#5000colo Day 21: Coffee, More Cake, Pain

Distance travelled: 32.42 miles
Cumulative distance: 452.18 miles
Distance remaining: 4547.82 miles
Percentage complete: 9.04
Villages visited: Lamas, Skeyton, Westwick, Swanton Abbott, Worstead, Sloley, Scottow, Badersfield, Horstead.

I was supposed to be riding with Alex, the fundraising manager from Mind, but unfortunately she’s had to self-isolate so wasn’t able to make it today. I decided to stick to the same route, though, buoyed by the possibility of coffee and cake at Javabean, one of my favourite haunts.

It was pretty hard going today; I felt pretty exhausted after yesterday, but I knew it would be easy to truncate this route if I was struggling.

There were a couple of debris-strewn back roads that brought back unwelcome memories of ‘Puncturegate’ earlier in the week, but thankfully the tyres and tubes remained intact. Once I got into my rhythm, the central section of the ride wasn’t too bad; I even made a couple of slight extensions to the route to take in extra villages (the first, to Swanton Abbott, was a mapreading mishap; the second, to Sloley, was intentional).

The welcome sanctity of Javabean arrived around the 22-mile mark. I usually have a leisurely natter with Hayley and Dominic, but today business was booming and it was great to see the place so busy! I enjoyed a black coffee and an exquisite slice of rocky road, before getting back on the (thankfully not-so-rocky) road.

The last few miles were as arduous as anything I’ve experienced on my cycling exploits so far; they were up there with the last few miles of my 100km at the end of August. Not only was the omnipresent saddle soreness causing me grief, but the quads, shoulders and lower back were all on fire.

I’m not sure whether this is due to my physical fitness (or lack of), my bike fit or a combination of the two. I feel like I should be able to do more than I’m doing without experiencing quite such a high level of discomfort, but it is what it is. I’m contemplating a day off tomorrow, but might try a short ride if I feel up to it.

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