Tour de France Stage 1: Cycle Diary day 3
Wednesday: Tunbridge Wells to Tenterden [43kms]
Day three: 27 miles | average speed: 5.79 mph | max speed 30.26 mph | calories: 1500
For the first time this week, the sun shines upon the first few miles of my journey. The tweak behind my left knee seems to have eased and I make the most of this double portion of favour by powering towards Matfield. I clock what must be my top speed on the Pembury by-pass, although not fast enough to trigger the speed cam. Next time, I'll use a racing bike.
My GPS track: T Wells - Tenterden
During my morning broadcast on Radio Kent, John Warnett accused me of having a 'girls' bike' [I had brought it into the Tunbridge Wells studio], which of course I strongly denied. However as I was forced to dismount on a particularly steep hill before Matfield, I wished I had a nimbler bike, manlier thighs and about three stone less of broadcast equipment. How would I cope with the Goudhurst King Of The Mountains?
I'm enjoying the ride today - very little traffic to worry about, pretty Kentish villages and stunning vistas at every turn. Enjoying the ride, that is, until I hit the A262 and finally meet my nemesis - Goudhurst hill.
For the riders of Le Tour, this is just a pimple on a 'flat' stage but for me it's a mountain climb, an Alpe d'Huez. I engage first gear so that I achieve maximum foot spid with the least amount of forward motion - and continue to thrash until the town looms into view. I'm exhausted but happy. I'm King Of The Mountain - even if it is on a princess' bicycle.
After Goudhurst, everything is - well - downhill. It's a pleasant ride along the A262 to Sissinghurst - which sports an impressive penny farthing bicycle on the roundabout - until the route dives off down quieter lanes once again - along the green and flattish Cranbrook Road towards Tenterden.
Tunbridge Wells » Tenterden: drive through
Watch our car's eye view of this section of stage 1 - speeded up.
Tunbridge Wells » Tenterden: race data
Points of interest en route:
Villages of Matfield and Brenchley | Goudhurst | Bedgebury Pinetum | Sissinghurst Castle Gardens
last updated: 03/04/2008 at 12:53