Dawnbuster - People’s Grand Tour day 22
In sharp contrast to yesterday morning, today began with reveille at 0515hrs. I say reveille but in actual fact I was gently awoken by “Shine On You Crazy Diamond”, probably the most perfect alarm ringtone ever. For those unfamiliar with Pink Floyd’s work “Shine On” starts quietly and gently and takes several minutes to get to full volume. As such it gently and magically burrows into one’s slumber, occasionally entwining itself into that last minute dream, rather than hitting you around the head with a metaphorical sledgehammer. It’s a beautiful way to be woken up. Unfortunately, and annoyingly, my shoulder problem flared up overnight - sort the tooth out, now this again, humph - and that made getting my gear on slow and painful.
I was dressed (I suppose that goes without saying really) and on the road by 5.35am with the bright beam of my Lezyne Super Drive cutting through the fading, early morning darkness and shining off the wet roads. Riding on an empty stomach was quite pleasant in actual fact, and I’m certain that I prefer being empty to overful. My one hour loop (almost entirely in the saddle as the shoulder pain made holding the bars whilst standing difficult) took in the climb of New Road, before heading through the quiet village of Claverley, past Ludstone Hall and then on to the Col De Tinker’s Castle where I joined (albeit in reverse) the route of my normal Roller Coaster commute, all whilst the sun gently rose, spreading weak light and warmth. A hare crossed my path at one stage, one of my favourite wild animals, as well as a beautiful fox. The temperature had crept up to just 3° by the time I got home, so I was good and ready for a bowl of cereal and a huge mug of coffee. Nobody else in the house had stirred either, so I reflected once again on succesfully riding a People’s Grand Tour stage without detrimentally affecting the family’s plans, immediately after which I cruelly shouted “wake up” at them all using the sledgehammer alarm method!
So that’s my penultimate PGT stage done. Next stop today is London for sightseeing and, perhaps, the “Where’s Fred Soho Challenge”, then tomorrow morning I will mug for (non existent) cameras and ride a bike that’s too small for me whilst sipping champagne en route to the pretend Champs Elysee. See you then.