Over the last few weeks I’ve been starting to find joy in taking my bike off the tarmac and onto trails and lesser ridden tracks. Not much for now, but it always makes me smile. I think it’s the long forgotten mountain biker in me. Now I’m really not looking to get back into mountain biking (yet), but gravel and trail riding does appeal in bucket loads.
I had only gone a few miles, not even as far as Penrith, but it was clear I needed this energy boost early on. I should have tried to sleep for longer in the camper, but when you know that time is ebbing away, and you've woken up, something in your brain tells you that if you are awake then you should be moving forwards.
As I left John O’Groats at 8:30 am, I was looking forward to having a mighty tailwind but it was not to be. There was a fierce cross wind, and although slightly favourable, the gusts threatened to throw me off my bike on several occasions. I was convinced that the wind was trying to kill me, and despite the sunshine, it was freezing cold and brutal.
I knew I needed to make sure that I didn’t scrimp on my sleep on this trip, but despite being on the road for over 16 hours, and riding almost 200 miles the day before, I was wide awake when I arrived at my hotel room. I scattered my belongings around the room, thought about my day,
The alarm went off way too early, considering this was going to be a long day. We had decided that we would travel to Cornwall and stay at my son’s house in Bodmin. It would be hassle free since he wasn’t going to be there, and it was close enough to Land’e End to be convenient...or so I thought. Unfortunately, whilst on a map it looked close, it was actually 50 miles away, and Google Maps estimated an hour & and quarter to reach Lands End. So for me that meant a grab and go breakfast to eat while we were moving.
It's a common feeling when you've been preparing for so long for something so big. The crash that comes after the event. It comes regardless of whether you were triumphant, or things didn't go to plan. The success of the event is just a volume button really to the emptiness that is invariably felt once the euphoria (or disappointment) wears off.