Early morning wake up drained, feeling like a hangover with no headache. In bed since 8.30 the previous night and still wrecked. I got the feeding all wrong yesterday. And today I look out the window, check the sky for rain and the trees for wind. Another day like yesterday and I’m done for.. Realising now, that this is more then a Sunday spin through England. This is a real challenge. It’s about concentrating, getting it right every day, the feeding, the drinks, the rest, the route. Today is about surviving.
I’ve tried to grow a beard, but as I look in the mirror, I look as if I stuck me head up an exhaust pipe and it exploded.
But what a difference a day makes…aided by a can of coke and a pizza. With the hills and the A68 behind me, the quieter secondary roads, the flat route, the sun breaking through, even the wind comes on side for a while, I’m back and cruising a steady 26k an hour. More disciplined now, snacking and drinking more. Life just couldn’t be better. As I cruise by acres of rich yellow rape seed acres, neat tidy hedge rows, red bricked farm houses. The English have style, their villages always neat and tidy, their always polite and friendly
I pull into Thirsk, famous for James Herriotts All Creatures great and small….quaint and beautiful but jammed with tourists. The village drunk stops to talk to my horses head on the handle bars. From their I push to York, dodging the motorway, stopping on the outskirts of bigger towns, to feed, so as not to have to strap the bike to a sign post…
On the out skirts I’m forced on to a mish mash of traffic jammed roundabouts, only for the Satnav to bring me down onto a bike path which brings me lazily into the centre of York through a recreation park where coxless fours row strong on the river Ouse and teenagers in white play cricket on the green. But York itself is buzzing with tourists, and there is nowhere to strap a bike, with any peace of mind. So I push on the last 20k to Selby, via the A19.
Selby, like all English towns regardless of Bank holidays, shuts down dead and deserted at 5pm. The Londsborough Hotel promised me a single room with a view of the Cathedral. Instead I got a single room, over a Disco and a view of a graffiti stained wall.
I attempt to eat a Kebab on the town square, dribbling it all down my chin. Only then do I remember that you really have to be full of beer at three in the morning before you tackle a kebab…