The Ride

The middle of nowhere

image So this is my home for the night. My tiny tent is pitched and ready. It feels like I truly am in the middle of nowhere, yet I’m only a few miles from Eastbourne and just up the road from the world famous town of Polegate. No, I’d never heard of it either. Today’s lesson; When attempting a serious ride the next day never stay up to gone midnight drinking with the landlords brother and an off duty barmaid. So with that in mind, this morning was difficult to say the least – massive determination, a full English and a lot of concentration were required just to get back on the bike. I also attempted to strap my rucksack to the back of the bike rather than my back. This seemed to be an excellent idea, until I while descending a steep hill, on a dirt track, bumping along, the rear rack decided to pop one of its screws. The next 45 minutes spent removing all luggage and transplanting one of the ‘spare’ screws from another part of the bike to keep the rack in place. So the rucksack returned to the back for the rest of the day. I may try again tomorrow, but just with the tent to lighten the load. The ride today, just 33 miles, but still topping the 30 miles I had set as an average, was simply stunning. The main problem being that I was so busy enjoying the amazing scenery that I neglected to take too many photos. Cycling out of Rye, down past the harbour and along the front I stopped to chat to a couple of hikers. What one of them said was a little inspiring when I told him where I was going. He said “You will make it if you want to” – I think he’s right. Determination can get me a long way in place of fitness and riding experience. When the sat nav told me to “turn right onto battery hill” I knew I was in trouble. It was an extremely long climb, but the view from half way up was great; image The original plan was to head for Eastbourne, but I could not find too many campsites right down on the coast, so I’ve headed inland a little to discover Polegate and the surrounds. Tonight finds me on a beautiful farm, almost in the middle of nowhere. The peace and tranquility and the stunning views are exactly what I need after a semi urban night in Rye. This is the view from the entrance to my tent; image Other guests on the farm include this lot; image Who are surprisingly tame. It wouldn’t surprise me if I awoke to their company. Tomorrow, after fixing a breakfast of beans and corned beef, I am heading towards Littlehampton, a distance of around 45 miles. I think if the legs feel as good as they do now, I need to start putting in some heavier mileage days to build up a little slack for later in the trip. I am less familiar in recent years with everything west of Bournemouth so it would be great not to feel I had to power through it to meet my target of 27th September at Land’s End.

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