Unplanned Rutland and Lincolnshire

The forecast promised a sunny, dry day. I took the afternoon off with the idea of doing 80 or so, to bump up the February mileage tally and get the Fondo done, having left it somewhat late in the month.

The wind was blowing from the west as usual but I decided to break my rule of not returning home into a headwind, and go east. I wanted to do part of the Norfolk route. The roads east of Eastwell through Waltham and Buckminster are my Cycling Happy Place. And the wind was supposed to dissipate a bit later on.

I didn’t really want to turn back after 40 miles, it was so nice over there – sunny, scenic and quiet – so I kept going. I hit a Lincolnshire sign not long after Buckminster, then a couple of miles later, a Rutland sign! So I’ve ticked off the two remaining Neighbouring Counties of Leicestershire for 2022 without having intended to.

I’d intended to pursue the Norfolk route but missed a turn for South Witham. I ended up there anyway though, somehow. Then I turned back for home after 45 miles and came back the same way.

Usually my DAB personal radio would be pretty good company on a Friday bike ride with Elis & John on 5 Live, then the film review show. I believe Kermode has been sent on an impartiality course. However today it was just wall-to-wall Ukraine news all day. I got Ukraine fatigue eventually; I know that’s an easy thing to say from this safe distance but it was pretty much the same news cycling round for hours.

I listened to the new Sea Power album on my MP3 player, then – unusually – I did silence for a bit.

I’d had to take a layer off earlier in the day and stuff it in my backpack but the temperature dropped just before sunset. I was still 30 miles from home when the sun dipped below the horizon, but I’d brought good lights.

Two teenage girls waved at me from the back of a car I was stuck behind at some roadworks in Waltham. I waved back of course. This only seemed to encourage them and I was quite relieved when the lights changed and they pulled away.

Terrific run out, 90.56 miles, 261 this month which gives me a decent chance of 300 before March. Really looking forward to going further on that route, on a longer and warmer day.