99 miles – total 2,815
· Longest day yet
· A day of headwinds
· Attacked by homicidal driver
· The first puncture
It started so well… I left Whitstable at 7.30 in the morning and enjoyed a tailwind for the first twenty miles – through Herne Bay to Margate and Broadstairs. A good job too, because there was a long stretch of dual carriageway which I was glad to be doing 20 mph on, so as to get it over with!
But then I turned south into a strong headwind which was to dog me for the rest of the day. Despite being a little ‘tired’ Broadstairs is rather appealing – Charles Dickens obviously liked it and there are lots of references to him there.
Ramsgate is definitely more upmarket, with some grand terraces redolent of those in Bath and Buxton. Just outside town I was waved down by a fellow Twitterer - @kentbianchi – who had been following me on www.fleetsmartlive.com and came out to wave me on. Much appreciated, all this support, and thank you @kentbianchi.
Sandwich is a very attractive old cinque port. It’s hosting this year’s Open Championship and a nice toll road (free for bikes) runs by the golf course and took me to Deal, where there is a castle with semi-circular sticky-out bits like the one in Angers in France. I suppose it could have been built by the same person but I haven’t time to look that one up!
Things now started to get harder work. A narrow road became a path and climbed and climbed to St Margaret’s at Cliffe and the outskirts of Dover before diving down steeply to the unexciting centre of town. Nice views of the port and castle from the high ground though. Then it was another long climb to lunch at Capel Ferne above Folkestone, and the first deluge of the day. Rain man had struck again. I swapped bikes so as to have mudguards for the afternoon.
Before Folkestone I found the Battle of Britain Memorial with its Spitfire and Hurricane proudly displayed, then it was on to Hythe, battling along the seafront into the strengthening headwind. Then I was alarmed to hear heavy small arms gunfire to my left which left me a bit disconcerted until I saw the MOD signs.
Just before Dymchurch I stopped to take a photo of a Martello tower converted to a house, and then…
Details in the next blog. (It’s just like the Archers this blog, building you up to fever pitch and leaving you salivating for the next esipode…!)