Sunday, 25 May 2014

11.7 Miles of Pain

fareham to gosport rapid bus transit system course of old railwayJof keeps saying she's jealous of the trips us chaps do, like St Paul's Cathedral, day trip to the Isle of Wight, day trip to France, all these little things. So we said go on, then, come on one of our excursions.
Following precisely the same plan as we used a few weeks ago (apart from waiting for Jof to fill bags of snacks, do her hair, etc) we cycled to the train station and just missed our train. This is not a problem, even on a Sunday in our engineering works-challenged nation, we only had 20 minutes to wait.
I wandered off and used the platform lifts (hobby #17) and Jof joined me and suddenly our bikes were all on the train with the guard saying if they don't turn up in 12 seconds I'm dinging the bell anyway, we just made it and caused lots of trouble by being in the wrong carriage with 3 bikes.
At Fareham we made our way to the start of the Rapid Transit Bus Route, following the course of the old railway to Gosport. This top-quality cycleway was marred only by the occasional bus: we did those big curvy sine waves on our bikes that you can only do when you know there's no traffic. I even did a complete circle in the middle of the road.
Eventually we made it to our first stopoff: Bridgemary swingpark, access from Cameron Close bus stop. It was quite a good one, we didn't do the skatepark but climbed a lot.
bridgemary park recreation ground gosportStopoff #2 was Gosport Leisure Centre swingpark. OK, it's not big or clever but I like the obstacle course. It's also right next to Fort Brockhurst which we failed to notice last time but Jof was hungry and I concurred. The Sailmaker is a Marstons Carvery right in front of the Ice Rink (so that's where it is!) and it had a climbing frame for the kiddies and roast dinner, which pretty well nails it for me. On the way in we met Sharda, auntie of Zak and Zena the ex-Puddlers, for that is our randomness.
We all had the Carvery with big piles of meat and I even went back for more carrots and peas and gravy, for I am like that.
Fort Brockhurst was closed. But they did have a sign outside saying open every 2nd Saturday of the month so we shall return. They also had swans and geese and ducks and some sturdy brickwork.
Further down the line, Fort Rowner was closed. It was very closed, with razor wire and land mines and warning signs etc. The MOD is holding onto that one.
english heritage site fort brockhurst gosportLeesland swingpark has wooden forts and a giant pyramid of ropes and a zipline and some older kids with lots of bad words. I played soldier attack with Jof but it's just not the same without Ben or Bobert. By the time I wanted to stop at Broken swingpark, Jof was getting impatient. We compromised with an extra long stop at Cockle Pond swingpark, which has an exercise section and I played roundabouts with some tiny humans and swung Jof on the swinging basket, she has trouble with vertigo and doesn't like swings etc so I provided loving therapy and we had her swinging in circles and she didn't vomit once.
From there it wasn't too far to the ferry but the last bit back home seemed a very long way for my tired little legs. I am going to get a new bike in a fortnight with bigger wheels and gears and stuff. Jof was saddlesore and simply cannot believe how many times we stop off to visit parks and forts and places of very little interest, apparently. But that's what we do. Today's journey was wheely fun (ferry funny) but actually slightly less than the 12 mile standard: but full of family bonding in adversity as well as victory. Just before bedtime I vomited it all up again, just one of those things.

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