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Kitzy's Corner - Bath and back

15th February to 17th February 2004
170 miles

It was half-term and I wanted to go away. To set off in the morning and not return home in the evening. I’d never been touring without parents before so decided it ought to be a short one – testing the waters as it were. So I chose Bath; a nice place, easily do-able in a day, and with a handy Youth Hostel.

Richard was more than willing to keep me company, so one misty February morning at the shockingly keen time of 7.30am we set off. Even on familiar roads you still get that fantastic feeling of adventure if you know you’re going somewhere, rather than just out on any old ride.

It was by turns foggy, cloudy, and drizzly, and occasionally a beautiful mixture of all three, but that still didn’t dampen our spirits. Starting from near Lyndhurst (New Forest) we pootled through Fordingbridge, swooped down Zig-Zag Hill, got lost in Frome, and then hauled ourselves up Brassknocker Hill and into Bath, arriving at the Hostel late afternoon.

We spent the next day exploring Bath, poking around in shops and making the most of a Pizza Hut buffet lunch, in true hungry cyclist style. Riding down Bathwick Hill into town was brilliant, though riding up again wasn’t! In the evening we took over the common room by spreading three OS maps across the floor and lying on our stomachs, planning a route armed only with a pencil and an aversion to main roads. Task completed, we got an early night.

The next morning was foggy again. We got going and gingerly rode down a damp and slippery Brassknocker Hill. After getting lost in a housing estate near Hilperton that should’ve been fields according to my 11 year old map a passing milk float gave us a nice rest for about 5 miles until we had to turn off (which was lucky as we’d spotted the on-board orange juice and were contemplating ride-by piracy)….and it started raining. Thankfully it stopped when we got to Salisbury Plain, and we pootled over the rolling green hills and played “I spy Army vehicles”. I still claim I should’ve scored extra for the guy in the trees trying to look inconspicuous whilst holding a large gun: an exercise in futility if I ever saw one.

The sun actually came out for 5 minutes as we rode the picturesque Wylye Valley to Wilton. After some rather large hills that got in the way we arrived at Fordingbridge, then it was a quick 7 mile dash back to Richard’s house before the rain started. We timed it amazingly well, and I sat out the shower at Richard’s house, and re-fuelled for the last 14 miles home.

All in all, a success!


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