18 September 2011

York to Hull Overnight

Last Friday, Alberto and I joined the FNRttC group again for one of their night rides in the North -- this one was from York to Hull (the scenic route).

Waiting to start the ride at York Minster.
It was great to start the ride at York Minster at midnight, and about half an hour into the ride we were already in the countryside. We were a relatively small group of just 40 riders, so we stuck together in a peloton for the majority of the ride. I liked this as I thought it made it very relaxing and felt very safe, although Alberto missed the feeling of being alone in the darkness.

The major highlight of the early part of the ride was Goole, which seemed to have a buzzing nightlife at three in the morning, so we got to pass a lot of bewildered drunk people on the streets, as well as a club which was apparently hosting a Lady Gaga tribute act.

The first 80% of the route was pancake flat and we rode along at a relaxed pace to the halfway stop. I was feeling very very tired at this point... it may have been the combination of waking up at 6am and having the ride be so straightforward that we didn't need to think at all. But the halfway stop had amazingly large cups of tea and sandwiches and cakes (and good conversations), and by the time we got out onto the road again I was ready to cycle some more.

Just a few miles from the Minster and we're already in the countryside.
It also helped that we got lucky with the weather and had an incredibly warm night, even in the countryside. There was a moment of concern when it started to rain lightly, but this was all gone within 10 minutes and we resumed our pleasant ride along the estuaries of various northern rivers.

Dawn came just as we were hitting the only hills of the night. They weren't particularly steep but because our legs were not accustomed to working hard on this ride, we really felt the hills! Fortunately we were rewarded by an amazing downhill just before the runup to the Humber Bridge.

First glimpse of the Humber Bridge.
The whole route had been planned so that we could cross the Humber Bridge, which is the longest bridge in the world that can be walked or cycled across (I mean if you obey the traffic rules...). Although we had a bit too much cloud to get the most gorgeous views, it was a lot of fun to cycle across, and even more fun to arrive at the other side knowing we were about 20 minutes from a full English breakfast!

The small clump of cyclists begins to make its way across.

Crossing the bridge.

We got some sleep on the train back to London and then quickly transitioned into posh mode as we had to attend a wedding at Parliament!

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