Britain’s roads were full of cyclists this weekend, as glorious weather added to the eternal appeal of exploring on two wheels. I wonder how many of these weekend cyclists dreamed of doing the ultimate British bike ride, from Land’s End to John O’Groats?
I’ve blogged before of my unforgettable experience riding the ‘end to end’. As I wrote on the 10th anniversary of the ride:
“My favourite days? Discovering the beauty of Dent in north Yorkshire and cycling across the Cumbria border to the lovely town of Kirkby Stephen. Revelling in the eight mile downhill swoop from the Devil’s Beef Tub near Moffat in Scotland. Enjoying a beautiful day following Loch Linnhe to Fort William, before paying tribute at the Commando monument in the hills beyond Ben Nevis. And seeing Karen as she overtook me in her hire car near Thurso when she flew to see my complete the challenge.”
The true glory of the end to end, though, is the countless places you cycle through that you’d never visit by car. The silent valleys, such as those in the Yorkshire Dales that I fell in love with. And the moments when the curses at relentless climbs give way to the joy of a downward swoop. (Not to mention the pleasure of recounting the day’s endeavours over a few pints.)