Forum home Road cycling forum Tours, routes, audaxes & organised rides Tour & expedition

London to Lyme Regis in a Day

cupofteacpcupofteacp Posts: 578
edited December 2007 in Tour & expedition
Ok it's about 170 /180 miles, I've done in the past over 100 miles in a day on a MTB.

Is this too far? I think we can easily cover 15 miles an hour, am I mad?

Has anyone got any suggestions for avoiding the a303 and a36?

We're not planning on doing this until next summer as we expect to take 14 hours

Any tips
15 * 2 * 5
* 46 = Happiness

Posts

  • redveeredvee Posts: 11,921
    The last 2-3 miles are downhill but to benefit the downhill you'll have to climb to the top of the hill. In fact the coast from Weymouth is all up and down, not something I'd look forward to after riding from London.
    I've added a signature to prove it is still possible.
  • PercycpPercycp Posts: 230
    A303? A36? What are you planning on doing, going via Salisbury? No, no - stick South of the M3 and come through via Alresford and the little villages South of Winchester. Through Southampton shouldn't be too bad, then it's a lovely ride through the New Forest and onto Christchurch/Bournemouth. You have the choice of taking the (200m) chain ferry across to Studland then, or going up through Poole (I'd go for the ferry). I don't know how you avoid the A35 either way, without looking at detailed maps.

    RedVee is right though - that Dorset coast may be beautiful but it's a censored to ride along. Especially if the wind is aginst you.
  • peanutpeanut Posts: 1,373
    whats wrong with the old A30 ? nice scenic road plenty of towns and villages for provisions good roads. I have done several 120 mile jollies and survived but I have to say what you are attempting is madness. You'll be destroyed the following day. :roll:
    As for 15mph av on an MTB I'm lucky to achieve that on a lightweight racer down here in the hilly south west.
    Why not break the journey into 2x 90 miles ,book an overnight into a nice old historic town have a nice evening meal good night sleep ready for the next day.
  • toontratoontra Posts: 1,160
    180 in a day should be attainable for a regular cyclist with good fitness. I did my first 175 this year on the second day of a 4-day trip (coming on the back of a 160 first day), so you should be fine.

    Having said that, whether it is comfortable or a real grind will depend on the hilliness of the route and the wind direction!

    As for average speed, on a decent road bike you could expect anywhere between 14 and 17 mph.


    a serious case of small cogs
  • peanutpeanut Posts: 1,373
    toontra wrote:
    180 in a day should be attainable for a regular cyclist with good fitness. I did my first 175 this year on the second day of a 4-day trip (coming on the back of a 160 first day), so you should be fine.

    Having said that, whether it is comfortable or a real grind will depend on the hilliness of the route and the wind direction!

    As for average speed, on a decent road bike you could expect anywhere between 14 and 17 mph.

    yes but his post mentions a MTB not road bike !....
  • toontratoontra Posts: 1,160
    peanut wrote:
    toontra wrote:
    180 in a day should be attainable for a regular cyclist with good fitness. I did my first 175 this year on the second day of a 4-day trip (coming on the back of a 160 first day), so you should be fine.

    Having said that, whether it is comfortable or a real grind will depend on the hilliness of the route and the wind direction!

    As for average speed, on a decent road bike you could expect anywhere between 14 and 17 mph.

    yes but his post mentions a MTB not road bike !....

    He says he's done long rides on his MTB before, but as this is posted in the Road forum I'm assuming (for his sake) that he has a road bike for this trip.


    a serious case of small cogs
  • Pat920Pat920 Posts: 55
    I did the route this summer - but took 2 days to get there and we took the scenic route (B-roads/bridlepaths).
    Dorset is hilly, but the route was great. I've Gmapped it if you are interested.
    Personally, I don't think I'd enjoy getting there in one day.
  • redveeredvee Posts: 11,921
    When you do get to Lyme Regis, don't forget the most important shop in Lyme Regis. Get a stick of rock for all the boys and girls at BikeRadar :lol:
    I've added a signature to prove it is still possible.
  • Fab FoodieFab Foodie Posts: 5,155
    Last Summer on a road-bike I did Oxford to Shaftsbury, then Shaftsbury to Exeter via Axmister, 2 x 90+ mile days.
    The old A30 is OK.
    Many years ago I did Clapham to Poole via Guildford Farnham Romsey, Ringwood 110 miles, Next day Poole to Exeter via Lyme Regis.

    I'd do London to Lyme in 2 days unless really fit on a good light audaxy type bike.
    I also agree that to head down twards Southampton, through the New Forest, then head towards Dorchester and Bridport is a nice route, though it gets lumpy along the Dorset coast, but not too bad slightly in land. Descent into Lyme is fun!

