dst. (km)
Today 145.31
Trip total ??
Odometer 950.2

The hostel last night was far less crowded, our eight-bed room only held me and the two Swedish girls, and neither of them snored. Woke up to yet more drizzle though, a theme that continued through the day.

I dodged the rain; I got caught in the rain. I made it to Starcross just on , and since the ferry runs on the hour, I either had a forty five minute wait or I could ride up to Exeter and back along the other side of the river. Since the only way to get from the main road to the passenger ferry was on a footbridge up and over the railway lines, and I did not feel like lugging the bike up and down them, I took the long option and rode to Exeter instead.

From Exeter I stuck to the A3052, not a very scenic ride, but since I’d already added more distance than I wanted, I didn’t feel like going around the coast in the rain.

Coming down a 16% hill towards Seaton my rear tyre decided to make life more exciting as the tyre split and the tube blew out. Luckily I wasn’t going too fast, so there was only a small scrape of the rim against the road before I managed to stop and walk the rest of the way down the hill. I walked about a mile into Seaton and asked a passerby about bike shops, he directed me back out of Seaton towards Ladyton, about 2½ miles, a long walk along the lanes, he also warned me that the shop closed from noon until 2:30 on a Saturday so the owner could have his lunch. It was with some misgivings that I made the walk, thinking that my chances of finding a bike shop here were minimal, and trying to work out the best way of locking the bike up and catching a bus to Lyme Regis, which I thought would be the closest large town, and most likely to have a bike shop.

Amazingly enough, the shop did exist, and it seemed enormous for the tiny village. It also seemed to be as old as most of the village, containing stock from decades ago. After returning from his leisurely lunch, the staff opened up and found me their last 26” slick tyre, a Tioga Cityslicker that they sold to me for Β£10.

Shortly after leaving Ladyton I was drenched by a thunderstorm, but was too hot to put on my spray jacket, so I just rode along, steaming gently.

I finally got to Weymouth around , and with much misgivings turned towards Portland and over the causeway. Trusting to luck to find the YHA, the first corner I came to had a large sign pointing straight to it! Brand new, still smelling of paint, the hostel is an ex-Ministry of Defence Police house on the naval base. Its newness explains the omission from the phone listing.

Life took a turn for the better with a comfortable room for the night and a warm shower, I’m sharing a room with a German guy from Oxford who is riding from Oxford to Exeter this weekend via Salisbury and Portland. Rounded off the evening with an excellent meal at the Cove House Inn, and sat and drank and talked with Tony and Tricia, a couple from Mansfield in Nottingham.

Where?

Torquay Starcross, Exeter Seaton, Ladyton, Weymouth Portland