Whitstable, or the day I wished I’d taken the train

Today I rode to Whitstable. Whitstable is a very nice place. The ride there, however, was 63 miles of hell. No, I exaggerate. It wasn’t all hell, there were bits that were just a bit crap, interspersed with bits that were truly awful.

A heady mixture of waking up late and spending an inordinate amount of time trying to sort my front brake out, wearing thermal clothes “because it seemed cold” and nearly collapsing with heat exhaustion and having to strip off in a layby, not eating, every fucking dick of a driver in and around Medway, terrible road surfaces sending jolting pains through my hand, a headwind for the majority of the ride that was only surpassed by the headwind in the final 7 mile stretch (I have never experienced flat miles as tough as that) – all combined with some dark, dark thoughts. Today was not a day I wanted to be alone with my head for 63 miles.

I arrived in Whitstable looking like a sweatier version of Dammit at the end of the Ride 100, my back covered in mud, my face covered in grit and tears, my self-belief in tatters and every desire to throw my bike into the sea but without the strength in my stupid claw hand to do so.

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