Last Friday I set off on an epic cycle home from Warwick University to Eastrington, East Yorkshire – 127 Miles taking over 7hrs 52 Minutes it was a very long day in the saddle.
Planned beforehand and was more calculated than previous trips around England that usually involved cycling on three lane A roads (e.g. Milton Keynes, A1 near Olverton), which are never wise decisions but had to be done.
The route can be further explored in Google Maps
The route took me from Coventry to Leicester along the old Roman road Fosse Way, infamous in the Warwickshire region. Through Leicestershire, I tackled its quite hilly roads towards Nottingham bypassing Loughborough. After leaving Nottingham, I would follow Mansfield Road towards Doncaster passing Sherwood Forest along the way.
The route worked out well and got me home without much trouble except for navigating through Coventry, which has an appalling road system that despite efforts to make cycle worthy took me an hour to get through onto more sedate country roads.
Nevertheless Leicester and Nottingham were very easy to navigate especially with the help from an acquaintance I met in Nottingham by the means of twitter – @c5389. He helped me get through effortlessly and was good to have company even for a short while. Such experiences make me look forward to cycling a rickshaw - encountering new people and enjoying the company they offer.
The long haul:
After heading out out Nottinghamshire around 24 Miles from Doncaster. I stopped at the same Mc Donalds that I went two years ago when I cycled home from Peterborough. And no, this wasn’t for a Big Mac, but for topping up my water bottle and a cheeky Mc flurry, which seems to become synonymous with my cycling endeavours. Up till this point I had survived on one home-made sports drink. Perhaps this was a grievous mistake and for the next half hour I was struggling – at any moment I was going to be sick.
Slightly later, I was starting to struggle (probably 100 Miles in) - ‘I hit the wall’. I had little energy even though I physically felt fine. I knew I hadn’t eaten well and that was the problem. I kept pushing and by five o’clock it was dark. Interestingly I had concocted a novel method of attaching bike lights:
All you need to do is getting some electricians tape and keep wrapping the tape around the fork and light till secure. Not exactly high tech but it did the job perfectly.
The Final Leg:
All was become familiar and soon enough I was passing through areas I knew, although not as interesting when you are delirious from the lack of energy. Soon enough I was back home and the satisfaction of completing this journey was great even if I struggled to walk through the door.
Travelling home this way instead of a train, felt suitably rewarding although tiring. It’s certainly something to consider doing again, however, next time I will be sure replenish energy reserve with something better to eat along the way.