Sunday, 13 April 2014
Wednesday 9th April - Eversley to Ridge Farm, Steep (Mis-fortune and Fortune)
Reminded today of an excellent Challenge Volunteer, Rob Nichols, whose only failing was that he used to bang on about Hampshire being 'The Golden County' - metaphorically ate those words as our morning route coursed through some beautiful countryside.
We stopped for lunch at an idyllic village pond in Holybourne at the bottom of a thrilling descent.
Just as Myrtle came to rest on the fence around the pond, an explosive gush of air signaled the first puncture of the journey! That it came as we'd already stopped for lunch made it a little more palatable as we wouldn't be losing too much time with a quick inner tube replacement.
Mid afternoon's tea-break was in Gilbert White's Selbourne - lovely stop with well stocked village stores (and the village over-brimming with Hunter Wellies and 'Imogens'.
Two miles from our campsite destination came the second puncture, once again Myrtle's rear had to be up-ended ;-) As if this wasn't enough, there also seemed to be developing problems with her free-wheeling tendancies too.
Ridge Farm Campsite was safely reached after having to hobble the speed on our descent; your traditional rough pasture with en-suite portaloo. Evening sunshine brought some light to the misfortunes of the day when local campsite intelligence reported that not more than 400m down the road was an excellent bike shop. Myrtle legged it down there before closing for a failing/to failed rear hub was diagnosed. Owens Cycles were all up for repairing for the morning with hopefully little delay to our planned departure time.
(12 years and thousands of miles were bound to take their toll somewhere and, luckily just this side of the Channel and in spitting distance of a 'proper' bike shop)