Now it can be told: I spent the last month in Great Britain, cycling from the southwest corner of England to the northeast corner of Scotland, with a few miles in Wales. Actual mileage was 1265 for September and even though I only had a few cokes, there were quite a few Guiness's and various bitters and lagers. I managed to lose a couple more pounds and really look lean, especially the glutes. In the coming weeks, as things come to mind and I get caught up from being gone so long, I'll be posting happenings of the three weeks of riding. But for now let me say that for ALL of my cycling forays, this one was the most challenging.
If you do a search engine on Land's End to John O'Groats you can find endless writings by folks like me. And we all say the same thing: the hills of Cornwall and Devon are devilish (or similar words). Here is my take: once they were behind us, we no longer blinked at climbs less than 15%, mere bumps in the road. In the States, the reward for a hard climb is usually a screaming descent. Because we were on small country lanes (10 feet wide with 8 foot vine covered walls on each side), the road surface was deteriorated asphalt, sometimes with grass growing in the middle of two wheel-tracks, twisting blind corners, with just enough vehicle traffic to hamper any speed. Each day I had to clean my rims to remove the brake-pad residue. My hands were sore from braking ALL THE WAY DOWN the @&%#*! hill.
Several years ago, cycling with friends in California, I experienced wind strong enough to blow the bike parallel to the ground when Byran got off, with only one hand on the handlebars. I love telling that story. Now I have another: seven and a half hours of cycling (not counting the one hour lunch) to go 52 miles. Ultra-marathoners can run that in less time!
Oh, yeah! I loved every minute of it. Come back soon, this is a fun tale to tell.