There was a point today, at about mile 70, where I thought I'd bitten off more than I could chew.
Two jacket potatoes, three coffees (only the last one had the amount of caffeine I needed), two pieces of flapjack and that's on top of the Nakd bar intake. I've just had a big pasta dinner and fairly certain I'm still in deficit.
After Rich said earlier in the week that he could work from home today, I was a bit gutted that the weather report gradually seemed to forecast a worse and worse scenario.
But, I was determined to make the most of it and concluded that if I wasn't having fun, I'd shorten the route.
So I set off. In the drizzle. With my waterproof jacket on, my toe covers back on and helmet light flashing. The double rain prediction began at 10am but I trundled on. Thankfully, it ended near the top of Fleet Moss. The way down into Hawes acted as a superb air dryer, there was even a glimpse of blue sky as I reached Gayle and I arrived 15 minutes early for lunch opening times only vaguely damp.
I set off up Buttertubs to a perfectly timed clearing sky and I soon realised it was jacket off time. The warmth on my back felt so good. I felt Little Dog waiting to be let into the living room in the morning to find a patch of sunlight on the carpet. The carpet out here was the vibrant greens of the dales slopes after a dousing with water and warmth. It was just so pretty.
Going up the hill was all the more glorious for the abysmal weather I'd faced earlier on. I almost didn't notice the steep bits. Almost.
I stopped at the top for a photo, presented with a wild view into Swaledale and streams of blue sky. Thank goodness I got myself out of the door. I stopped again for this photo a little further down, loving the little barns next to the road.
Without too much haste, I enjoyed following the undulating road in the sunshine all the way to Reeth where my hunger dragged me into a coffee shop before continuing towards Leyburn. Feeling a little peckish and at this particular moment, doubting my ability to get home, I was overjoyed to see on my map that I was heading past Jervaulx Abbey and its wonderful little tea shop. It was here I found the proper coffee and the double flapjack; one for now and one to nibble all the way home.
I nibbled and cycled all the way home.
I even got my legs back a little despite the undulations. In the end, the rainclouds were most certainly on my side too. There looked like some whoppers around and only three spots touched me before my arrival on the doorstep.
In the spirit of last night's MMT that I was taken on. It was Wicked!
I'm now looking forward to a weekend of rest.