So, the ride is over – and, as you may have read in Sarah’s excellent blog post, I crossed the line having omitted only one stage (which, given the atrocious conditions with strong head winds, I don’t feel at all guilty about). Martin feels that he has unfinished business with the Newcastle to London – a point which I entirely disagreed with when I crossed the line on Sunday.
It was an emotional experience – I was expecting to see Fred, but no one else. I was stunned to see first Viv (that woman looks familiar – who could it be?!), Martin and then Joshua and Fred. How could this be? I expected Viv to have taken Martin back to the ‘wood many hours previously! It would have been lovely to have seen Sarah and the boys too – but I stupidly declined to see them on the basis that the boys would have been bored rigid. They probably would have been too, but it would still have been lovely to see them.
When we eventually got home I sunk into a hot and bubbly bath and dozed off, woken by Sarah bringing me a much needed cup of tea and the smell of roasting chicken and sausages. I’ve said it before, but heaven really is made of moments like these – home cooked food in the bosom of ones family, after flogging away at some seriously strenuous exercise. I nodded off at the table, and I was in bed before eight for a good night’s sleep.
24 hours is, for me, the length of time it takes my goldfish memory to blunt an unpleasant experience (and really, riding into a strong headwind with lashing rain is a deeply unpleasant experience). Martin felt he had unfinished business with the Newcastle to London, and by Monday afternoon I was inclined to agree with him. He does have unfinished business but, I know think, so do I. So, in 2017, Martin and I plan to venture forth again – hopefully in more clement conditions – and ‘smash it’. Don’t worry, we won’t be asking for sponsorship next time!
Other events which we plan to attempt are the London Prudential (we’ve applied – fingers crossed we’re successful in the ballot), London to Paris, LE-JO’G and a mountain stage of the Tour de France. Not all next year though. Watch this space as we sally forth and drive our poor, long suffering, wives to the brink of distraction once more…