South Coast '09

No big tour this year, so Gary and I are back on our bikes for a gentle 'pootle' along the south coast of England.

Well that was the plan...

For some reason I always seem to under-estimate distances, it's been the curse of my cycling career. I like to think I'm just an optimist. A ride that I thought would be 110 miles from Birmingham to London turned out to be 130 miles, every day of the Birmingham to Edinburgh ride last year was about 10 miles longer than expected.

Truth be told, it's very hard to work out the distances. I usually use the RAC routeplanner or 'guesstimate' on largish scale maps, which is useless. Anyway my problems are now over as I've discovered Mapmyride.com (please see the attached routes on the blog), which will work out your routes for you, following the roads, rather than going as the crow flies.

The problem is that it means I have to be honest to Gary about the distances involved, so this year's ride from Bournemouth to Dover, which I promised would be 160 miles, has turned out to be 190 miles.  And the first day is a full 100 miles - a psychological distance which he is yet to cross and which could leave him a broken man.

And that's not the only issue to raise its head, it's also proving almost impossible to find hotels on the south coast. I know I shouldn't be surprised, it's the height of the summer season, but for heaven's sake! And what's worse, Brighton hotels seem to have a policy of having a minimum tow-night booking, which is obviously no good for us.

And we don't want to have a repeat of the double-room debacle from Marple last year!

Here's the map:


And the daily diaries:

Day 1 - Bournemouth to Brighton

Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3

Day 2 - Brighton to Dover

Part 1 - Part 2