Monday, 27 July 2015

Land's End

So we made it, and when we got there who should we see but Michael Portillo filming a piece to camera for a series called Coast to Coast. Land's End is altogether more of a commercial operation than John o Groats, with a fairly ghastly looking theme park and a photography business set up at the signpost. It is a stunningly beautiful place though, and the Atlantic stretches out, wildly beautiful, to eternity.

We were greeted by Martin's family and friends and my own daughter, whooping and whistling and bearing bottles of Prosecco. I felt rather sorry for an Australian end-to-end cyclist who arrived at the same time and was met by no one. Later, as we were being driven back to our accommodation we overtook him cycling back to Penzance.

The last day was actually one of the hardest, with torrential rain in the morning and the strongest headwinds we had encountered all trip. I had reached a sort of mental exhaustion too, and a couple of times on some of the last big hills I almost fantasised about getting off the bike and walking. Seeing the hill stretching on up and feeling my legs burning and my heart pounding I would quite vividly imagine myself admitting defeat and walking the last bit of the hill, pushing my bike.

The weird thing was that my legs simply didn't seem to get the message. They just carried on turning the pedals and before I knew it I would be at the top (and hit by the suddenly even more ferocious headwind). Maybe it was what my late wife called my Mastermind complex: "I've started so I'll finish."

I started this ride, so I finished it.

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