    Good trip!

    The pessimists of this world are rarely disappointed....
    Fab's TCR1
  • Pat920 I'd be interested in the map.

    Percy and Peanut thanks for the advice, I'll take a look at the roads.

    My MTB is V light and I'm using 1" slicks, but I'm also thinking about getting a road bike.

    I comute 30 miles a day, so I'm going to have to put some 4 hour rides in before the trip.

    The plan is to set off at sunrise i.e. 4:30 am, we could split the trip into two days, but we'd like to make it an adventure. I'm more worried about navigation than the distance.
    15 * 2 * 5
    * 46 = Happiness
  • toontratoontra Posts: 1,160
    You'll be OK on the MTB you describe. My first few 150's were on a sturdy old steel MTB with 1.50 semi-slick tyres, but I now have a Dawes Audax. The difference is mainly the better body positioning and more possible hand positions to relieve fatigue.

    You're absolutely right about setting off early. I'm always gone by 5am. Miss any traffic if you're heading out of a city, and you've done 60 miles before others are having their breakfast! Psychologically a great boost.

    PS I also never look at my watch when doing long trips, at least until after noon, and I'm often pleasantly surprised by the mileage I've done when I eventually do look.


    a serious case of small cogs
  • pat9020 ,you reckon i could have a look at the route you taken? ill be attempting something like this early next year apart from starting in somerset which would only involve a bit of alteration to the start.
    many thanks.
  • Pat920Pat920 Posts: 55
    Thanks for the interest. The route I plotted is as follows. As for navigation, one rider downloaded the routes from Gmap into a Garmin GPS that mounts on the handlebars and the routefinding became ridiculously easy - the route is plotted pretty accurately.

    London (Kingston) to
    Guildford http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=816370 21 miles
    Alresford http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=816412 32 miles
    Minstead http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=847326 30 miles
    Poole ferry http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=847342 30
    Moreton http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=847373 25
    Burton Bradstock http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=853276 22

    I took the routes from the Sustrans site where possible, and added other sections from local cycling sites (the final section was from the "cycling in West Dorset leaflet").

    The route is in 6 sections as it is 2 days and each day was split by breaks for coffee and lunch.There is a third day taking you on to Devon (which was great). I'm hesitant to recommend this actual route because I think planning is half the fun and only you know how you want to divide the time between the saddle and the pub. I regarded this as a "leisure" ride, but was on my road bike and the off-road bits were easily rideable.

    There are a lot of notes I could add, but the most important are:
    Section 1 - fast blast out of London. From Downside we actually went via Effingham Junction - I suspect the route I planned isn't passable.
    Section 2 - Easy route around Farnham, Alice Holt Forest pretty but rough tracks, Alton-Alresford off road and rough.
    Section 3 - Decided on the wrong place to cross the M3 - choose another point! B&B recommended if you are stopping.
    Section 4 - fantastic cycling through the New Forest, some on tracks (and we had 2 punctures). Bit of a blast to Bournemouth and then along the sea-front (was very busy and the path closes to cyclists at 10:00 a.m.).
    Section 5 - to Poole ferry and roads beyond flat and smooth. But we had to detour to find a bike shop in Poole...
    Section 6 - Hills beyond Dorchester are a challenge. Hardy's Monument a high point. Good pub in BB and good cafe on beach.

    I did the same kind of trip last year, but going via Bristol, largely on the 4 and 3.
  • i have, twice cycled London to Milborne Port, which is near Sherborne, Dorset. I think it's around 130 miles. The first time I did it on my girlfriends £50 bike in less than 10 hours riding. It was my first ride of more than 10 miles and i couldn't walk for a couple days. But the second time I felt little pain during or following the ride. It was pretty much all A30 bar a little A303 which was hellish and a tiny A36 section through Salisbury. I can't imagine doing another 50 miles in a day would be very fun but it'd be nice to hear how you get/got on!
  • sweepsweep Posts: 360
    I think you should be able to do it if you take the right type of food on board on a regular basis.

    I did the Elinith audax a couple of years ago which is 300km starting from Wolverly near Kiddiminster and heading through Wales over some fairly stiff climbs.

    It did take me 17 hours in total and I was wiped out the following day.

    My previous longest ride had been 200km around Wiltshire and the surrounding area.

    Try to plan some stops at cafes in advance. If you can split the ride into 60km chunks with a cuppa and snack to look forward to on a regular basis it should be ok.
    It\'s Only Rock n\' Roll But I Like It!
  • andymillerandymiller Posts: 2,856
    Why not take the train say 30 miles out of London and start there?
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