The last ride! For those who say “thank God for that”, we are now grateful to be back at Mum and Dads and the time to think straight, clean clothes, gear and bikes and have a rest. It’s been a ride and a half. Once you start, you just keep the momentum up as there is no going back.
After a very good nights sleep in Lincoln, we felt reasonably good other than sore bums and wind/sun burn having ridden with the sun in our face in a strong wind. Just a short 84 km ride back to Asfordby with a check in time of 6pm.
The wind wasn’t as strong as yesterday but it was still there, as were the clouds. After Duncan’s three false starts on the canal adjoining the hotel, much to the delight of people watching from one of the canal boats, we headed off.
We were soon on the Sustrans Route 64. As well marked paths as in France. As these routes are maintained by volunteers in each section, some were fantastic and some were not. One great idea is that some of the restaurants and cafes on route maintain them and this of course aids them getting business.
We passed many villages once again but then we reached Newark. For some reason, everything changed at Newark. Between Hull and Lincoln we had passed dozens of pubs and places to stop but from Lincoln to Newark, neither. The drivers changed too – more aggressive and on one stretch going into Bingham when we rode on a side path to facing traffic, we counted the number of drivers using their mobile phones (1 in 7).
There were a couple of closed pubs but that was it. We didn’t get any lunch until 5 hours later in Bingham – great soup, bad hair!
From then on it was small roads again. Now we are in familiar territory and villages we knew. A stop off for a swift beer in Hickling.
Then the monster hill up and out of the Vale of Belvoir just outside Old Dalby.
It’s a push job at the best of times but a hard push job in wind and with bags. and once on top, a whizz down the other side to Asfordby.
Home Sweet Home. Dad cooked us a roast lamb with loads of fresh veg from the garden – something we have seriously missed. Followed by a blackberry and apple pie. Remind us why we go on these trips again! The wine has arrived from Colmar, delish.
Best bits – riding in the Doubs valley to Dole and past Besançon. Really enjoyed Beaune, Auxerre, Amboise and surprisingly Luxembourg City. Colmar would be fantastic with fewer tourists, as would Ghent. Superb Chardonnay in Beaune, very welcome Weissbier in Merzig and strong but delicious Belgian ale. Several excellent meals, mostly picked by Tony. Most bizarre and amusing experience was the audio guide to Ghent castle with Paul & Belinda.
Next year, who knows…..