Exmouth – Weymouth
5816 feet climbed
2901 calories burnt
Cumulative miles cycled = 3,075.44 miles
Cumulative feet climbed =169,849 feet
Cumulative calories burnt = 138,445 calories
Overnight, we were treated to the usual midnight rain shower, clearing the way for a beautiful morning looking out over Exmouth bay. Dad and I kitted up relatively quickly and we were pretty sharpish to get on the road. We knew it was going to be a hilly morning, so we planned to stop in Lyme Regis about 25 miles down the road.
We managed to follow NCN Route 2 for most of the morning, however we came a bit of a cropper after we crossed the River Otter as there was mud waist deep (slight exaggeration) across the road, so we had to get off, carry the bikes and trudge over it, my poor white Mavic shoes got a bit dirty L! We went through some stunning coastal towns, such as Beer, that was located in the dip of a valley, very secluded and made up of beautiful thatched roof cottages.
There were some incredibly stiff climbs over the morning, the worst was probably the one after Sidmouth, it went on for miles! At the top, past Salcombe Regis we passed the Norman Lockyer Observatory. Whilst cycling along the top of the red sandstone cliffs, we caught sight of the English Channel and a huge weather front that was coming in so we tried to get going to reach our lunch stop of Lyme Regis, in the next county of Dorset!
Our lunch stop was in a lay-by in front of a farmer’s field just after the climb out of Lyme Regis, we were finally in Dorset and cycling the Jurassic Coast. Harry heated up the pasta we had last night and we ate that, whilst Mum and Dad had the rest of the leek and tatty soup. I tried to defy the elements and have lunch outside, it was not meant to be and I ended up sloping back inside after eating. It’s difficult to be cramped up in the motorhome at lunch because you just want to stretch out your muscles and that’s unfortunately the last thing you can do.
As we were kitting up after lunch, the heavens opened and lashed down on us, luckily we took our time over eating so we weren’t caught out in the open! Once it had subsided, we battled on and took the remainder of the A3052 to join the busy A35. As we started to cycle on the A35, it was mizzling and cycling conditions were incredibly treacherous. There wasn’t a mile of the afternoon that was pleasurable, we were constantly looking over our shoulders to make sure cars weren’t going to overtake whilst other cars were oncoming in the opposite direction.
Mum and Harry kept stopping along the 7 miles we were on the A35 to check we were ok. At the first stop, I dug out my lights and stuck one on my helmet, not sure how visible it was but it made me feel better having it on. After the A35, we then took the B3157 all the way to Weymouth – as it was a b-road I thought it would be safer than the A35, but how wrong I was. Due to the earlier rain, there were huge puddles at the sides of the road and the spray created from the passing cars was making visibility difficult. That, on top of the narrow, bendy road with blind summits and long sweeping bends meant we were absolutely shattered after the afternoons cycling. It was a continual battle to monitor the traffic – just one example was when we were reaching the campsite turning. A coach came up behind us, right at the top of a hill that was about to turn sharply left. He hovered behind us and then just as we were about to turn left, he tried to overtake on the blind bend! I screamed and waved like a loony, as Dad was shouting that there was a car oncoming and there was definitely not enough room for me, a coach and a car – all side-by-side on the road, and I know who would have come off the worst!
Mum and Harry found a wonderful campsite, Bagwell Farm Touring Site (@bagwellfarm), the first we’ve ever stayed on that had private bathrooms, with baths. The whole place was absolutely spotlessly clean, an absolute gem of a find about 4 miles out of Weymouth where we received incredibly kind hospitality from the management. As soon as we cycled in, we gave all of our laundry to Mum who went off to wash it all whilst Harry cooked up a treat in the kitchen.
Whilst luxuriating in the bath (with a glass of cider!) it was nice to soak away the treacherous miles we’d just cycled and finally relax properly. After helping Mum with the final bits of laundry, we all sat down to chicken and Chinese sausage, with a side of steamed egg and brown rice for dinner – it was incredibly tasty and again, exactly what we needed after cycling all those feet today!
The weather is looking relatively ok for tomorrow, so hopefully we can up the mileage slightly. We’re still behind schedule at the moment, by about 3 days, but hopefully we’ll make up some miles once we’re out of hilly Dorset!
Please remember that Kirsty Medlock and her Dad, Stephen are cycling the 4,400 miles round the coast of Britain to raise £10,000 for Clifton’s Children Society (CCS) Adoption, the agency that facilitated an adoption for family friends. Please follow this link to donate as much as you can http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/cycling4adoption
Many, many thanks in advance!