A group of 13 riders left West End on a mild but grey day and headed East to Swanmore before turning South towards the coast. The first part of the ride was on quiet country lanes with some gentle undulations. We headed past Shirrell Heath and Shedfield to Funtly for our first stop at Garson’s Garden Centre where preparations for Christmas were in full swing. There was some excellent food on offer at the café and no doubt some found it difficult to resist the cooked breakfast.
Much of the ride from coffee to lunch was on the old Fareham to Gosport railway line, this route is closed to motor vehicles apart from a short section used by buses and provided an excellent route past the urban conurbations of Fareham and Gosport to take us to the seafront at Stokes Bay where lunch was taken.
The route back was along the sea front as far as Hill Head and then inland to Titchfield Haven, Warsash and Bursledon where the Southampton and North Baddesley contingent left us. Despite dire warnings of ‘there’s a big hill after Sarisbury Green’ the rest of us carried on to Hedge End and back to West End.
Thanks to Alan for leading a very varied, interesting and enjoyable ride and to Gordon for shepherding me up that last hill. Well done to Kevin who managed to cycle home with a broken spoke.