London to Newhaven
07:22:12 cycling time
I couldn’t have asked for a better start to my trip than I’ve had today. I’m writing this from my tent, looking out of the porch towards the sunset, and feeling a great combination of worn out, happy about how the day has gone, and exited about tomorrow’s stage.
I arrived at Buckle Holiday Park at 16:40, having spent a total of 7 hours 22 minutes in the saddle today. It turned out to be slightly further than expected, finishing at just under 137km. That’s exactly the same distance as the ride I did on my birthday, to the coast and back, but on a racing bike with no luggage!
My legs feel surprisingly fresh tonight, though I’m sure they’ll be a bit tired tomorrow morning when I cycle to catch the ferry.
The campsite is ok. Nothing special, but I’ve got a quiet corner and I’m only paying £7, so I can’t grumble. It is right next to the beach, so once I’d got the tent set up earlier and had a shower, I went for a stroll on the beach. I sat there for a while staring out across the Channel, thinking about the next stage of the ride on the other side.
I cycled into Newhaven to look for somewhere to eat (adding a further 10km to today’s total in the process) and found a pub called The White Hart. If you ever get the chance to come to Newhaven, don’t. It’s a run-down dive. I asked the barman if they were serving food, and he replied that ‘nowhere serves food on a Monday’. So I had to settle for a takeaway pizza from across the road and a pint of ale. I popped into the supermarket on the way back to get some snacks for tomorrow.
I should write about what the rest of today’s ride was like after lunch really. It was an absolutely perfect afternoon’s cycling, even though I was pretty worn out. The afternoon was warm and sunny, and I cycled through yet more idyllic countryside, passing through some beautiful villages. Fletching was particularly nice. The South Downs were pretty amazing, and I’d like to come back and explore them a bit more.
The worst bit of the ride was the approach to Newhaven, which was on a fairly busy 50mph road, full of impatient and inconsiderate drivers. But it didn’t last too long.
So, overall the whole ride can be summed up as being very rural, very hilly, and very picturesque. I’d love to come back and do the route again with someone else, so I can show it all off!
It’s only 20:50 now, but I’ll probably get an early night to recover from today. Although I feel fine, I’m sure it has taken more out of me than I think it has, and there’s another three days of cycling left! An early night will do me good.
The ferry is at 10:00 tomorrow morning, and it’s only a 10 minute cycle to the terminal. I’m really looking forward to cycling up the ramp onto the ferry. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, and I’ve always been envious of other cyclists I’ve seen doing it and wished it could be me. Tomorrow I’ll get my turn!