Mileage 94.5 miles
Seemed to wake every half hour during the night so not a good start, probably a little bit of both excitement and apprehension. Breakfast was at 06:00 with a choice of either staying at the hotel or going to the Roundsbout diner again – I chose to eat at the hotel. Then back to my room, collect bags and got them loaded on the truck by 07:00. Ready to set off by 07:15 and the heavens opened with monsoon type conditions. Hung around for 5 minutes with several other riders before deciding that things were not going to improve so set off on our new adventure.
There were lots of navigation to get us out of Portsmouth so I sat in the middle of a group of 5 riders and let others do the navigation, primarily because it was raining so hard and it was difficult to read either the cue sheet or sat nav. Eventually the rain did ease off and we set a fairly fast pace. The terrain was rolling and the roads, once out of Portsmouth were country lanes. We arrived at the first SAG at mile 31.7 in very good time, restocked and headed out again. At this point the heavens opened again and I can honestly say it was the worse cycling conditions I have ever ridden in. There were rivers running across the roads and floods in a numbers of places. We passed through some very pretty countryside and villages but just couldn’t be bothered to stop because of the weather conditions. The second SAG was at mile 71.9 which we again made in good time. With 2,300 feet of climbing recorded so far and with about 24 miles to go we soon realised that the final few miles were going to be quite hilly and tough. With the fast pace I decided to drop back and started riding at a more comfortable speed. The final miles were tough and I regretted trying to hold onto the stronger riders earlier in the day. Nevertheless I successfully made it to Worcester just before 15:30 with a distance of 94.50 miles recorded and an average speed of 14:38 mph.
Dinner tonight was was at the 99 Diner next to the hotel and for me I decided on traditional fish and chips. It was good to get the first day behind us and hopefully the weather tomorrow will improve on today. Sorry no pictures today, will try harder tomorrow.