York Cycle Rally: stage 4 (145km)
You might be amazed to discover what penny-pinching cyclists will do to get a free lunch……. I rang my eldest brother (not the one of the boat in York) who lives in Hull, and I virtually invited myself to Sunday lunch……well, of course, my real motive was to do the family thing and…..well, er….visit my brother.
He lives with a religious community there, so it wasn’t just a straightforward “Can I come to lunch?”……other members of the community had to be consulted. And so it was set up…..and I was asked to be there by 12.30pm.
When I eventually arrived at the house, at 12.20pm, I was met by a member of the community who declared they were having a wager on whether I would get there on time. I smiled wistfully, and I really wanted to say “Oh you men of very little faith….” but I didn’t, because I wanted to make sure I was fed. I had just ridden some 45 miles and well……… you know the story. I needed calories to dig me out of a hunger pit, and get me back to York.
The great downside of this journey was the direction of the wind. A strong wind was coming from the west, and I had no option but to go east on the outward…….out of choice, I would have chosen a head wind on the outward, and basked in the relative comfort of a tailwind going back. But not this time. The calories from the meal were not going to be enough. I needed some extra fast-acting carbs. As I passed through Beverley, I stopped by a service station and did (for me) the unthinkable….I purchased one of those overrated, but ‘highly technical’, sports drinks (which are nothing but a mixture of glucose and caffeine)…..you know the one I mean, the one that shares the same name as an F1 team….. to put some va va vroom back into the legs. 40 miles later, as I pulled into the Racecourse in York, I had to admit that, if I had been doped tested on the spot, they would have found certain ‘substances’ in my bloodstream……..but, in this case, only what might be called a ‘legal high’ in the world of sport.