It’s Sunday, the weather supposed to better – let’s get this 200km ride done.
Well this was the first ride for a long time that I left the house straight into pouring rain, that drizzle crap.
As I crossed through Grimsby it soon began apparent that a lot more rain had fallen over night than originally forecast.
Luckily for me my new dhB Flashlight waterproof jacket looked after this aspect of riding wonderfully as I kept both dry and maintained my body temperature without overheating.
It wasn’t until I got to Wooton in North Lincolnshire that I decided I better had take this snood I’d be wearing for an hour now – it was starting to feel a bit clammy around my neck partly due to the heat and the rain.
At Wooton I also had an opportunity to tinker once more with my seat post, still not quite found the “bike fit” height I had measured back in late 2018; it was also at this point that I noticed a curious marking in the wood grain at the bus shelter I had stopped at.
It read “I am M. Hopper Spam”; funnily enough I know someone who fits this caveman signature which will remain engraved forever more – I let him know moments later through our WhatsApp group.
Onward from Wooton I reached the Ancholme Valley yet again having been here on a couple of weeks earlier swinging down and across Horkstow Bridge through Winterton and dropping down Thealby Hill. From there was a nagging wind as I crawled up a mere 1%er in the direction of Alkborough where my first cafe stop would be. It was at this point I started to begin to doubt my ability to finish this ride; after all this was my February 200km audax ride and in order to possibly be achieve my RRTY award I couldn’t “afford” to miss a month. It wasn’t until I enjoyed a late breakfast at The Paddock Tea Rooms in Alkborough and understanding that for much of the rest of the day I would hope to be blessed with a tailwind that I did make the decision to continue.
Indeed I had made the right call as for the next 70km I enjoyed a cross wind and plentiful tailwinds as I sped down the River Trent past Keadby Bridge, through Laughton Woods, straight through Gainsborough and across the Lincolnshire flats.
Soon I arrived at Wickenby were I nursed what can only be described as a slow puncture; however when I finished the ride the inner tube was fine so go figure.
I later discovered on Tuesday there was a tiny thorn poking in my tyre.
I digress, it took a few moments more to reach the Airfield where I was looking forward to some hot food. Unfortunately they were no longer serving hot food, but was fortunate enough to grab a cup of coffee here, biscuits and a generous slice of Coffee and Walnut cake.
Inside the cafe there was a table of “bikers”; of the motor variety – and they were discussing how when you buy a bike having spent all that money you often would have to replace the seat because it wasn’t very comfortable. A familiar conversation once had with cycling friends, buy a new bicycle replace the seat as soon as you can afford it.
It was half three in the afternoon by this point, having enjoyed a quick break I left Wickenby Airfield only to return 5 minutes later to pick up my water bottle that I had haphazardly left on the table back at the cafe.
So after leaving for the second time I soon found that I had reached Market Rasen (oh that tail wind was wonderful!) and up the A46 I keenly sped eventually turning off at the Holton-le-Moor junction now back on to quieter roads again pointing my wheel North East in around the Lincolnshire Wolds towards home.
My next “obstacle” was the climb at Grasby before and after the B-road that runs through the village. There are two hills in the village itself and another upon leaving, as soon as I looked up at the first I thought to myself “that does look steeper than I remembered”. However, I knew that the second hill was the one with the most significant gradient. I needn’t have worried as minutes later I was through Grasby and my legs still felt great.
All that was left now gentle rolling hills and as I passed through Great Limber, Laceby and Bradley Woods. Two “Walthams” and I was home, showered, fed and fit up eating dinner in front of the TV.