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Day 1 – London to Newhaven. What could possibly go wrong?

I knew the weather would be a challenge today as soon as I cycled out of my garage.

It delayed my train to London by 20 mins, and I was receiving anxious calls about the problems on the ferries on the way down.

But it wasn’t until I got to London that the fun really started.

I spent several years cycling around London when I lived there, but it turns out you can forget a lot in 12 months – and I took several wrong turns just getting to Clapham Common where I would pick up this route to Newhaven.

But the real problem was the wind.

25-35mph gusts right in my face, along with various assorted debris like crisp packets and even a cloud of cement dust as a bag got blown over just as I was approaching it.

I’ve cycled to Brighton a few times, always in around 4-4.5 hours but this was seriously hard going and it took 3 hours just to reach the M25 by which time the ‘generous’ 6.5 hours I’d allowed was really under pressure.

It didn’t help that the route I chose was also considerably hillier.

It’d been threatening to rain from when I crossed the Thames, and the heavens finally opened as I was battling up to the top of an exposed hilltop just south of Coulsden.

I’d been going for just over 4 hours when I hit the halfway point and it was looking certain the only way I could make the ferry would be if it was delayed.

It wasn’t until just after 3pm that this was finally confirmed, but it only gave me an extra 45 minutes.

It was touch and go all the way.

I made it to the ferry port in Newhaven just 8 minutes before last check-in, grateful that the outlook is much better for tomorrow.

It hasn’t been an easy day by any means, and at one point I even had a reasonably sizeable tree branch break off and hit me on the head.

Which sums things up nicely.

Published inCharityCyclingLondon to ParisTravel

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