When I do get going I start to think I might be getting the hang of this. And with the wind behind you it's actually rather pleasant cycling down the old Roman road of Watling Street (as featured in the Canterbury Tales) to Dover, despite a couple of sharp hills, including Shooters Hill after Blackheath.
But the English countryside really is very lovely from a bike, even in a hurry. Although, sadly, I have to get on the near-motorway that is the A2 for quite a few miles - I'm late and it's the only way to get to Dover in time for the ferry.
But then I find out that there's been a major accident and so eveything was delayed, so I arrive in plenty of time - although it means arriving late.
So rather than my first meal in France being steak frites and a demi-litre of rouge at a wonderful little bistrot, I arrive in a wet and unappealing Calais in time for a beer and a horrible kebab (sadly it was all that was available at 10.00pm)...
Here's today's route: