Another early start, although later than I had wanted – listening to the wind from the comfort of a warm bed didn’t make the prospect of a chilly ride especially appealing.
I was on the road by 7.15 and started off with the wind behind me. I flew along the backroads to Huntingdon – it was just the tonic my legs needed and I felt fresh and strong. The rain was light too and soon eased off, although the roads were very wet. From Huntingdon, I rode to Alconbury Weston. The brook had burst its banks, flooding the Hammerton road. I continued west, into the wind.
The cold and the wet you can dress for, and I had, but the wind you can’t. There is no escaping the wind. All you can do is to pick an easy, spinning gear and endure it. For mile after mile, on the back lanes from the A1 to the A605 I slogged away and endured it. But on reaching Northamptonshire, the effort was rewarded. I turned south then east and picked up the long waited for tailwind; 60, 70 and 80 kilometre markers were eaten in an hour.
Four days into the Festive 500, the half way point, and I have exactly 250km under my saddle. Four more rides should see me through it.