Friday 5th October 2012 – Day 54

Southampton – Brighton

75.49 miles

2995 feet climbed

3522 calories burnt

Cumulative miles cycled = 3,150.93 miles

Cumulative feet climbed = 172,844 feet

Cumulative calories burnt = 141,967 calories

As I’m writing today’s post, the rain is falling heavily over our Motorhome in Brighton and it looks like it is set in right through until tomorrow morning. Tomorrow, Christine Armstrong, who with her husband is cycling the coast of Britain in stints over a period of 4 years, is hopefully joining Dad and me. I’m hoping the rain will subside before we catch up with them!

This morning, Dad and I decided against following NCN Route 2 along the south of Portsmouth as it would have meant taking in 3 ferries, and we weren’t sure of their timings. Instead, we followed the route that I had plotted, along some arterial roads. We turned out of the campsite on to a narrow road, the traffic was already building as it was just before rush hour. It’s never nice starting off straight away on a busy road, as you’re on guard right from the get go.

The day was made up of a lot of main roads, roundabouts and cycle paths. We managed to navigate through Fareham without too much of a problem. A lot of the roads we then cycled on, were three lanes wide and heavy with lorries, not nice when you’re trying to position yourself on a roundabout to turn right, trying to avoid the path of a giant truck. We then took a cycle path alongside the A27 towards Portchester, looking out on Portsmouth Harbour, then Langstone Harbour. Before hitting Havant, we stopped at a KFC for a quick pit stop and coffee, we’d made relatively good time because the terrain had been a lot flatter than previous days and there was no headwind.

Getting out of Havant was a bit more difficult, we had to ensure we didn’t end up on the A3 motorway, but we managed. We passed Chichester Harbour and it wasn’t long before we were cycling through Chichester itself. On hitting the B2166 we were heading south to Bognor Regis where our lunch stop was organised for. As there were no parking spaces in Bognor, Mum and Harry had navigated a bit off our route to near Aldwick, so we headed there and enjoyed another lunch looking out to sea.

After lunch, the weather wasn’t looking too bad, so Dad risked it deciding not to wear his waterproof jacket, I on the other hand was not so optimistic and kept mine on. We had a wonderfully flat afternoon, cycling through the seaside towns of Middleton-on-Sea, Littlehampton, East Prestong, Ferring, and Worthing. On reaching Worthing we decided to follow NCN Route 2 again, but as we were cycling through Shoreham-on-Sea, a pedestrian bridge was closed, so we had to re-trace our tracks and go over the car bridge. This is when it started to rain, we’d managed to stay ahead of it, but because of this mix-up we ended up slap bang in the middle of it.

We pushed along through Portslade-by-Sea, Hove and Brighton on the main road, the A259. By now it was home time, so there was a lot of traffic on the road. I rang the motorhome to see where it was, but it was stuck in traffic by the burnt out pier so hadn’t had a chance to find anywhere to camp. Dad and I managed to shelter on Madeira Drive whilst Mum and Harry parked up. We managed to find a campsite in Brighton, as it was a Friday night, we weren’t keen on sleeping ‘rough’ in a lay-by in the area!

When we arrived at Sheepcote Valley Caravan Club Site, they told us there was a VW Camper Van convention on in Brighton and that they might be full. On counting the plots, they worked out that they had one plot remaining – we were so lucky. They were incredibly kind, and we received wonderful hospitality.

Mum cooked us up some meatballs and we opened a bottle of wine for dinner. It wasn’t long till we were all pretty tired, and with lots of visitors over the weekend we wanted to get a good nights sleep in!

2 thoughts on “Friday 5th October 2012 – Day 54

  1. You said yesterday’s post might be disappointingly short as you were tired, so you can’t imagine how disappointed I was with the thouroughness of your description of another great day’s riding through places that even we Jockanese have heard of.
    I’m taking a troop of scouts on an intro to mountain biking tomorrow and will use your smadventure t

  2. Doh! Typing on fones…
    As an inspirational example. We covered cycling safely on roads last night and your experience shows why you can’t relax jfust because you’re experienced.
    OMG! You guys are becoming a training aid!

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