Monday, 16 May 2011
Down to the coast before breakfast
With the 300kms of the Vatternrundan looming I thought it would be a good idea to give the bike a run out first.
So I set the alarm for 6.00am on Sunday to be up an out at first light. It was already light at 6.00am so a bowl of porridge later,a banana and some flapjack packed into my pockets off I went.
I had decided I would head for Worthing straight down the A24 nice and early before the traffic got too busy and then come back across the downs. I was surprisingly chilly and I was pleased to have worn my overshoes, armwarmers and the nice yellow Transitions gilet. This approach might be worth thinking about for Sweden given the start is at 2.00am.
I took it fairly easy, although I have to admit draughting a TT comeptitor near Horsham and a couple of men in lycra towards littlehampton. They passed me as I was going up hill so decided to stay with them, they then immediately stopped for a rest.
I headed for Worthing town centre and sat on a bench overlooking the sea while I age a peanut butter sandwich. Very pleasant it was too just watching the world go by. This what you look like when you try and take your own picture while eating a peanut beutter sandwich.
As I sat down I had 2hr and 7mins on the Garmin which I had strapped to my handlebars, it works really well as a speedo cum heartrate monitor.
I had looked at the map and decided to head east along the coast and then head north across the downs toward Steyning. This road proved a real treat. It was steep to start with but came out on top of the downs with fabulous sea views to the south and beautiful countryside to the north. The descent was pretty hairy but a little wiggle across the A281 meant more quiet country roads until the A24 at the junction with the A272.
Back on the A24 life wasn't so nice. The traffic had got a bit heavier and FAST, very fast. By the time I got back to Surrey hills I could feel the miles in my legs but I felt good (apart from a slight pain in the neck) and the bike felt good too, the Palace has passed the test so I won't be going back for a refit.
Once back home I plugged in the Garmin to look at the stats to see what I had done.
I was pretty pleased with the speed of the return leg given the headwind and the slightly longer distance.
A lot more climbing than Sweden but still, at 80 miles, a lot shorter!