Monday, April 16, 2007

Road Hum...

Not a lot of activity on the wargaming front this weekend - like (what appeared to be) most of the population of the British Isles, I spent a fair amount of it outside enjoying the sun - up to 25'C on Saturday (about 77'F for those of you still working in "old money"..) which is astonishing for April in the UK... all the "woe is me" brigade are blaming it on global warming (and who knows there may be an element of it that's true), but the BBC reported this morning that we're way off the record, which was set in the spring of 1946....a delightful contrast with the pictures from the east coast of the US at the moment with all that snow! Anyway, with my missus gainfully employed at work, and my little'uns wearing out their grandma on an overnight stay, I spent Saturday on a long cycle ride, with some pleasant beer along the way...

I'd done this ride before, last summer, but it's a bit of a favourite, and well worth the effort given the eventual destination.. in summary though - if anyone reads this and fancies having a go:
  • start from Emsworth near Havant and head for the cycle path along the top of Farlington Marshes
  • travel the length of this path and then head south along the cycle path beside the Eastern Road
  • travel to the end of this at Milton where you then have to take your life in your hands and join the road, still travelling south towards the sea front
  • the "Sir Loin of Beef (see picture below) is the destination for the ride - this used to be my old local when I lived in Southsea. For the wargamers amongst us, my house at this time abutted the Royal Marines barracks at Eastney - famous among many other things - for the training of the Cockleshell Heroes in WWII, and also being where my good friend 'Lofty C', who started off my AWI activities with his gift of all those 25mm Minifigs, was based!
If you love real ale like I do, then this place is one of the top 5 pubs in the county in my opinion - on Saturday I started off with Cottage Brewery's "Wessex Bitter" which at 3.9% I thought was probably the safest bet given the trip back - this was a nice beer, with lots of taste for its strength. "Unfortunately" I then noticed the Hopback "Summer Lightning" had just gone on, and was a new barrel - so two pints (at 5%) later I agreed with the landlord that it really was as fresh as a daisy, but I needed to make my way - otherwise I'd be sleeping under one of his tables..!

Pausing only to purchase a couple of bottles of "Bishops Tipple", from a truly classic choice of other bottled beers behind the bar, I started for home..
  • The route back traverses the opposite side of the harbour - stopping off for some sandwiches and a drink at the local shops, I headed for the Hayling ferry at Eastney - £3 later (I read somewhere that mile for mile this ferry is the most expensive journey in the world, more expensive even than Concord in its day!) but after a pleasant journey across the harbour mouth you are dropped off on Hayling Island.

  • Take the ferry road inland before following signs for the Hayling Billy line - this is a cycle path built on what used to be an old railway line, but you can follow this up the whole of the west coast of Hayling Island before crossing the bridge, and arriving back at Havant - the start of the journey..
According to Google map, the circumnavigation of Langstone is about 15 miles, so with the bits on the other end I make that a nice round trip of about 25 miles.... 80% of which is on cycle paths.. smashing!

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like an amazing bike ride! I'm envious as we've had cold weather here recently, and my wife has been working on tuning up our bikes for the coming season. 25-30 miles is a nice distance too.

    Best Regards,

    Stokes Schwartz