16 September 2016
Day 12. 84 miles.
What a humungous, whopping day! So full of contrasts and an onslaught of sensory experiences!
I camped in Clifden Hampden on my last night, in the shadow of a church and on the bank of the Thames. I hardly slept. My fourth night in a row with little sleep. This time it was foxes fighting, screaming and chasing each other round and round my tent, and then a cracking thunderstorm from 0400 and heavy rain. I stayed put until 0730 when the rain eased, but the roads were flooded.
After breakfast, I cycled 50 miles non-stop. Easy! Past Reading, through Basingstoke, past Winchester, along the South Downs Way and stopped for tea 24 miles away from home, before hitting the places that I knew and recognised! Alton, Bishops Walford, Fareham… Gosport! The sea… I stopped near the end and put ‘we are the Champions’ on loud on my phone. I cycled to the sea front and Pebbles café. I was jubilant. An 84 mile day, nailed by 6.45pm – just in time for Friday evening drinks. Across the road, into Stokes Bay and there was a finish line of flags, 12 of my friends and lots of bottles of Prosecco, with the sun setting across the bay as a back drop. I was home.
Achieved Length of UK – 803 miles, 11 days total.
82 hours 10 minutes cycling. Ave 9.75 mph