martedì 19 agosto 2014

My first english MBK ride, to St Margaret in Cliffe

More than two weeks of extreme walking have passed, and my legs start to require something to go faster from a place to another. Searching for the better offers on the web, I find a second hand MBK, sold by a man from Birchington on Sea. Bought it on Thursday, on Saturday afternoon I'm already testing it, riding along the roads and the paths I've walked along the previous days.

First of all I reach Sandwich, and from here Sandwich bay: an endless gravel beach, almost empty. On the other side of Pegwell Bay I can clearly see Ramsgate, with its cliffs, the Harbour and its modest skyline. I eat on a wharf: some people are tanning on the beach, but the weather is quite cold - at least for my italian standards!

I keep cycling on a long embankment, with a gravel terrain. On the right large golf fields cover the distance to Deal: the last time I reach this pretty town from above the cliffs, today I'm coming from the plain. A long and perfectly straight street takes me in the very centre of the town: then I move to the promenade getting closer and closer to the hill.

The MBK is quite heavy, but helping myself with the gears, I can pedal more confortably. After a while, I leave the asphalt of the National Cycle Network to reach the footpath along the cliffs. I need to go through a golf field and a not-golf field to satisfy my desire, but in the end I find myself into the beautiful scenery of one week ago, with the sea on my left and St Margaret's Obelisk in front of me, at the end of a long hill.

In St Margaret I go through the village and its lovely woods to reach the South Foreland Lighthouse, and see the white cliffs of Dover again.

It's time to come back: an exciting (but short) downhill is waiting for me, followed by a less exiting climb to St Margaret. Cycling now on asphalt and now off road, I explore a little of the inner Kent's countryside, away from the sea, with lots of farm animals. Then I'm again at Deal, Sandwich and Sandwich Bay - with a failed attempt to overpass Pegwell Bay and the Great Stour Rivier - and finally in Ramsgate.

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