Sunday, 12 September 2010

Sandtoft - Hawes

Miles 97.4 today
In 6hrs 37 mins burning 3044 Kcal climbing 3044ft

Miles total 769
In 50hrs 4mins burning 24487 Kcal climbing 32333ft
Most miles in a day : 106.2

The biggest issue for me is the wind, not the trumpetee personal type, but the blowing in your face stuff. Today was a proper windy day with a fresh wind from the west. It caused me trouble from the start.

Leaving Sandtoft was more of the same flatness, no hedges and real hard work into the wind. The nature of the landscape changed as I headed north with a rounder greener feel and more trees and hedges good to hide behind from the wind.

Going west towards Wetherby I was getting pretty fed up with the wind and saw a cycle track beside the road. I swung across to get in amongst the trees. A man at the start warned me that 200 runners were just about to come up the path. I’ll take my chances I thought. I can always stop, eat and wave at them as they go by. The track was clearly leaving the line on the sat nav. A junction, I asked the man did it swing back to meet the road? Apparently, no it ran beside the race course. Not being local this was of no use to me. At least I established this was where the runners were joining the cycle way. I took my chances and continued down into the town, watching the black line on the sat nav. It worked and I cut a corner of the route.

As I approached Ripon there was more up and down, and more wind. I was hungry and fatigued. It started to rain so I hid under a tree outside the cathedral and in minutes it had stopped. I had a gel. It took a couple of goes to get through the town, as there were a number of one way streets, then it was out and the start of the climbs. Nothing too steep, but long continuous gradients into the wind. I started to suffer, I geared down, and ground on.

The Bee had a bit of a crisis too. I found him on a letter box considering to post himself home. I told him that Denise had a nice fresh supply of honey, and a few of his friends had come to meet him. This cheered him up, and when I got a wasp in my helmet later, he was quickly in there sorting it out. There was a lot of buzzing which seemed to be rather too much of the 'if anybody is going to sting me, it will be my bee' variety!

The way forward was interminable. The mileage to go failed to come down, the route into the wind, and the way up. The hedges turned to walls, and I joined more major roads and the province of the weekend motorcycle warrior. They provided the only light relief as I rounded a corner in Masham. One appeared to have run into the back of another at very slow speed at a junction. I offered to help them pick their bikes up, there was no reply, crowds gathered, coming out of shops. I decided they didn’t need me and rode on.

Into Wenslydale, the wind funnelling down the valley towards me. To the end I suffered like I have not suffered for years. Nothing hurt and it all hurt. I lost the feeling in my thighs. I shouted at myself to keep going and I congratulated myself at the top of the smallest rise. I engaged the cows and sheep in conversations. It was all very hard.

I meet Denise in the Market Square, brought the bike to a halt and sat on the nearest seat, exhausted. I knew there would be days like this, but I had expected it earlier on, not today.

The forecast tomorrow is raining or shower I think. I don’t care, I do care that I am going north west and the wind is forecast south west, and less of it.

Tomorrow Scotland.
On a personal note, today I exceeded the most miles I have ever cycled in a year at 5330.

1 comment:

  1. Nearly in Scotland already! Well done Greg. Where is Nickey Nackey Lane?!