Day 90 Double Dutch

5am alarm. Got up, got ready and had breakfast..

Left in the rain and dark on my bike, through town and down Oundle road for a 6:20am meet outside Elton Furze golf club.

As always Andy was bang on time followed by Nick a minute later. Now over to Huntington, to the Wetherspoons for breakfast no 2. The heavy rain over night mixed with the rain still falling, has left a lot of sitting water on the roads. One bit was so deep, as we biked through the water went over out over shoes. Wet feet at 6:35am when your riding for a target of 175miles is not ideal. It rained all the way to Huntington but felt warm enough. Got to the pub just shy of 25miles at about 7:20am to meet the others and collect of check cards. We got coffees and ordered breakfast no 2 (breakfast wrap for me)

8am we set off for the 200k Double Dutch Audex (127 miles) the rain has just but stopped and we’re all in high spirits. Chatting and riding through the fens Noooooo! About 7 odd miles in I noticed my gps was paused, lost miles. Must have paused it by mistake as I always leave it running (auto pause) nevermind. We soon arrive into March, it’s an old Market town and a bit rough round the edges. We stop in the main square and get a drink from the Tesco’s there. We need to collect a receipt from said places as proof of passage. Next stop Kings Lynn, it seems a bit longer on this section but at least the rain had stopped. The wind has a chill though, it takes a while to warm up after March. We take the cycle path along the River Ouse and I must say, it’s the best way to enter Kings Lynn, very nice. We head to the Tuesday market place and decide to eat at McDonald’s round the corner. Thanks for the meal Nick.

We head to the foot ferry port. There’s a few other people waiting,we get cold and fed up up waiting too. Plus we wasn’t sure we’d all get on and would be 20 mins wait for the next one.

We make the decision to cycle back to the bridge and around the other side. West Lynn, we follow the old road to Sutton Bridge, we were all very cold from the last stop. We go down the cyclepath to and over the bridge. We head down the main Street then turn right and go into the sticks. After weaving in all directions we come back to the Nene. We get to Guys head lighthouse. Picture time. (R.I.P.)

It feels like the middle of nowhere in these parts. A few hamlets and very small villages. Somewhere near Gedney droves end, Andy got a puncture. We all wait and some try to help, all trying to keep warm. We get going and finally get to Saracens head and cross over the A17. More fen roads towards Spalding, I got to 100 miles around here, I think. We go into Springfield’s shopping park at Spalding. Walk through the centre to Costa coffee. Then to our surprise on the tannoy we hear ” NO CYCLES ALLOWED IN THE MAIN PRECINCT” ha ha there loss. We leave, ride through Spalding and stop at the garage in little London. We stuff our faces and get more drinks. Think we got too relaxed here and took too long standing outside. I even decide to put extra gloves and top on. Andy noticed we was starting to look proper cold and slowly going downhill. So he marched us on and off we go. This is the coldest I’ve felt the whole ride and can tell I’m not the only one. The pace picks up towards Crowland. Steve and I are at the back and find it hard to keep up. He is riding a fixie gear bike, nutter. This is the first time I think about not finishing, not in a good place. I navigate us through Crowland and we cross the A16 and head to Thorney. I notice I’m warming up and nearly feel all my fingers again. This is when Mick gets a puncture. Fields all around and not much shelter from the house next to us. It took 2 tubes to fix and we all get cold, we do seem in good spirits but can tell we’re all getting knackered now. Me, all I could see was the sign. Only 50 yards down the road, was a sign directing Peterborough. I can’t stop thinking about going home a getting warm. I’ve also noticed my Wahoo bike computer has gone flat, so gutted about that. I started Strava on my phone and we set off. My head had gone now and I mentioned about going home at the Dog and Doublet pub near Whittlesea. We get to the A47 and go over the roundabout into Thorney. We pass Bedford Hall where we had our Wedding party. Mick says “this place looks familiar” I smile remembering the great night we had and reply “yeah great night mate” this cheers me up and gives me a boost. We come out of Thorney and I tell Andy I’m finishing the ride. He seems pleased with my decision, he knows I’d regret not to finish. What seemed like a long way and not much talking, we get to the finish. All knackered and all very happy and congratulations all round. Into the pub for check in and get a beer. Around 150 miles in the bag for me.

I called Babs to come and fetch me, I’d had enough today. Said my goodbyes to the nutter’s riding home and ordered a veg burger and chips, oh and another beer 👍.

Babs got there just as I finish and a few others was leaving, perfect timing. She got my running stuff with her, still had my run to do. Didn’t think I could handle going home first, so she dropped me off outside of IKEA. She drives off and I start to walk, then jog. Legs feel ok but feel absolutely knackered. The 2 beers, burger and chips aren’t sitting too well either. Only need to do the minimum, so push on. Past Fletton lake, down Fletton ave and through town. It’s raining again but its welcome this time as I’m hot, crazy. Was glad to get home and the lovely Babs had a hot bath and cold beer ready for me X x.

Day 89 done 275 to go.

2.4 miles.

568.5 miles total.

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