It wasn't all plain sailing
But I knew it wasn't going to be. This photo belies the very strong crosswind that had me drifting, sometimes a bit wildly, across the road but up until the last 10 miles, it really did feel like I was sailing along.
At Kettlewell, I thought how wonderful I felt but soon brought myself down to earth with the fact that I'd just completed the easiest part of the ride and the hills hadn't even started! I was cycling a fairly strong southerly on my way to Kirkby Stephen for the 14:31 home.
I love these rides that take me on a day's holiday. The scenery just fills you up to the brim with satisfaction and delight. At times, it felt like I was gliding along, just absorbing the moments - a huge flock of starlings taking to the sky beside me, a field of redwings and lambs dotted here and there - although at other times, I was more focused on the tarmac rising ahead of me!
The psychology of a few weeks ago made me fairly confident I'd be OK on the hill that finishes the ride and this road is the place where that's in the bag and you tip over the edge and coast down into the valley below. A great moment of satisfaction.
It was still winter kit weather and pausing for this photo made me very glad of it as I was getting buffeted around. The next pause was in Kirkby Stephen where I plumped for a shop to stock up on food and water for the train journey home. All that was to do then was grit my teeth into the headwind and incline up to the station where I was pleased to see the train was on time, sorted out my kit in the shelter of the waiting room and revelled in my day.
What a day.
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