I’ve had an amazing morning, and have completed the first 100km of the trip. I set off from Provost Street, London at 06:10, and made my way out of central London via Tower Bridge. The GPS got a little confused, as it didn’t like the fact that I’d included a pedestrian tunnel in the route, so I just decided to point the bike south and make it up, and picked up the planned route later on.
The first part of the trip was easy, and most of the traffic was coming into London, leaving my side of the road almost traffic free. After central London, my route picked up two of the National Cycle Network routes, 27 then 21, and I was really glad it did. It was the perfect way to leave the city, and almost all on cycle only paths through parks and woodland, and following a small river.
Because I left London on these cycle routes, the transition between city, suburbs and countryside was pretty seamless, and before I knew it I was cycling through rural countryside on tiny lanes and more cycle paths. Again, some of the paths took me through very picturesque woodland.
Shortly before I reached the M25, I was alone on a narrow lane and went round a bend to find myself face to face with a deer, which ran along the roadside in front of me for a short while before running off into the woods. Shortly after this I arrived at Caterham viewpoint, and had a quick rest to admire the view to the south , and call Mum to let her know I’d got out of London without being flattened…
From the viewpoint I took an exhilarating off-road path which went very steeply down the hill, and after a couple more km reached the M25, taking a tunnel underneath it.
My next stop was at Crawley Down, where I stopped at a shop for some supplies. When I was outside with my bike, a woman looked at me and exclaimed ‘random cat!!’, which perplexed me until I looked down to see the black cat which was standing at my feet.
From Crawley Down it was more very hilly countryside all the way down to where I’m now having lunch at The Elephant cafe at Sheffield Green. It isn’t too much further to Newhaven from here, so I’ll take advantage of the chance to rest and stay a while.