The Ride


Laurence Beresford

Lawrence Matz


London to Barcelona - The Ride
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Day 1 - Sep 27th 2012 London to Southampton Total 95 miles

After one year of planning and intense training in all weathers the big day has finally arrived, but not without problems. Brittany Ferries are on strike, meaning no ferries are running between Portsmouth and Caen. Originally I was going to ride to Portsmouth, spend the night in Portsmouth and catch the early morning ferry to Caen (Ouistreham). This had to be changed and I am now riding to Southampton where I will meet my support driver Michael, who will drive me with the bike to Poole in Dorset to catch the Condor morning ferry to Cherbourg. After arriving in Cherbourg we will have to drive some 60 miles to Ouistreham to pick up the original route. What a pain.

Anyway, I leave from home in North London at 6.30 am with my family and a few friends to see me off and make my way through the rush hour traffic down to Hammersmith, over Hammersmith Bridge to Barnes, taking time to have breakfast with a friend before continuing on to Richmond, Twickenham, Hampton, Sunbury and out into the Surrey country side. After some morning drizzle the skies eventually clear and I have perfect sunny weather for the first leg of my epic journey. The bike is performing superbly and life could not be better. Great progress is made with not too many hills despite a major hold up in Chertsey after the foundation of the road gave way to swallow up a BMW. After Aldershot the terrain definitely becomes more undulating with plenty of hill work on offer.  The route through Hampshire is mainly on small country lanes free of any traffic - fabulous. However, I did manage to get hopelessly lost on the last leg of the journey and ended up doing 10 miles more than I needed to. Eventually though I arrived in Southampton where I met up with Michael, but it was 10pm before we reached the overnight stay in Poole.