Sunday, May 31, 2015

Late May holiday cycling

We took the Bank Holiday week to go down to Netley Waterside again, after a couple of year gap, and for the first time, taking the folding bike I got last spring for holiday purposes, which meant that in just an initial quick ramble I could go further in either direction than the long walks I did back then.

The weather was fine, except for a wet Friday, and generally pleasant to be out in, even if at times through an uneasy balance of sultry heat and strong breezes, as for the expedition to the Sir Harold Hillier Gardens on the Bank Holiday Monday. In fact, the weather usually exceeded expectations set by the forecasts, such that I ended up acquiring more of a tan than I'd expected.

Having forgotten to pack a map, I ended up following the National Cycle Network 2 signs a lot, filling in the gaps by dead reckoning, especially in the places where the paved surface suddenly stopped, but being hemmed in between coast and motorway, that didn't leave too much scope for getting lost -- just scope for somewhat more ups-and-downs than I needed, grinding in bottom gear, as in the sub-optimal routes through the back doubles in Bursledon, and too much main A-road for crossing the Hamble. Next time, having discovered the foot ferry on the last way back, I might be able to cut out much of the main road and hills.

Hovercraft Museum, Lee-on-Solent

Hovercraft Museum, Lee-on-Solent

Also, lacking a map, I didn't realise quite how close I came to running out of road entirely, not realising that Portsmouth Harbour was that close.

D-Day plaque

D-Day plaque at the Rising Sun, Warsash

Many of the pubs I passed on my wanderings were rather sea-sidey, but the Rising Sun at Warsash was a more traditional rural pub, that overcame the handicap of being a Greene King house, and served most excellent sandwiches. Their take on chicken bacon mayo was not the vaguely unpleasant mush by the same name that were offered as packed lunches by the Revitalise team, but a coarsely sliced chicken breast, a couple of rashers, and a pot of mayo to add to taste on doorstops from a fresh soft bloomer loaf -- washed down with a pint of Rsing Sun bitter, an excellent lunch!

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