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.




SONY DSC

Day one saw us take the northerly route, heading up and West into the South Downs and skirting above Southampton.

SONY DSC

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.
IMG_7494
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.

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

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.

IMG_7500

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.

SONY DSC

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.

SONY DSC

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.

SONY DSC

 

SONY DSC

The B&B was called Dormers and was run by a lovely couple who even offered to run us into town.

SONY DSC

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.
IMG_7509 (1)

The return leg

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!
IMG_7513 (1)
Day two 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.
IMG_7516 (1)
Needless to say we were not impressed and headed south to our next tourist spot of the day, Corfe Castle.
SONY DSC

SONY DSC

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.
SONY DSC
SONY DSC
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.
IMG_7519
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.
IMG_7520
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.
SONY DSC
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.
SONY DSC
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.
SONY DSC
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 ­čÖé
With the sun setting and our lights flashing, the last few miles whizzed by as we made it back home to Southsea.