I've had a good day today. The clocks have changed, the Grand Prix season has started, I watched a 1000 or so runners stream by in the Eastleigh 10k (it was fascinating to watch the runners' styles), I had a rewarding bike ride and Emma and Isobel made some great cakes.
Went to: New Forest wilderness, Beaulieu, Lymington, Brockenhurst
Distance: 76 miles
Total time on bike: 4:54
Average speed: 15.5 mph
Total climb height: 543 m
I met Mark Halliday at North Baddesley at 11 and we headed off to the New Forest. Mark's Garmin Edge 705 found us some back roads to mostly avoid the traffic around Southampton.
Our first stop was in Beaulieu where we enjoyed a full fat Coke. Shortly after we disturbed a couple of pheasants. As they took off they crossed our path and one of them "unloaded" itself, narrowly missing me. Not a hazard we had been anticipating.
We had a little jaunt down to the sea front at one point. We were only about 3 miles from the Isle of Wight. The Spinnaker tower was visible in one direction and the Lymington ferry in the other. There was also a couple of ponies enjoying the beach.
We had a late lunch at Lymington: a Spicy Chicken pasty. I don't think it was just the appetite from a 35 mile ride to get there, but it was the most tasty pasty I can remember eating.
I saw plenty of places in the New Forest that I didn't know existed - lots of potential for family walks.
Cycling on the open parts of the moors when there's a headwind is a bit tiring so we were grateful to find an icecream van at one of the car parks. No icecream but another sugary drink and energy levels were significantly boosted.
When we got back we found freshly baked hot cross buns and lovely cup cakes. Emma had put chocolate in to the middle of the cup cakes, the idea being that if you eat it shortly after its cooked then it'd be gooey. But we weren't back until nearly 5 so by the time I got my cake the chocolate was solid, but it was still delicious. No big surprise, but chocolate-filled cakes taste great.
I'm looking forward to our next ride - which could be an organized event around the edge of the Isle of Wight in May.