Wednesday, 13 June 2007

Day 3 - London to Dover (139 km)

Got out of the hostel at Earls Court brightish and earlyish on a sunny morning, and practiced my courier techniques into the West End and through the City, before heading out up the Old Kent Road with roughly 100% of the traffic lights turning red against me. In order to get some riding out of the way I'd decided to make a main road bash of it, straight down the old A2 as far as Dartford (my local knowledge stopped at Blackheath and Shooters Hill was a bit of a surprise, but I seemed to be going a bit better than before; some increased fitness, some tailwind), and then round via Gravesend and that to avoid the joys of the motorway-standard A2 at Swanscombe cutting (for all that it was once the time-triallists' Mecca known provately and confidentially as the Q25/3, the course where Alf Engers was suspended for overtaking cars while racing). A cup of tea at the Sir John Falstaff on Gads Hill, already advertising its special Tour de France opening arrangements, then down through Rochester and Chatham where I determined that (a) there are actually some interesting things to see in Medway and (b) the OS 1:250,000 maps are fine for journey planning but completely useless for navigation in urban areas. Then it was back to the Q2 throguh Sittingbourne and Faversham.

I had originally planned to spend the night at Canterbury but had already found out that the hostel was full, and I had some legs and daylight left when I got there, so I decided to press on rather than seek somewhere pricier. Orm sorted me out with a pleasant backroad route down to Dover which turned out to be a bit of National Cycle Network, which I pootled down until hammering down into Dover amidst gathering gloom, to arrive at the youth hostel which was full of Dutch teenagers in time to go out and get a takeaway curry, and so to bed.


Anonymous said...

Glad to hear that you are on your way, Roger!

- Nick

Phil said...

Good work! And good mileage. Are you going to ride 26 miles round the ferry deck?