Well, another lovely day on Sunday last, and I'm WELL down on mileage for this year, so thought let's get out there!
But I didn't fuel-up properly before leaving the house, AND realised I'd forgotten the usual couple of gels I take. So, just 2 slices of toast before heading out, with a bottle of fluid and 2 flapjack bars - not enough.
Lovely day to be on the bike, Northumberland coming into bloom. Got to 41 miles still heading back towards my old stomping ground (riding routes), and the legs went. Runners call it hitting the wall, cyclists call in "bonking". Whatever you call it, it's not pleasant. I then had a choice - carry on another 15 miles heading further away from home, but dropping altitude to reach the river Tyne in Hexham for what would then be a reasonably flatish (further 35) mile ride home, or turning and heading home at that point, which would mean taking-on the infamous "Ryals" - a double-bluff climb - the first of which is bad enough, but the second is hidden until over the summit of the first. No respite, and they ramp to about 16/17 %. Tough enough with fresh legs, let alone legs which now felt they were constructed from jelly.
Well, quite honestly I knew I wouldn't last another 50 miles, so I headed for the Ryals. Somehow, I hauled myself up with the legs screaming at me just to wait for a bus! Through Matfen and on to Stamfordham - the legs were SO bad it was painful to freewheel & not pedal. Honestly, I had to keep rotating the cranks or my legs would cramp, despite me doing my very best Jens Voight ("Shut up Legs") impression.
I reached 61 miles, 10 miles from home knowing although I'd somehow make it, it'd be midnight before I did, so called for the cavalry to come and pick me up. Wise move, as the legs were then fine for the evening and next day, and wouldn't have been otherwise.