The first section to Castleford via an amazing bus shelter is fairly easy to navigate, I stayed on the main road all the way. It was nice to see Kate talking into her camcorder again! The push to Pocklington pasted through the Rhubarb Triangle, this must be where all the Rhubarb vanishes too. Don’t linger at Pocklington as the section to the coast is fast and easy after the initial climb out of Pocklington. Rather have a good break at the coast, eating fish and chips. The lady at the cafe would not sign the brevet card until you purchased something. However, the shop had put signs up and provided a designated cycling area around the back with water points.
The section from the coast to Thirsk is the hardest of day one and I found myself flagging along this stage. Thanks to Steve, another audax that I met on the road, who motivated me to maintain the pace rather than slowing down. At one point the rain was so heavy that we had to shelter in a bus stop which the locals were using as a bin store. This was the only real rain which we had and we got away lightly, the road debris was telling a different story.
A quick stop at Tesco’s in Thirsk was just what the doctor ordered. The security guard and some of the locals were interested in what we were doing. The usual response to our explanation was received and associated questions were answered. I even tried to get one of the older ladies to have a go of my bike but that was not happening!
Thirsk to Castleford is fast and easy so don’t procrastinate, push on to the bridge at Aldwark, which looked like train sleepers spanning across the steel structure of the bridge and makes a lot of noise as you traveled across them! Don’t stop, push on all the way to Castleford whilst the going is easy.
Arriving at Castleford service station, that we used on the way out rather than the cafe as it looked very busy, marked a mental milestone. I had a vegetarian sandwich and is probably the worst sandwich which I have ever had. Steve had a hot chocolate and I had a coffee which in hindsight was a bad move as Steve had projectile vomiting and I was generally feeling sick… we think it was the milk.
The push to the start control was uncomfortable and I took the point to help Steve maintain an 11mph pace. This 30miles was long and Steve had decided to call it a day by the time we arrived at the start control. I was still undecided and had a couple of hours of sleep before making a final decision. When I woke up I was still feeling sick so I decided to call it day too, preferring to remember the event as a great ride rather than pushing on feeling sick for another 140miles.