For those of you who don't know, I lived in Sheffield (well just outside) from age 11 till 18. It was never this tough as a lad !!! Jenkin Road (30% in 1 place was a hill the Tour de France organisers threw in right at the end of the stage.... for a laugh. Thanks.)
Day 02 Sun 29/06/14 York - Sheffield 201km (officially)
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Up at 5:15. Breaky at 6am (it seemed rude not to have another dose of sausage, bacon, eggs, mushrooms, hash browns...etc etc)
Then we had to get on a bus to York. Great bus..... if you are a dwarf, or a child under 10. However, try and fit 80 grown people, mostly blokes, and many in their sweaty riding kit from yesterday, with their 2 day bags, helmets and water bottles, and you have really quite an interesting scenario! The pros don't have to suffer this! Nor do they have to stop at traffic lights or encounter traffic! Grrrr. I don't know, they get it easy!
So we left a rainy York, but within 30 mins it was dry. Glorious.
It didn't rain. The weather was perfect (sunny at times, relatively cool most of the day).
So as is the norm (its a must) we rode the first 40km to the first feed stop all together. We then set off to the next feed stop (another 40km). At this point I decided I simply couldn't ride as slowly as my mate, as it was causing me too much pain. When you go slowly you don't push as hard on the pedals so you have more weight on the seat, plus you stop concentrating. There were others riding slower and plenty of folk to ride with. This doesn't mean I went speeding off... oh no, I am still slow and steady (!) but it was a fair bit quicker, and I felt a lot more comfortable. Once he's better we'll ride together again, and it will probably be him dragging me along.
Today was beautiful (if not rather unnecessarily hilly!). We even rode some "pave" (cobbles to the uninitiated) through some village, somewhere in Yorkshire!). Brilliant.
I knew my mate Fish was going to visit me "en route" and we assort of arranged where we'd meet. It was great, he kept overtaking me and taking photos encouraging, cheering! Fantastic. He even ran with me in typical TdF crazy supporter fashion up Holme Moss....so I felt like a hero! Good man. He even brought his dog, so I treated him to a few Bourbon biscuits at the feed stop....and some shortbread, and some crisps. Ooops, don't tell the organisers.... Great dog.
And me 'ol mate Mowey met me at the end... he waited several hours, and was very patient and understanding.....admitting that he has cycled 20 miles, but is was mainly downhill !! Apologies to Peter L who also said he would be there, but I never saw you if you were.....
I finally got in around 7pm after another 9 hrs of cycling and 11.5 in total (stopping in traffic, eating (a lot), hugging Fish, feeding his dog etc etc!)..... we had a BBQ, which was brilliant, and chocolate brownie ice cream..... This was from 8pm and the briefing started at 9pm (although not everyone arrived). No Moustache (for the biggest error), Flat cap (for being a good man - normally called Chapeau, but we're in Yorkshire) prizes tonight, cos it was such a late day. That will be on the bus to Cambridge tomorrow.
So its up at 5again, breaky 5:30, bus at 6am..... 3 hrs to Cambridge and start riding at 9:30am. A mere 160km and FLAT. Hoorah. Feels like a rest day!! Ha ha, how can 100 miles seem like a rest? Whats happened to me.
Buckingham palace beckons...I wonder if the Queen will be cheering us on? (Will her Corgies want bourbon biscuits?)
Well its nearly 11pm... so..........BED TIME
(PS hopefully, Fish's photos might arrive here at some point..... Scuse the non matching shirt and shorts..... but the white ones were put on at half way to give a little added padding! If you'd just ridden 400km in 2 days, you'd understand !!)
PPS Message to my main man Youcef. "Second skin" might just have saved my life! Thanks bud. That and lowering the seat slightly. Prologo not yet fitted, hopefully wont need to. thanks :-)