Garry McGivern’s Dorset bicycle ride, Thursday 2nd-July-2015 Langton Matravers to Bognor Regis. 94 miles. I was up nice and early today and on the road by six-thirty. I needed to get past Bournemouth before ten o’clock. The cycle route along the prom is closed to cyclists between 10 am and 6 pm in July and August. And the alternative is along busy roads full of dithering old biddies.
My early start also worked out well with the weather. The forecast was for heavy rain coming in from the West, which I just about managed to stay ahead of. And it only just caught me when I reached Brockenhurst. I just stopped and went to a café for a fry-up until the rain passed.
I came home a different way to the one I’d usually take from Swanage. Normally I’d go home via the Isle of Wight as it’s a more direct route. But I’d bought return ferry tickets on my way out and wanted to use them. I also wanted to see the difference in mileage between the two routes. It turned out there are about fourteen miles in it, with the Isle of Wight route the shortest. Although some of those miles may be down to me getting lost in the New Forest.
Bloody Cycle Routes
If you remember, on my way down to Brockenhurst, I lost the cycle route once I’d reached the New Forest. Well, today I found it and now know how I lost it. The route went off-road and through the forest. Maybe I deliberately chose to lose it! But whatever the reason, I decided to follow it today. And wished I hadn’t!
I was following the signs through the woods when all of a sudden, the trail was blocked. A bridge that crossed the railway line was closed for repair, and there was no way around it. There was also no alternative route signed. I wasn’t the only one who was stuck. There was a group of teenagers on their Duke of Edinburgh award. But at least they had a good old Ordnance Survey map with some detail. My map was just a cycle map, showing a line through the woods, with nothing to reference it against. As I stood there talking with the teenagers, their teacher, Mr Cox, came along and directed me back about a mile to a different bridge. From where I could pick up the cycle route again.
It’s been a good few days away. I won’t call it a tour as I haven’t done that many miles. But I’ve found some nice little routes which I will probably cycle on in the future. I eventually walked indoors at about ten-thirty at night, it would have been a lot earlier, but I called in at my local and was there for three hours!
Total miles covered in the past four days 245.
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