I needed an adventure that would give me a fix for a few days - ten to be precise. I knew it would finish me off - I normally leave this route until at least June for my legs to get used to a longer ride and I never find it easy.
I never found it easy!
But it was tremendous.
Cool air took me over to Pateley Bridge and as it started to warm up, I spotted my first butterfly high up on Trapping Hill. Just where you need a bit of entertainment the most, I took plenty of glances away from the tarmac ahead and to the bird life playing around and calling in the sunshine.
I guess it's the early part of the season but it was still a surprise to see Leighton Reservoir full up to the brim. I shared a wave with a fly fisherman and enjoyed the quiet lanes round to Coverdale.
By East Witton, I could feel my legs but I was in no rush and knew everything was possible from here. I was turning back into the wind but it wasn't significant and, with the blue sky, that was enough to get anyone home - along with a bit of singing.
I even stripped off to shorts.