I'm currently reading Jenny Graham's account of her record breaking solo ride around the world, "Coffee first, then the world". Apart from being amazed at her athletics ability, I am in awe of her mental resilience. I've just got to the point where she has finished riding across Russia, covering almost 300km a day. I share this now because after 350km of riding across northern France I am bored out if my mind. So bored I've decided not to ride on. At least not from Dover to home.
Some of you will no doubt see that as a failure. Well, it is of sorts. I could talk myself I to going on. My legs and back ferl fine. But the plain truth is I am not enjoying it and I should be because I'm on holiday. As I got nearer to Calais today I kept asking myself what was the point of completing the ride if I didn't enjoy any of it? Today was literally 95km of boredom. Not because I'm on my own, I'm used to that. But more because the scenery hasn't changed one bit in three days. There's honestly very little to say about today. It was almost all on flat on cycle paths alongside canals and through villages. There were multiple versions of the same cycle infrastructure, long sections of the unfinished extension to EuroVelo 5 that were on gravel and a one point single track, and the usual ghost towns.
Drop me back at any point in the ride and I'd struggle to tell you where I was or what there was to see. If your strongest memories of a trip where visits to McDonald's and Burger King then you know there's something badly wrong. OK, I'm exaggerating but you get my point. Which brings me back to Jenny. How the hell did she cope with thousands of unchanging landscape in Russia? I can only guess at the mental strength that takes because I don't have it.
The weather forecast for the next few days at home is looking very good. A ride every day in the sun on my home roads in Warwickshire will be very pleasant indeed.
I might see some of you out there.