Checkpoint Numbers & Names
Hampshire 2 – New Forest / Rufus Stone
After the exertions of the previous day I was glad that day 16 was to be a relatively flat if fairly long (in terms of mileage) day visiting a checkpoint on my way home.
So after a good nights sleep it was time to pack the bike up with all my gear and for the last time head out from the Wareham B&B and to the solitary checkpoint for the day in neighbouring Hampshire, as I was intending to catch a train home at the end of the day I needed to be on the road early, so a little after 8am I was on the road heading North out of Wareham on the A351 through Sandford and Holton Heath.
Once I had crossed the busy A35 the roads thankfully turned nice and quiet and it was again time to enjoy the countryside views through Lytchett Minster, Beacon Hill and Corfe Mullen as the road took on a slightly uphill attitude before a swift downhill run in to Wimborne Minster and the first stop of the day for tea.
Having found a tea shop (that also had cake!) and re-fueled it was time to hit the road as time was of the essence if I was to get a train home later in the day. Continuing along the road, the terrain continued to be ‘rolling’ with a number of hills followed by relaxing downhill sections as the road took me through the Holt Heath Nature Reserve and on to Three Legged Cross for a section that I knew in advance was going to be busy. The road from here followed the edge of the Moors Valley Country Park and on to the very busy A31 for a two mile stretch as I avoided Ringwood and entered The New Forest via Poulner and Rockford.
Once in the new forest the road again started to rise through Linwood and Fritham, and although the New Forest is a beautiful part of the country there’s very little that can be said about cycling through miles of country lanes with forestry either side so it was on to the village of Brook where I planned to stop for lunch at the local Pub – and not one to deviate from a plan I stopped for a nice Pizza and local ale.
Brook is in a bit of a dip so having had lunch it was time to climb the last hill of the day along another pretty and very quiet lane culminating in the checkpoint at Rufus Stone. Having taken the obligatory photographs it was time to head south again to get my train back home. This turned out to be a bit easier said than done as my intended crossing of the busy A31 dual carriageway wasn’t as easy as expected and resulted in a short walk along a grass verge and a life or death dash across the road to get to the other side!
With the exertions of the last two days starting to take their toll the last seven miles were a welcome downhill cruise, firstly through the village of Minstead, then down to the town of Lyndhurst, commonly regarded as the capital of the New Forest. From here is was a short journey of only a couple of miles along the busy A35 up to Ashurst station and the train that would take me home.
These three days had been long, tough and at times a struggle, especially the uphill parts, but as the first multi-day tour I’d done in the pursuit of the BCQ it was definitely one of the most rewarding to date, and allowed me to complete my third question card.
Miles Cycled –42
Checkpoints Visited – 1
Total Miles Cycled – 591
Total Checkpoints Visited – 30
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