Sunday 14th October 2012 – Day 63

South Lynn – Chapel St Leonard

69.13 miles

516 feet climbed

2657 calories burnt

Cumulative miles cycled = 3,665.16 miles

It was a pleasant change to wake up in my Grandma’s house as opposed to the Motorhome. We all had such a lovely evening last night; it definitely lifted our spirits in the remaining days of the trip. It felt strange eating breakfast civilly round a table with enough space to move around, as opposed to cramp up on top of each other. I just want to re-iterate, this is no slight on James (the Motorhome), but after you’ve been living in the pockets of three other people and a dog, it’s so nice to have a little space, even if it is just elbow room at the table!

After eating breakfast, packing up the motorhome and attempting to top up the water (and failing) we set off about half an hour late. We reached South Lynn at about 9:30am and after unloading the bikes we got cycling pretty rapidly as the chill in the air was making us pretty cold.

If we hadn’t have had a constant headwind today, it would have been a really pleasurable morning. The route I had plotted kept us off the main roads, and after looking at the stats from the Garmin tonight it was probably one of the flattest days we’ve cycled.

As you can probably tell from the tone of the last couple of posts, we’re all really looking forward to finishing. We’ve been on the road since the 13th August, Mum and Dad have had colds, Dad has been knocked off his bike, and overall we’re just generally tired and looking forward to our home comforts. This means we’re keeping the mileage up, today we cycled nearly 70 miles and we will do now until we finish in Middlesbrough. It hasn’t helped with the road being so flat and monotonous, all I seem to be focusing on nowadays is the Garmin and looking at how many miles we’ve got left to cycle to finish for the day.

Back to the day’s ride; we set off from South Lynn, took a bridge over the Great Ouse and steered clear of the A17 by cycling along the country lanes of Norfolk. It was such a good idea of my Dad’s to start the ride in the North-East, because at least we’ve been treated to some respite with the flat terrain, there’s no way I could imagine finishing on the mountains of Scotland, although I’m sure I would have gritted my teeth and got on with it.

The views over the morning’s cycle were of farmer’s fields, surprising how many were out tending to their crops! I hadn’t plotted the route from NCN route 1, but we also followed that route most of the morning, definitely easier following my Garmin than the NCN signs! We had to re-join the A17 at Fosdyke, but here is where the NCN route came in handy, we had a cycle path so we didn’t have to contend with the traffic.

After Fosdyke, it was more back roads until we reached Boston. Quite a shock to the system as we’d been cycling on country roads all morning and we were just thrust straight into the centre, with three lane traffic lights and all, luckily as it was Sunday, the traffic was pretty forgiving. Once out of Boston, we followed Fishtoft Road, all the way to Fishtoft where Mum, Harry, Jasper and the Motorhome were waiting for us for lunch.

It had been a really tough morning, all though the terrain was incredibly flat, the wind was absolutely atrocious, just a constant force in your face, making our average mph drop dramatically! Also, just because it’s flat doesn’t mean it’s a lot easier, with the headwind all day, we’ve had to pedal every stroke to keep ourselves moving. I truly felt every 38 miles of the morning, so much so that for the first time of the trip I requested something specific to eat for lunch – beans on toast… exotic!

When we arrived for lunch, Mum had got the beans on toast (WITH CHEESE) ready, such a wonderful treat. I felt absolutely shattered and for the first time, was not looking forward to getting back on the bike for another 30 miles in the afternoon. Needless to say, I pulled myself together and got going again,

In the afternoon, the first 15 miles were pretty much the same as the morning, spent fighting the wind on country lanes. It was when we got to Wrangle that we had to join the A52 and also when I realised that I was in Lincolnshire, although we’d passed that mark way back in the morning! There wasn’t much traffic on the road so we felt pretty safe, although saying that, when we were about 5 miles from Skegness we had to follow a diversion as the police had close off the A52 due to a crash! This meant we ended up on a narrow country lane with all the manic drivers – I definitely didn’t feel safe at that point!

Just as we were about a mile from Chapel St Leonard, our resting place for the evening, I felt my back tire go… my first puncture of the whole trip after 3,500 miles! I cheated and just pumped it up to get me to the motorhome where I could fix it properly. We ended up in a lovely campsite, Goodwin Park – on the outskirts of Chapel St Leonard. Mum and Harry received wonderful hospitality from the staff, and it was such a well equipped site, with under floor heating in the shower rooms!

For dinner, Harry cooked us a treat of chicken, with Chinese sausage and brown rice – I think I may have eaten too much, or possibly drunk too many Aspall cider’s, either way I’m incredibly full! Don’t know how I’m going to manage eating when I get home, better reduce my portions soon.

As we’re starting our final week on the road, with hopefully three more day’s left, it’s now feeling like we’re just counting the miles down. Hopefully the weather will be kind to us and hold off long enough to let us get home without delay!

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