I made my way to the Lands End sign post at 8.30am, later than I thought I would but I was really weary after the emotional roller-coaster of the day before. The obligatory photos were taken and just as I was about to set off, another rider having his picture taken had his front wheel go bang. Tyre gone, what a bad start! It looked like he had support there so I hope he got it sorted!
There’s a nice little start/finish line at Lands End (I hope there’s a finish line at John O’groats) and off I went into the glorious blue sky ahead of me. Just me and the bike and the road. I was avoiding the A30 as much as possible so I didn’t see anyone else who’d been at the start for the rest of the day which just goes to show how everyone does a different route. Everyone’s experiences are their own.
Because I avoided the A30 my route was so much hillier than it could’ve been. A large proportion of my roads were single track and ridiculously steep and lumpy. My focus was on keeping hydrated since this is where I usually fall down on and I think I did really well! I stopped for lunch at 11.45 at Troon taking advantage of the Co-Op and sat in the sun for a leisurely 45 minutes letting the food go down. Im always aware of the need to consume calories but when cycling my body finds it hard to digest food. Ridiculous I know. Probably to do with blood focusing on my leg muscles or something. Either way, bottles refilled and bladder full I set off again. Road side wees are a necessary evil, right? When you’ve got to go, you’ve got to go. Hate it. I’m sure ladies will understand the perils of finding the right place so you miss a patch of nettles.
I was struggling by Truro and took a break at the top of a hill on the outskirts. Training rides have taught me to know when my body just says no. I can push through after a small rest and I got a second wind soon after. The steepness of the hills got less and seemed to hit perfect percentage for the last big climb of the day which went on for a few miles. I got to my B&B about an hour after I’d hoped to but considering the hill steepness I struggle with (and I’m not ashamed to say I walked up two because with a pannier it was too much). I figured I can forgive myself two walked hills out of the number of hills I’ll meet between now and the end. This forgiveness is all part of my new “being kind to myself” way of thinking.
My B&B for the night is really quaint. It’s a family home with two rooms up for booking and my hostess brought me two pieces of cake when I arrived. She said they get a lot of cyclists doing LEJOG (I’m pretty sure I found them on http://www.bedsforcyclists.com) but normally they get here on day 2 or 3. It gave me a boost, even if it’s not completely true.
So today was hard. It was probably made harder by the lack of a proper big meal last night (though I’ll be forever grateful to the owner of the hostel last night for those beans) but I succeeded and that’s the most important thing. Keep your fingers crossed the longer distance and increased climbing tomorrow doesn’t finish me off!