Woke up at 3am on Sunday, for one of my all too frequant a trips to the loo these days. Whilst there I became aware of a strange noise outside. On returning to bed I stuck my head out the window to investigate. It was pissing down. Oh joy of joys I thought, all those weeks of nice weather and come my first bike event of the year and it rains. When I got up at 7am it wasnt as bad, still raining but I could put up with it. Got my gear together and loaded the bike onto the car. I left for Selby about 8.15am under leaden skys and a strong northerly wind. Checked in at registration and make several trips to the loo before the 10.00am start. This was the usual scramble with people riding all over the road, up and down pavements zig zagging their way to the front. This year the toll bridge at Selby is closed for repair, but we were allowed to walk across in single file. This was slow as the traffic lights are still in operation on the other side. Once crossed we were truely on our way. The wind was strong and in your face for the first few miles, which was an omen for the return journey as it was 11 miles in this direction. Worry about that later! After a while we turned rights and had the wind more on our backs for a while. At this point I was coasting along at 18 miles an hour.When suddenly this guy who had hooked on to my back wheel some time back comes along side and asks me if I have a speedo and how fast are we going. As we chat he tells me he is getting a pull off me as when we get to the windy section he will be down to 8mph. He is riding a mountain bike in sandals. We stay together for the next 5 miles or so and have a nice chat as we go along. By the time we reach Cawood bridge he,s dropped back along way, and is no longer in sight. He was a nice guy, I hope he got round ok. I spend the next 10 miles on my own, until I make the turn up a narrow lane at Naburn, when a guy comes along side and says hellow. We ride together until we reach Whelbrake were he decides to stop for a drink and a bannana. Whilst we were together we chatted about what we were doing the ride for, and I mention I’m in training for London to Paris. He say “never whats the chance of that so am I”. Its a small world. I sad goodbye and wished him well, but I was at a point where I didn’t want to stop as I was close to 30 miles and equal to my longest ride yet. I pushed on into the teeth of a very strong wind, I was down to 13 / 14 mph. I went through 30 miles in 2hrs 3 minutes so was reasonably pleased. I spent the next few miles trying to catch a guy in front of me but never seemed to be able to close the gap. Suddenly as I rounded a bend I was right behind him, as I passed, I said hellow and ask how was. He just sighed. Just after the forty mile mark I heard a voice from behind say hellow. It was my London to Paris mate. He said he didn’t think he was going to catch me. He said the guy I had passed last was now really struggling, and said he wished he had done some training. Apparently he is planning doing the Great Yorkshire Bike Ride in 6 weeks. We stayed together until the finish and said our goodbyes. It was only when I got back to the car I thought I should have got some contact details. I didn’t even know his name. I checked the distance and time when I got to the car. It was 41 miles, my longest ride by 11 miles this year, and 2hrs 54minute. In spite of the slow start, walking over the bridge and the wind, only 4 minutes slower than when I did this ride 10 years ago when training for the Coast to Coast ride. I was please, I wont make the Olympic team but for me that was good.
This morning I feel reasonably fresh, and rode to work as usual. Bike needs a good clean, and my bum is a little tender. The seat on that new Scott is hard!