Saturday, June 17, 2006

70 miles on a bike...

I used to do it every year, the annual Wetherby to Filey bike ride across the North York Moors.

Its a slog with lots of hills and an almost mountain climb of a hill at the halfway stage but you get a lot of satisfaction from having done it at the end.

The last time I took part was, I believe, 1996. I only remember the date because its always on this saturday every year and at the time the Euro 96 football competition was ongoing and England were playing Scotland so every pub along the 70 mile route was beseiged by most of the 1500 participants whilst the game was on.

My brother and I stopped at such a pub way up on the moors in blistering June sunshine, the pub was packed and so we fell off our bikes onto the grass verge and lay for a while relaxing until my bro got up and went to fetch us a couple of nice ice cold lagers.

He was gone for a while as the bar was full and he stopped to watch a bit of the football and within two minutes I was fast asleep. I had a lovely half hour nap there on the grass verge in full view of all the traffic and fellow cyclists, helmet for a pillow and feet up on the bike, and was eventually rudely awoken by my bro with my now warm lager.

Unfortunately we had underestimated the distance to the finish line and let me warn you here and now, if you ever find yourself with another 20 miles to ride over an undulating moorland landscape then taking a nap and drinking beer is a bad idea, I struggled like hell to finish that day.

Today I was up bright and early to take my brother to Wetherby racecourse where the ride starts, did I wish I was going with him ?

Yes.

But on the other hand, No.

I'm now sat back in my kitchen with a nice cup of coffee and some chocolate biscuits while he's out on the road pedelling like buggary for the rest of the day.

Yes I wish I was doing it.

I've entered for a ride in September though which is organised by the Yorkshire Cancer Research people, a choice of 20 miles or 50 miles in a circular route around Wharfedale, all I need to do now is find the touring bike in the shed somewhere and get my arse out on the road on it again, oh yes, and lose about two stone in weight, I might just manage the 20 mile route then.

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