Leg 1, as it would become, was only ever supposed to be a one-off.
The plan was to spend the last few days of my twenties doing something worthwhile before arriving in Brighton to celebrate my 30th birthday with my friends, and a hundred-mile bike ride along the south coast in the sunshine with my old University buddy Steve, stopping at numerous pubs en route, seemed like just the thing.
After drawing up a rough plan (pictured above), Steve and I met up at our mutual friend David's house in Reading, which we figured would be a good and fitting place from which to travel down, and would also allow us to compare notes and make a few last-minute purchases (such as my Cateye trip computer) prior to the off.
The train journey turned out to be quite convoluted, involving lugging our bikes onto three separate trains, with changes at Basingstoke and Bournemouth. A long gap between trains at Bournemouth was both a blessing and a curse, delaying our arrival in Weymouth but also offering the opportunity of a trip to the pub, and a first chance for Steve to try out his PacSafe (a collapsible wire mesh mechanism for secure bag storage – I took an instant dislike to the thing when it tried to take a couple of my fingers off).
Eventually we were on our way to Weymouth, but the journey from Reading had taken so long that we would now need to camp at Weymouth and begin our trip in earnest the following morning. Accordingly, we made our way to the Pebble Bank campsite at Wyke Regis, where our final preparations comprised a couple of Pot Noodles and cans of lager and a brief stroll around the grassland between the campsite and the East Fleet, before a night's sleep under the stars.
Go to Day 1 (Weymouth to Lulworth Cove)