So the day came, after a distinctly average night’s sleep, or lack of one. I got all my stuff ready, feeling rather apprehensive, and a bit lonesome. Everyone gathered in the car park, and I didn’t know anyone. Bill introduced himself to me as we were waiting, and I found the PHUK.dis mob who I’d “met” online, which helped a bit. After the briefing we finally set off, following the orange arrows that were to guide us all the way to Paris.
It wasn’t the best ride. Lots of gusty headwind, grey gloomy English roads, and a whole heap of hills. The stops were good – all at or near pubs so with toilet facilities. We lunched in a nice park near Jane Austen’s house, on the inevitable pasta and carbs. I managed to get a tad lost near Farnham and had to retrace my steps, but apart from that the route went fine. My cycle computer stopped working for a bit as I discovered the magnet was a tad knackered, so the mechanic crew taped it on to the spoke with black tape. Not attractive, but it did the job. You know how I like to have my figures!
Average Speed 13.5
I think the average speed was pretty much down to the hills. To have the South “Downs” you have to have the South “Ups” and there were some corkers. In fact there wasn’t much decent flat to get going on at all. Somewhere along the way I met Jon and we cycled together on and off for a while. The last huge climb up Portland Hill before Portsmouth was a corker…but I made it up without getting off and even spent some time at the top admiring the views over the harbour. Luckily as I know the scenery there vaguely, I knew where the top was, so I just plodded my way up. I’d left Jon behind so headed down into a busy Portsmouth on my own where I met Kevin and Ian for the first time and we headed off to the “holding” stop together.
Gradually it felt like the L2P was getting started. Our little group grew, as Lorne (in impressively psychedelic kit) joined us, and Bill too, and we had quite a laugh killing time before we were allowed to head off to the ferry. By the time we were on the ferry I had people to go spend time with in the bar, had found Sophie who was to be my roomy for the trip, and was feeling much better about it all. Day 1 was done 🙂
(taken over from Hubby)