In my efforts to get myself fit for the Everesting attempt in October I’m now at the end of my first, albeit very brief, day. Now, at 4am, I’m wide awake, listening to my friend’s albums, some of which I’ve not heard for years.
After logistical, mechanical, and typical (for me) last minute issues, I didn’t leave home until after 4pm, but managed to get close to my destination just as darkness approached. Knowing I only had under 10 miles left I felt a pint was deserved. What did I have? C’mon. It’s the Yorkshire Dales, and the spattering of invariably inviting looking premises all offer exactly the same repertoire of sub 4% beverages with ornate pumpclips invoking some pre-industrial idyll with sheaves of barley, or livestock. If modernity is represented, then tractors feature heavily. Anyway, I digress: I had a bitter. And, as it happens, I love a good bitter… (watch this space…)
The 60 odd miles were into an unrelenting headwind, and largely uphill, so not bad preparation on a bike registering as LGV on the scale of bicycle transport, with the corresponding aerodynamic coefficient of a Luton box van. Nevertheless, they ticked by nicely.
Yet the main theme of the day emerged after hitting the North Yorkshire hinterlands of the Vale of Mowbray. The lanes that wiggle throughout these flat or gently rolling expanses are so embedded in the memory of my first thirty years of cycling that there was no recourse to maps, or to wonder how long a diversion or loop through K and V would take in order to get from A to B. Furthermore, I found myself rubbernecking for familiar landmarks, views, and properties that had registered throughout those three decades.
The crazy thing is, I only live a stone’s throw away, yet I rarely ride here, never visiting the cafés I once hung out in for hours. The last two years have provided new focal points and, as you may have guessed, I’m a little prone to nostalgia, the ache of, and for, the past. Maybe I’m just repressing; avoiding those familiar sites of past pleasures in order to make new memories. That’s a good thing surely? But, like listening to old records, it never harms to rediscover once in a while.