bournemouth’s grasp after a spot of fine dining at the city’s premier restaurant.
As we raced through the south of the New Forest heading east we new it would be tight on making the last ferry back from Hythe
. As it turned out we all still had plenty left in the tank and we had just enough time for a cheeky pint before boarding.
From Southampton we headed north east and back on to familiar roads. We stopped at The Kings Head
in Whickham for some snacks and refreshments. By this point we were all feeling the speed, heat and hills in our legs, not to mention all the beers from the night before.
Wanting to extend the trip, and eat some real food not just chips, we planned to make on last stop in Southwick, just a few miles outside Portsmouth. Upon arrival and to our horror the Golden Lion
was closed, but Luckily the Red Lion
was still very much open and happy to go off menu for a lovely Vegan dinner 🙂
With the sun setting and our lights flashing, the last few miles whizzed by as we made it back home to Southsea.