Saturday 16th July 2016 Day 1 from Cambridge to Martinstown near Dorchester

Nearly 200 miles from my concrete garage in Cambridge to East Rew Cottage. I got up before 7 this morningh carrying my two bags down to the garage to squeeze them into the Touratech panniers and headed off before 8am. Much of the ride is a little tedious but necessary, with queuing on the M25 and at the beginning of the M3 which is being turned into a 'smart motorway' according to the signage. Slowing to a crawl, stopping and starting again is tedious with heavy luggage on the bike. Coffee and cake at Fleet services (these services are always full of humanity-hardly surprisingly) and then a blast down here, arriving at Dorchester at about 2.30 to stock up on some food for the next day or two.

Tesco Dorchester has an array of fountains outside it. It must be the grandest Tesco I've seen, though inside it is identical to the others. The road got attractive suddenly after Salisbury and stayed calmly twisty up until the motorway-like ring road around Dorchester. By the time I got down to Dorset I was a bit too tired to appreciate the lovely roads. I save that for the next six days. Comments on Nexx helmet: I tried the drop down sunvisor for the first time. I think if all else fails it is helpful but it is not optically that great and does not come down far enough so I am very conscious of the lower edge in my field of vision. I don't know whether other helmets implement this better. So this extra feature over the Arai Tour x that I also considered is not a winner. I also found it hot and the ventilation is a bit poor though with a head squeezed up against the lining of any helmet ventilation is never going to be great. The fact that you can fix a camera mount to a detachable plate is a plus though. BMW Ralleye Pro suit: again with so many vents in the jacket and the trousers and a basically light design makes it preferable to a leather suit/jacket in weather that got up over 25 degrees today (that's just the south of England - imagine southern Spain in summer which is why they have made the jacket, that and African countries). Dorchester is very close to here. It will be easy to go back there are look for some wifi to upload backups of my manuscript and download some information from the net for my writing. With no Internet here, and no radio, I just have to plough on with writing. Sometimes it feels like a hard slog. The weather until Wednesday is looking good and I am looking forward to some riding around these lovely lanes. The air is thick with the sound of sheep baying (or it is baaing?) and birds singing. And the sunlight is beautiful.

Belinda feeling at home among the farm animals

The cottage is good – simple, with very basic ugly stuff but fine. Just what's needed – a simple kitchen, bathroom with an electric shower over the bath that is impossible to get at the right temperature and double bed with something frilly on top, Ikea wardrobe.

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Today: Miles: 197 Average speed 25mph (!) Temperature: 14 C to 28 C  

Me and GS and Touratech Panniers


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