Day 1: Weymouth-BeerLast modified 2023/08/13 21:10
There are kids running about outside “une, deux, trois”. I’m at a campsite, not a bad campsite, althought there is nowhere for me to plug my laptop in, or any table at which to work at, so I’m typing this in the tent. The showers are hot and don’t cost money (why should that be surprising?) and there is a copious amount of toilet roll in the toilets. It costs £13 for the night and I’ve got a reasonable hillside view when I stand up outside of my tent and can see over the fence.
Today was harder than I expected, although I should’ve expected to be harder by the sure fact that I have done absolutely no cycling for the past 11 months save for a 40 mile ride on the racer a few months back.
I am heading to Plymouth to get the ferry to Roscoff. The ferry leaves at 22:00 on Monday.
Plymouth is an inconvenient distance from my home, perhaps 120-130 miles of pretty tough cycling if you avoid the A roads. I was wise enough to know that I wasn’t capable of doing this in one day, so I decided to leave on Sunday and break the journey in two.
I packed my stuff this morning before heading out, running through my cycling routine in my head to figure out what stuff I would need, knowing I’d forget tings, and so I did. I’m missing my coffee maker, my jacket and my second VISA card. Theres a good chance I can find a coffee maker in France, I have another jacket (a spare), and I will need to take extra care with my bank card and hope that it doesn’t get eaten by an ATM.
St. Catherines Chapel, Abotsbury
I moved back to Weymouth this year after almost 20 years away. As I cycled out I passed the village of Abotsbury and it’s famous St Catherines Chapel and Swannery before confronting the beast that is Abotsbury Hill and then being soothed by the view from the top looking towards Bridport.
Looking back towards Weymouth and Portland
From Bridport the most direct route would have been to take the A road, but instead, resaoning I had time on my side and the will to live I decided to take the scenic route, following route 2 of the National Cycle Network.
As with all cycle diversions of this nature, you begin to wonder if the A-road would really have been a bad choice as you are stuggling up the relentless hills at 3-7kmph.
A-Roads are a mixed bag, some of them will provide you with a good hard shoulder and sometimes these are free from broken glass and dead animals. It’s good to be able to make the distance up at 20-27kmph instead of 7kmph. Scenery only goes so far, but there is also the stress from being on a busy road. So it’s sometimes a balancing act. Today I chose the cycle route.
While in Abotsbury I stopped at a rustic village bakery, following behind two German tourists and eventually ordering a Vegetable Pasty which served as my main souce of sustenance for the day.
I saw a couple of other cycle tourers but didn’t interact with anybody today other than smiling and waving. Lots of drivers smiled and nodded encouragingly as I struggled up the hills.
Cliffs at Seaton
I made 76k today as far as Beer, which is some miles west of Seaton (the sea front provided a view of some stunning cliffs). I would like to have gone further, but the accomodation possiblities didn’t look great and I didn’t want to push myself too far on the first day.
Tomorrow however I have to cycle at least 110k to get the Ferry. This is probably around 7-8 hours of cycling time, and including breaks I can expect to be there some 9-10 hours after leaving the campsite tomorrow. If I leave at 8am and it takes 10 hours, then I will get there at 18:00 with 3 hours to spare (the checkin as at 21:00).