WOW!!! What a day. I’m currently lying on the floor in the cab of the Mirror Image support van waiting for the overnight ferry from Newhaven to Dieppe. It’s been a very long and tiring day.
I set off from Southampton around 830am ish and dropped Justines house key off to her in the city centre. It was already raining and my shoes were wet by the time I got there. More warm rain! I made my way out of the city and towards Fareham, passing a few familiar places from when I used to work in Hampshire. There were lots of undulating hills but nothing too taxing. I’ve got into a hill routine now. See it coming, drop down into a lower gear, find a nice pace and just look about 6ft ahead of me. Then grind. During hill time I tend to day dream a lot and think about lots of random things. Quite a good distraction technique!
I reached the outskirts of Portsmouth pretty quickly so stopped off to inhale the sea air and eat some power cake. I knew where I was, so was confident about getting to Chichester. I thought that I’d take the A27 and eventually join up with Route 2 all the way to Brighton. Didn’t quite go to plan. The A27 turned into dual carriage way and after yesterday’s experience I thought I give that a miss. That meant navigating without a map and the odd glance at Google Maps with a phone that has decided to shorten its battery life day by day. Eventually I found my way and pushed on past Havant then on to Chichester where I had the most amazing bacon sarnie in another posh tea room where you get a tea strainer with your pot of tea. Its a complete posh-tea-room-fest on this trip. By now my phone was flat again so I stopped Strava and decided not to use it for the rest of my trip. Having a phone that works in an emergency is more useful than knowing my ride data. After picking up some Euros I headed off towards Bognor, Worthing and Brighton.
I’ve pre-loaded my iPod with a whole host of podcasts from the “Tough Girl” podcast. Well worth a listen, really motivational to hear from so many great, inspiring women who’ve done amazing things. Two of these podcasts kept me going at the end of the day. It was nice to finally roll into Brighton down the seafront but I had another slow mo clipped in falling over event at traffic lights. I think by then I was so tired that my brain didn’t speak to my legs in time. No injuries though. Just dented pride. I didn’t look at the people in their cars next to me. Couldn’t face the shame.
Still more miles to do. I was praying for Newhaven to be just around the next corner. Or the next one. Or the next one. The last 15-20 miles was a slog. Just keep the wheels turning. I was picturing Amy and Dizzy at Newhaven in the support van and being to be able to lie down and sleep.
Made it in the end. It was past 6pm when I arrived and Amy was just coming round the same roundabout where I was stood waiting to cross over. Bonus!! Quick shower in the local sports centre now we’re waiting to get on board BoatyMcBoatFace to Dieppe.
What a day. Thank you all for the messages of support via social media. They’re truly keeping me going. Until tomorrow, bon soir ☺