With the Tour Divide a definite no go for 2021 with all the issues associated with Coronavirus, flights and border crossings we decided not to waste all the hard earned fitness we had accrued and decided to do a two week trip for the purpose of both getting a few miles in and making sure that we could survive that length of time together without murdering each other!
Days 1 to 5
124 miles – 2733 feet climbing – Worthing to East Stoke
Day one started with the excitement and enthusiasm of any trip of this type, we were excited and looking forward to getting some miles under our belts. Both of us had ridden this section multiple times and to be honest the section to Gosport just slipped past, it’s definitely not the most exciting part of the trip! But once we’d crossed the harbour we were onto parts we ride a little less, so the interest levels went up a bit.
The real fun though started when we got over to the New Forest, we love riding over there and it was so much fun to be back on those tracks. The sun was shining and life was good. All good things come to the end though and eventually we left the forest behind and made to to Christchurch, then on to Bournemouth beach.
Bournemouth beach has a great cycle path, with very strict times for cyclists. As luck would have it we got there at 18:15, so we were able to ride. Being one of the first weekends of “freedom” post Covid lockdown the beach was absolutely packed. Within ten meters we had our first “Karen” telling us we weren’t allowed to be there, we politely informed her of her error and carried on! It was short lived though, the beach was so busy and to be honest after lockdown being around that many people was terrifying! At the next exit we got back onto the road and stayed on it all the way down to the Sandbanks ferry.
I absolutely love the Isle of Purbeck and the next section I know well, we made our way towards Wareham and figured we’d stop for supplies and yet more water.
Whilst Chris was doing his shopping I googled campsites, we’d planned to wild camp, but it had been so hot I wanted a shower at the end of the day. I had a phone call with a campsite owner, who was a little grumpy, but I played the trump card and said we’d just ridden 130 miles. This did the trick and he told us where we could pitch when we got there.
It was still another ten miles or so, but I was happy to have somewhere to stop and get cleaned up. Post shower the owner turned up and apologised for being grumpy as he was out for a meal, he said he always liked to help out people doing this sort of thing and he let us both stay for a tenner, winning!!
You can see the full gallery here: Flickr