The wind was mostly on my side on the way out. I flew across to Gainsborough, went straight through that and the on to Market Rasen. 80km covered in 3 hours.
I had a stop there to buy and apply sudocrem, as the saddle interface was suffering a little. I also topped up my water bottles and had a bit of breakfast.
Then I was on my way to Pocklington, via the Humber bridge.
I'd decided not to do the LEL route, as I don't want to ride that before the LEL ride itself, so I took a different more main roady route towards the Humber bridge. It wasn't that hilly, but it was fairly undulating. The wind was still fairly brisk as well.
There was one point where I was flying down a hill and a stinging insect of some sort got caught in the vents in my helmet. After a few angry buzzes trying to free itself it stung me and then got out. Thanks to wearing a buff, the sting didn't do much, but it still hurt.
I got to the Humber bridge at about 12, so had some more food there, then set off to Pocklington. Again, wanting to skip the LEL route I took more main roads.
I had a bit of a scare on the way there, as the route I was following the road sign pointed towards "Nunburnholme" and "Warter", which I knew had very big steep hills on the way to them. Fortunately my route took me past those places.
I got to Pocklington about 3ish, then wasted some time trying to find somewhere to eat. I eventually found a pub that was still serving food and ate a Lasagne. Not exactly low carb food, but I was really hungry and feeling low on energy.
The 40ish km to Easingwold took me over 2 hours, the wind was really strong and there was no shelter in the flat land around York.
I had a 15 minute break in Easingwold to top up my water and eat an Ice cream, then I was off again. Heading through York and onto towards Selby. I took the planets path for most of the way there, then got to the outskirts of Selby. I was feeling pretty rough by then. Tired and cold, I took a break in a rubbish bus shelter and kept nodding off.
Then I remembered the old Gel I had at the bottom of my bag, lots of sugar and a huge hit of caffeine, it perked me up and I set off again. Through Selby and on down the A19 towards Doncaster. Another bit of main road bashing, but it was quiet at that time.
I stopped at a 24 hour garage to get more water, and a chocolate bar, then skirted the outside of Doncaster. Then the climbing started again. The flat lands were behind me now, but at least I knew that these hills meant I was getting close to home. Which I was glad about, as I was freezing cold. I had all the layers on that I'd brought. Leg warmers, a base layer, jersey, gillet, arm warmers and a rain coat.
I had a massive sense of humour failure going around Doncaster. I was cycling along a fairly straight road and glanced at my gps to see where the next turn off would be, to see my movement arrow pointing South! I was suddenly convinced that the arrow should be pointing North, and that I'd spend the last hour cycling the wrong way. I convinced myself that this was the case.
I looked around on my map, eventually worked out where I was and where I was going to, and that I should actually be going South.
I got through Maltby, then stopped at another 24 hour garage for a break. I had almost 2 1/2 hours left on the clock to finish the last 15km.
That's when I made my biggest mistake. I looked at my cycle computer too much. I saw that I'd done 310km, and I thought I'd worked out that it was a 315km ride. When I fiddled with the map though, I saw that I still had at least 15km left to do.
I was cold, tired, and that last 15km seemed like such a long way.
I rang RR, who'd been texting me and checking that I was still ok. She asked me if I wanted picking up, and faced with a choice of either sitting on the bike peddling up hill for the next hour, or sitting in a nice warm car, the car won.
I ended the ride. 310km done in 18 hours and 40 minutes. 15km short of my target. Cold, tired and knackered. I sat and waited to be picked up, instead of just getting on with it and finishing the ride.
So, I failed. Mentally I failed. I know that I could have ridden that last 15km in time, but I just gave in to the thought of a warm ride instead.
Then what makes it worse, it was Father's day the next day. The kids had made me a huge banner with a picture of my bike on and "You can do it!", "We believe in you!". I also had some "tokens" to take with me from them, one says "Don't doubt yourself" and "You will make it" on the other.
They made them for the LEL ride, but I still felt bad when I got them. I hadn't done it, I had given up.
So, that's why it's a qualified failure. I set out to ride 300kms, and I did that, in plenty of time. The time limit was just a few minutes under 21 hours. I reached 310kms in 18 hours and 40 minutes.
In Audax terms, the ride was a failure. I didn't complete it, no points, I have to complete a 300km ride to get the award I was thinking of. Sacrificed for the sake of one more hour on the bike.
A big mental learning exercise. No matter how bad I think it is, I can do it. I just need to HTFU.
I've got a 600km ride planned for the 29th. Let's see how I get on with that one.
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