On Friday I foolishly decided that I’d finish the week by cycling home from work – Havant to Hedge End – because I knew I wouldn’t have the time (on Saturday) or the energy (on Sunday) to get a long run in.
It’s only about 17 miles door to door, but I was still unsure about making it all the way on my creaky old bike, especially as there’s a tempting pub on the way.
I usually get the train for part of my journey to and from work but I’ve cycled home from work once already, but that wasn’t intentional. I was meant to take the scenic route to Fareham station one evening. But I took a wrong turn a mile or so from work and ended up on the other side of Waterlooville. So, I missed my train and no option but to ride all the way back.
I’m lucky in that the shortest route home is relatively scenic. I left work about 4.45 and headed through Bedhampton to pick up the long uphill stretch to the top of Portsdown Hill. Fortunately the torrential rain we’d had during the afternoon had cleared, so I was able to enjoy the view that sweeps from Hayling Island on the left, to Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight and then Southampton Water on the right. It was pretty windy though, which made the going quite tough.
After I’d passed Fort Southwick at the summit of Portsdown Hill I took the B2177 down past Southwick village itself and onto Wickham. There are some great views into the South Downs at the top of the hill here on the opposite side to the views over the Solent. The road is nice and wide and straight. However, this does mean that some drivers treat it like a racetrack and the bunches of flowers tied to one of the road signs are a reminder how deadly the road can be.
When I reached Wickham I headed straight across the A32 and into the village. Then I picked up the A334 into Shedfield and then onto Botley. I had earlier called Tiff to persuade her to come and meet me at the Wheatsheaf pub on the edge of Shedfield as I was dying for a pint. Unfortunately, I was unsuccessful so I made do with a bottle of cider when I finally got home, the whole journey taking me one hour 45 minutes – about 15 minutes longer than I thought it would.